Thursday, October 5, 2017
You’ve tried everything to lose weight, but nothing has worked. Everyday activities are a struggle. Your medication list is long. You’re worried about your future. And you’re wondering if surgery is the answer.
First, understand the difference between being obese and being overweight.
Being overweight simply means weighing too much, and that could be due to extra muscle, bone or water – not just having too much fat. Obesity, however, specifically refers to having too much body fat. The first standard doctors use to measure body fat is Body Mass Index (BMI). This measures your body fat based on your weight relative to your height. For instance, if you’re tall, it’s normal and healthy for you to weigh more than a shorter person – up to a certain point. Use the BMI calculator to see if your BMI reaches risk levels.
If your BMI is 35 or higher, you are 18 or older, and you have one or more comorbidities, you may be eligible for bariatric surgery. A comorbidity is a health problem related to obesity that is expected to get better with weight loss, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease and joint problems.
A BMI over 40 indicates morbid obesity, and you may be considered for surgery even if you don’t yet have a comorbidity – because you are at serious risk for developing any of these conditions:
- Heart disease
- Certain cancers, including breast and colon