Obesity and Other Chronic Health Conditions

Reviewed Nov 22, 2017

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Summary

Strategies for dealing with obesity and other chronic conditions:

  • Exercise.
  • Build a healthy lifestyle.
  • Get support.

In a perfect world, you could manage your weight by balancing what and how much you ate with how much exercise you did. That would be easy. But, in the real world, other things affect your weight, too, including your genes and your overall health.

We can’t choose our genes, but we can learn to make good use of them. If everyone in your family is overweight, your doctor can help you find a nutritionist to design a healthy eating program for you. Don’t waste time and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Extra weight is a risk factor for many chronic conditions, but may also be an unwanted side effect. 

Some chronic health problems—such as arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disease, or a heart condition—make it extra hard for a person to maintain a healthy weight. You may be limited in your mobility, or forbidden to do certain activities that could help you lose or maintain a healthy weight.

If you have one of those conditions, you may gain weight because of it or the medication you take to control it. Either way, staying fit won’t be easy.

If you have joint pain or any kind of arthritis, you may find that joint pain makes it hard to walk or run or swim to stay in shape. In fact, you may avoid moving.

Do you always take the elevator or park as close to the front door as possible, wherever you go? If you do, little by little, your pain and stiffness will rob you of the physical activity you need to keep a healthy weight.

Whether your thyroid is underactive or overactive, it needs medication to keep it working the way it should. The amount you need may go up or down. If you are off just a little bit, your activity level can change, which might make you gain or lose more weight than you want to.

Sudden weight loss is a common sign of type 2 diabetes, but once someone is diagnosed and on a treatment program, she may have trouble staying at a constant weight. Every pound she gains or loses can upset her blood-sugar level, for better or for worse. It won’t be easy to lose weight if you have any type of diabetes.

There is a fine line between too much exercise and just enough, for someone with a heart condition. Let your doctor or physical therapist help you find the right balance. You need exercise to keep your weight down and to keep your heart muscle healthy.

What can I do?

While you are dealing with a chronic medical condition, here are a few things you can do to deal with it, along with your weight problem:

  • Eat a healthy mix of wholesome foods.
  • Be mindful of portions.
  • Skip processed and fast foods.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Get some exercise every day.
  • Stay connected, socially.
  • Find a support group or friend to keep you focused on wellness.
  • Tap into your spiritual center or inner strength to keep you going when things get rough.

Extra weight can lead to a chronic condition, but it can also be a side effect. The cause can also be the effect. This is true for people with back injuries, asthma and other lung diseases, fibromyalgia as well as conditions listed above.

Weight loss will help alleviate some of the pain and fatigue of many conditions. It may also turn around your disease and start you on a road to recovery.

Exercise helps

Here are some activities you might want to do to burn calories and build muscle, no matter what your disability. Check with your doctor first, and start slow:

  • Easy walking
  • Mild exercise or walking in water
  • Swimming (even doggy paddling)
  • Seated aerobics
  • Pilates in a pool
  • Free weights
  • Tai chi
  • Hand and pedal exercises

Exercise is good for the body and for the soul, no matter what a person’s medical condition. With some care, you can lose a little weight, feel better, reduce your pain and improve your overall health.

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/prevention/index.html

The National Center on Physical Activity, and Disability
www.ncpad.org

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

NEDA Helpline
800-931-2237

By Paula Hartman Cohen
Source: Marsha Marcus, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; Judith Matz, LCSW, therapist specializing in treating eating disorders, Skokie, IL.
Reviewed by Romeo Purugganan, MD, DABPN, Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Strategies for dealing with obesity and other chronic conditions:

  • Exercise.
  • Build a healthy lifestyle.
  • Get support.

In a perfect world, you could manage your weight by balancing what and how much you ate with how much exercise you did. That would be easy. But, in the real world, other things affect your weight, too, including your genes and your overall health.

We can’t choose our genes, but we can learn to make good use of them. If everyone in your family is overweight, your doctor can help you find a nutritionist to design a healthy eating program for you. Don’t waste time and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Extra weight is a risk factor for many chronic conditions, but may also be an unwanted side effect. 

Some chronic health problems—such as arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disease, or a heart condition—make it extra hard for a person to maintain a healthy weight. You may be limited in your mobility, or forbidden to do certain activities that could help you lose or maintain a healthy weight.

If you have one of those conditions, you may gain weight because of it or the medication you take to control it. Either way, staying fit won’t be easy.

If you have joint pain or any kind of arthritis, you may find that joint pain makes it hard to walk or run or swim to stay in shape. In fact, you may avoid moving.

Do you always take the elevator or park as close to the front door as possible, wherever you go? If you do, little by little, your pain and stiffness will rob you of the physical activity you need to keep a healthy weight.

Whether your thyroid is underactive or overactive, it needs medication to keep it working the way it should. The amount you need may go up or down. If you are off just a little bit, your activity level can change, which might make you gain or lose more weight than you want to.

Sudden weight loss is a common sign of type 2 diabetes, but once someone is diagnosed and on a treatment program, she may have trouble staying at a constant weight. Every pound she gains or loses can upset her blood-sugar level, for better or for worse. It won’t be easy to lose weight if you have any type of diabetes.

There is a fine line between too much exercise and just enough, for someone with a heart condition. Let your doctor or physical therapist help you find the right balance. You need exercise to keep your weight down and to keep your heart muscle healthy.

What can I do?

While you are dealing with a chronic medical condition, here are a few things you can do to deal with it, along with your weight problem:

  • Eat a healthy mix of wholesome foods.
  • Be mindful of portions.
  • Skip processed and fast foods.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Get some exercise every day.
  • Stay connected, socially.
  • Find a support group or friend to keep you focused on wellness.
  • Tap into your spiritual center or inner strength to keep you going when things get rough.

Extra weight can lead to a chronic condition, but it can also be a side effect. The cause can also be the effect. This is true for people with back injuries, asthma and other lung diseases, fibromyalgia as well as conditions listed above.

Weight loss will help alleviate some of the pain and fatigue of many conditions. It may also turn around your disease and start you on a road to recovery.

Exercise helps

Here are some activities you might want to do to burn calories and build muscle, no matter what your disability. Check with your doctor first, and start slow:

  • Easy walking
  • Mild exercise or walking in water
  • Swimming (even doggy paddling)
  • Seated aerobics
  • Pilates in a pool
  • Free weights
  • Tai chi
  • Hand and pedal exercises

Exercise is good for the body and for the soul, no matter what a person’s medical condition. With some care, you can lose a little weight, feel better, reduce your pain and improve your overall health.

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/prevention/index.html

The National Center on Physical Activity, and Disability
www.ncpad.org

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

NEDA Helpline
800-931-2237

By Paula Hartman Cohen
Source: Marsha Marcus, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; Judith Matz, LCSW, therapist specializing in treating eating disorders, Skokie, IL.
Reviewed by Romeo Purugganan, MD, DABPN, Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Strategies for dealing with obesity and other chronic conditions:

  • Exercise.
  • Build a healthy lifestyle.
  • Get support.

In a perfect world, you could manage your weight by balancing what and how much you ate with how much exercise you did. That would be easy. But, in the real world, other things affect your weight, too, including your genes and your overall health.

We can’t choose our genes, but we can learn to make good use of them. If everyone in your family is overweight, your doctor can help you find a nutritionist to design a healthy eating program for you. Don’t waste time and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Extra weight is a risk factor for many chronic conditions, but may also be an unwanted side effect. 

Some chronic health problems—such as arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disease, or a heart condition—make it extra hard for a person to maintain a healthy weight. You may be limited in your mobility, or forbidden to do certain activities that could help you lose or maintain a healthy weight.

If you have one of those conditions, you may gain weight because of it or the medication you take to control it. Either way, staying fit won’t be easy.

If you have joint pain or any kind of arthritis, you may find that joint pain makes it hard to walk or run or swim to stay in shape. In fact, you may avoid moving.

Do you always take the elevator or park as close to the front door as possible, wherever you go? If you do, little by little, your pain and stiffness will rob you of the physical activity you need to keep a healthy weight.

Whether your thyroid is underactive or overactive, it needs medication to keep it working the way it should. The amount you need may go up or down. If you are off just a little bit, your activity level can change, which might make you gain or lose more weight than you want to.

Sudden weight loss is a common sign of type 2 diabetes, but once someone is diagnosed and on a treatment program, she may have trouble staying at a constant weight. Every pound she gains or loses can upset her blood-sugar level, for better or for worse. It won’t be easy to lose weight if you have any type of diabetes.

There is a fine line between too much exercise and just enough, for someone with a heart condition. Let your doctor or physical therapist help you find the right balance. You need exercise to keep your weight down and to keep your heart muscle healthy.

What can I do?

While you are dealing with a chronic medical condition, here are a few things you can do to deal with it, along with your weight problem:

  • Eat a healthy mix of wholesome foods.
  • Be mindful of portions.
  • Skip processed and fast foods.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Get some exercise every day.
  • Stay connected, socially.
  • Find a support group or friend to keep you focused on wellness.
  • Tap into your spiritual center or inner strength to keep you going when things get rough.

Extra weight can lead to a chronic condition, but it can also be a side effect. The cause can also be the effect. This is true for people with back injuries, asthma and other lung diseases, fibromyalgia as well as conditions listed above.

Weight loss will help alleviate some of the pain and fatigue of many conditions. It may also turn around your disease and start you on a road to recovery.

Exercise helps

Here are some activities you might want to do to burn calories and build muscle, no matter what your disability. Check with your doctor first, and start slow:

  • Easy walking
  • Mild exercise or walking in water
  • Swimming (even doggy paddling)
  • Seated aerobics
  • Pilates in a pool
  • Free weights
  • Tai chi
  • Hand and pedal exercises

Exercise is good for the body and for the soul, no matter what a person’s medical condition. With some care, you can lose a little weight, feel better, reduce your pain and improve your overall health.

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/prevention/index.html

The National Center on Physical Activity, and Disability
www.ncpad.org

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

NEDA Helpline
800-931-2237

By Paula Hartman Cohen
Source: Marsha Marcus, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; Judith Matz, LCSW, therapist specializing in treating eating disorders, Skokie, IL.
Reviewed by Romeo Purugganan, MD, DABPN, Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical or health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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