The Harbinger of Obesity

The Harbinger of Obesity

Obesity is a complex disease involving excess and abnormal body fat which often increases one’s risk to potentially serious health problems including back pain, knee osteoarthritis, hypertension and various other heart diseases. In addition, women who are obese are exposed to fertility difficulties. This health condition should be taken seriously because it’s associated with poorer mental health outcomes and reduced quality of life. In that regard, we have rounded up some of the most common warning signs of obesity exhibited by the body.

Dyspnea or Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath or dyspnea is a common symptom among those who are obese, caused by the extra fat on the neck or across the abdomen. The additional fat can also affect the natural air flow that goes in and out of the lungs. Dyspnea can be remedied by making lifestyle changes and being active. Should you ever experience shortness of breath, contact a health expert immediately.

Aching knees

Being overweight negatively impacts the joints, especially the knees and ankles, which consequently affects. You might even notice changes in posture due to compensation for the pain and even difficulty in walking. When you’re experiencing knee aches, exercising can be quite the feat. Start small and slowly by going on a long morning and evening stroll and stay away from unhealthy food.


As mentioned in the former point, being overweight can create stress on the back while also hindering you from leading an active lifestyle. The best solution would be to seek professional advice from an orthopaedic and work on your back. Should it be left untreated, obesity can lead to the risk of developing spondylolysis, spinal stenosis and a fracture in the vertebrae.

Risk of hypertension

Hypertension or high blood pressure has been constantly associated with obesity. When you’re overweight, your heart has to work double time to pump blood through your body. That extra effort, however, strains the arteries which resists the flow of blood, causing pressure to rise. Together, obesity and hypertension combine to create a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. In order to keep healthy and avoid heart and other diseases, it’s vital to maintain your ideal body weight according to the body mass index (BMI).

Skin problems

This may come as a surprise for many, but being overweight can manifest various skin problems. It can affect the skin’s barrier function, darkened skin around the neck and body folds as well as stretch marks. In addition, the excess weight means the body retains more moisture in body folds and this creates a breeding ground for bacteria and even fungi. Some might even experience corn and calluses on the feet.


Depression and anxiety disorders are prevalent among the obese, stemmed from poor self-image, low self-esteem and social isolation. Those who are overweight often find themselves ostracised, stereotyped and discriminated against, which explains feeling depressed and anxious, especially around people.


Heartburn can happen to anyone, but being overweight has a longstanding link to it. Heartburn, aka GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is when stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus. The symptoms of heartburn appear through burning sensation, pain and pressure in the chest and throat area. The most effective intervention to reduce heartburn is to lose weight, eat light and avoid fried food.


Obesity can cause snoring. Excess fat around the neck obstructs airflow and thereby makes snoring much more likely. It also increases the likelihood of obstructive sleep apnea due to compression in the neck area.

Varicose veins

It has been ascertained that obesity is the root of many serious health conditions and varicose veins are among them. Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins that typically occur on the legs and feet. It often appears clustered and entwined, embodying a shade of blue or purple and is sometimes surrounded by thin red capillaries, aka spider veins. The excess body weight puts pressure on the veins and causes varicose veins to form.

Irregular periods

Obesity has been reported to be associated with irregular menstrual cycles. This includes  experiencing heavy or long period cycles or an absence of period. Gaining weight or being overweight throws off the body’s hormones which shouldn’t be taken lightly as it can cause various detrimental diseases.