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Sam Speron, MD, FACS - Board Certified Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

847.696.9900

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Chicago Obesity Surgeon

 

Avoiding Obesity

Obesity may begin in childhood and will be with you throughout your adulthood.  Obesity is becoming the biggest disease in both children and adults.  By helping our children while they’re still young, we will be preventing millions of cancers and other life-threatening diseases as they become adults.  Obesity may be caused by overeating, which is the most common sense answer, but it is also hormone-related.  Hormone deficiencies, especially human growth hormone deficiency, are made much worse if you are overweight. Obesity automatically lowers the amount of human growth hormone in your body. The more body fat you have, the less HGH you will have, even when you're young. 

Obesity and Hormones

The Endocrine system is made up of several glands and hormones to transfer information from one set of cells to another.  Each hormone circulates throughout the bloodstream affecting the cells programmed to receive and respond to messages.  Hormone levels can be thrown off balance by factors such as stress, infection, and changes of fluids and minerals in the bloodstream.  This system works with the Nervous and Immune systems to help the body cope with stresses.  When the hormones are deficient, the growth hormone, for example, may be predisposed to the deposit of fat.  Leptin, the hormone produced by fat cells is secreted into the bloodstream; also called the “fat hormone.”  Leptin reduces appetite by acting on specific centers in the brain to control hunger.  This hormone also regulates how the body stores fat.  Since Leptin is produced by fat, obese people tend to have higher levels of leptin stored in their bodies.  Researchers are now trying to learn why leptin messages are not working properly by controlling the hunger signals in obese people.

Behavior and Obesity

Hormones are not the only cause to obesity.  Sedentary lifestyles, including lack of exercise, improper diets, and stress are the main causes for obesity.  These behaviors cause the signals to regulate appetites and body fat to cause excess weight gain.  Crash dieting is a short-term disruption on the body and prevents the body from maintaining balance, which causes the extra weight gained after any diets.  Long term changes, eating a healthy and nutritious diet and exercising can help the body learn to control appetite and leptin signals.

These behavioral symptoms may begin in childhood, for example, children who have behavior problems are more likely to be obese as an adult.  Parents need to address the child’s well-being and mental states to help prevent them from “dealing” as an adult.  Teachers should alert parents of these problems, such as alertness, study problems, emotional and physical, and inform parents to take action.  Not allowing a child to get the proper amount of sleep can condition the child to continue with the habits into adulthood.  Lack of sleep, which causes stress on the body raises cortisol levels and in turn, leads to weight gain and obesity.

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