It is everyman’s knowledge that being overweight is not good for the heart. No one knows that being severely below normal weight is equally bad. The heart and body weight are intricately related. Heart disease can occur in those with anorexia and even cause death. This article attempts to explain this relationship.
Impact of Heavy Body Weight on the Heart
This has always been a favorite topic. Increase of body weight causes an increase in blood pressure. Cholesterol levels are also known to increase, especially the triglycerides. At the same time, HDL is low and this is an important factor in the occurrence of heart disease.
If you are obese, there is a fair chance that you will get diabetes which is yet another risk factor for developing heart disease. Fat cells in the abdomen are metabolically active and are a cause of inflammation in the body and this measured as the amount of C reactive protein (CRP) in the body. The higher the CRP value, the higher the chance of heart disease.
All these factors put together, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inflammation, and diabetes are a deadly combination that causes physical abnormalities typical of heart disease.
Being Underweight – Causes of Heart Disease
This is very difficult to believe. Medical research points to the fact that there is a chance of heart disease when a person is severely underweight. Though it seems highly unlikely that these two are related, a person that has a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18 is likely to be sick already. They are also likely to be nutritionally compromised.
It is also a fact that weight loss is one, of the first signs of cancer. Anorexic patients can have different diseases because of low nutrition. It can, therefore be seen that low weight is an indirect factor for the occurrence of heart disease.
BMI and Heart Disease – The Relationship
The healthiest value for BMI is any number between 20 and 25. The risk of heart disease is increased with an increase in BMI. A BMI of 25 to 30 or 30 to 35 runs a much higher risk for the individual. However, BMI alone does not increase the risk. It is also about where the weight is more in the body.
If an individual is apple-shaped and is carrying excess weight in the abdomen, they have more chance of developing high blood pressure and diabetes than another person that is carrying weight around their hips and thighs.
Whereas overweight men tend to have an apple shape, overweight women have a pear shape. Another factor that is as important as BMI is, therefore, the waist-to-hip ratio. A higher waist-to-hip ratio indicates a higher risk of heart disease. Therefore, any amount of excess weight is unhealthy and more so if the waist-to-hip ratio is higher.
Weight loss for Heart Health
Even a loss of 5 to 6 pounds of weight can lower the blood pressure of an individual by 5 mm Hg. A 2 to 5 % of weight reduction can raise HDL and simultaneously lessen triglycerides by almost 20 percent. A small reduction in weight lowers the risk for diabetes and blood pressure considerably.
It is important to acknowledge the fact that weight gain is gradual and goes unnoticed. Therefore, it is important for the sake of one’s health to shed the pounds at the earliest. Losing 2 to 5 pounds in a month is a reasonably easy task. Losing 20 to 30 pounds in a month may be unimaginable. At the end of it all, it is vital to realize that you will enjoy better health if you control weight gain in the first place. Prevention is better than cure.