The Most Common Health Complications That Stem From Being Overweight

You’ve read the studies about how being overweight negatively affects your chances for a promotion at work, and even how much money you earn. While you’re absolutely right to be angry at those who judge you only by your appearance, buckling down and insisting that you don’t need to lose weight doesn’t hurt them, it hurts you. A lot.

Your weight isn’t just an aesthetic issue, it’s a health issue. If you’re overweight, you have an increased risk of developing serious medical conditions that impair your quality of life — and even shorten it.  

Kimberly Bolling, MD, a caring and expert internist in Bowie, Maryland, is committed to helping you achieve and maintain a healthy weight through medically supervised weight loss. Once you shed the unnecessary pounds and take control of your health, you can reduce your risk for these and many other conditions: 

Type 2 diabetes

Eating a diet high in sugar and processed foods not only causes inflammation that increases your risk for gaining weight, it increases your risk for insulin resistance. If your body grows resistant to insulin, it can’t use this important hormone to transport the sugar in your blood to your cells, which need the sugar for energy. 

Instead, the sugar stays in your blood, where it damages your blood vessels and puts you at risk for serious complications, including limb amputation, blindness, and early death.

Your risk for diabetes increases with the more weight you gain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that women who are overweight (BMI of 30) have 28 times the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The increased risk jumped by 93 times for those whose BMI was 35 or more. (Want to know your BMI? Check it out here.) 

High blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke

Men who had a healthy BMI of 22-23 but then added five inches to their waist over four years increased their risk for heart disease by 16%.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States. 

Being overweight also increases your blood pressure, because when you have more pounds to nourish with blood and oxygen, your heart has to work harder. High blood pressure raises your risk for both heart attack and stroke.


Carrying around extra weight puts stress on your heart, but also on your joints. Over time, the pressure wears away the protective cartilage in your hips, knees, and ankles, leading to osteoarthritis. 

Osteoarthritis makes your joints stiff and painful, sometimes enough that you start to curtail your activities. However, being less active not only makes your arthritis worse, it raises your risk for gaining even more weight.

Sleep apnea

One of the strongest predictors of developing a serious sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea is being overweight or obese. If you have sleep apnea, you stop breathing multiple times a night, depriving your brain and organs of necessary oxygen, and increasing your risk for a multitude of related health conditions and early death. 

Losing weight takes the pressure of extra pounds off your throat, so you may be able to breathe freely through the night. If you snore while you sleep, or wake up feeling groggy, ask Dr. Bolling about a sleep apnea evaluation

Kidney disease and cancer

Researchers don’t yet know why people who are overweight tend to be more at risk for fatty liver disease and certain types of cancer, but the relationship is unmistakable. Luckily, losing weight may reverse fatty liver disease. Losing weight can also reduce your risk of getting breast cancer, colon cancer, and kidney cancer, among others.

Put a stop to the vicious cycle of weight-related health conditions by enrolling in a medically supervised weight loss program. You get the support and good nutrition you need to safely lose weight while still enjoying food and improving your overall lifestyle. Falling in love with your new figure is just a nice little bonus.

To find out more about medically supervised weight loss to improve your health, call Dr. Bolling’s team at 301-352-0090 or request your appointment using the online contact form. You can also send a message to Dr. Bolling and her team here on the website.

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