How hormones steer our appetite and eating behaviour
Flowing through your blood are chemical messengers that help to control your appetite. Understanding how they work can shed the light on the role of biology in weight regulation.
You may already know that checking measures such a blood pressure and cholesterol levels can be a good way to protect your health. But did you realise that living with obesity can actually increase the risk of heart disease? This article explains the link between obesity and heart disease and outlines how individuals living with overweight can reduce their risk of developing the disease.
CVD is an umbrella term used to describe health problems that affect
the heart or blood circulation. It is also known as heart disease. It
includes conditions that narrow or block the blood vessels, such as
heart attacks and stroke.
CVD is on the increase. The number of people living with CVD nearly doubled between 1990 and 2019 and it is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Unfortunately, there is a proven link between obesity and CVD. Put simply, living with obesity can increase your risk of developing heart disease.
You may already be aware that obesity can lead to the development of high blood sugar and raised levels of blood pressure and cholesterol. However, you may not have realised that these are all significant risk factors for CVD – if left untreated, they can potentially cause heart disease.
Why? There are two key reasons. High levels of fat in the body (known as adiposity) is known to cause a wide-range of cardiovascular abnormalities, such as increased heart rate, and raised pressure on the arteries in the heart. These abnormalities can all increase the risk of a CV event.
The second factor is hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) caused by a build-up of fatty material in the blood vessels. This restricts blood flow and increases the risk of blood clots and stroke (where the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off).
The reality is that people living with overweight or obesity are at a greater risk of a CVD event. On a more positive note, most people can reduce their risk by making changes to their lifestyle.
The good news is that making relatively small changes can help to reduce the risk of CVD. In fact, you may already be making some of these choices.
The sooner you start making changes, the better. The first step is to talk to your doctor.
Depending on your individual circumstances, your doctor may discuss a range of different strategies. These include:
You don’t have to face this alone. Support is available.
Check out the other articles on this website, many of which contain information on ways to protect your health.
You are more likely to succeed in controlling your weight if you can find a doctor who specialises in helping people living with obesity. Click on the link below to find local support.
Talk to your weight management provider about treatment options that could prevent the weight you lose from coming back.