Of the estimated 133.6 million people in the United States who are overweight or obese, most choose to lose the excess weight through diet and exercise. Many others, however, who do not find success with this method, or who are unable to exercise, look to medical treatments for help. Most doctors have heard the question “am I obese?” many times. In response, they may recommend gastric bypass surgery, a popular form of surgery for weight loss that effectively shrinks your stomach and limits the amount of food you can consume.
Obesity arises out of the storage of excess fat in the body but a person can be considerably overweight without being obese. This can be confusing but the problem arises because muscle weighs more than fat so that, in the case of athletes or bodybuilders, your weight may be over what are considered normal limits but you are not considered obese because your extra weight is supplied by muscle and not by fat. If you have been asking, “Am I obese?” there is a way to tell. Currently, BMI (body mass index) is used to determine whether you are overweight or obese. If your BMI falls between 25 and 30 you are considered overweight; however, you are considered obese if your BMI is over 30. You can calculate your BMI using the calculator below.
How Can I Tell If I Am Morbidly Obese?
Morbid obesity is considered a life-threatening condition because of the health problems it presents. If you are more than 100 pounds over your ideal weight, or have a BMI of 40 or more, you are considered morbidly obese. According to researchers, there are many underlying causes for morbid obesity, besides overeating, such as metabolic, environmental, hereditary and genetic, over which you have little or no control. In addition, medical problems may contribute to obesity. These include hypothyroidism and the use of prescription steroids to treat other conditions. Recent studies have shown that when the problem of obesity arises from an underlying cause, weight loss through diet and exercise alone will provide limited results at best, and probably produce no long-term weight reduction.
If you are struggling with obesity, you have a weight problem, not a morality problem or a will-power problem. Sometimes your weight is not entirely your fault and all your very best efforts will not be enough to bring your weight down to a healthy level and keep it there.
Benefits of Gastric Bypass Surgery
When medically supervised diet and exercise programs have not been successful in bringing weight down to a healthy level, your doctor may suggest gastric bypass surgery, especially if you are experiencing medical problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Surgeons within the context of this surgery use several different procedures. The preferred method is stapling the stomach to make a small pouch, and an area for food to go past (or to bypass) part of your small intestine. Approximately eighty percent of the stomach is removed in this technique, reducing the amount of food you can eat resulting in weight loss.
As with all surgery, there are risks involved, which your doctor will explain. However, the benefits of the surgery are greater than the risks according to the medical community. Most patients can expect to lose up to 80 percent of their excess weight, as well as experience immense improvements in medical problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, fatigue, arthritis and joint pain.
Some Promising Findings For Future Treatment
Researchers have discovered that the portion of the stomach removed in gastric bypass surgery contains the stomach cells that produce ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone, which may also help to account for the reduction in appetite and resulting weight loss over time. This discovery may eventually enable drug companies to produce new medication for appetite control. If you are considering gastric bypass surgery, and have been asking, “Am I obese?” a thorough discussion with your doctor is important. When you know what to expect it will help to ensure an excellent outcome and a new, slim and healthy you.