If you are obese, you are putting yourself at risk for numerous dangers and health conditions. Not everyone who is obese has significant health problems, but a large percentage have a much higher risk of developing serious health problems that can lead to death.

The clinical definition of obesity relates to any person with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. It’s good to have a test to show if you fall into that group, so your doctor can start treatment to get your weight down and protect you from illnesses related to obesity including:

* Breathing and Respiratory Problems
* Sleep Apnea
* Gallstones and Gallbladder Disease
* Gout
* Osteoarthritis
* Diabetes
* High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
* Heart Disease and Strokes
* Certain Cancers

Obesity puts strain on your bones and joints, as well as your internal organs. Osteoarthritis in major joints like the knees, hips, and back is commonly found in obese people because extra body weight places extreme pressure on these joints. Over time, struggling to carry the weight wears away cartilage in these joints resulting in pain and stiffness. When problems arise with internal organs located in your stomach or abdomen, your doctor may have a difficult time with an exam and accurate diagnosis due to the extra skin in that area. Further testing such as blood work, x-rays, or open mri may be necessary to pinpoint the problems. Finding certain conditions such as cancers in the stomach, pancreas or liver, bowel blockages or obstructions, and abdominal aortic aneurysms can be very difficult in obese patients. Medical research shows that cancers of the esophagus, breast and ovaries, uterus, gallbladder, pancreas, and kidneys are linked to obesity.

The good news is that losing even a small amount of weight reduces the risk factor for most of these health conditions related to obesity. If you are struggling with obesity, your doctor can help you change your diet and exercise habits, prescribe weight loss drugs, and discuss the possibility of weight loss surgery. Getting to a healthier weight that will reduce your chances of developing certain diseases may be easier than you think.