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7 Dangerous Ways Having Extra Weight Can Affect Your Medical Care

By April 19, 2021 - 1:20am

About 40 percent of adults in the United States have obesity. If you're one of them, you should know about these real risks to your health care and how to make some smart changes to compensate for them.

Numerous studies show that obesity can provoke many serious health conditions and increase the risk of getting an incorrect diagnosis. If your healthcare provider is brushing aside your concerns, it’s time to find another doctor. Make sure you know the clear signs you need to fire your doctor:

1. Obesity can make birth-control pill less effective
According to a study conducted by the National Institutes for Health, birth control pills might not work as well for obese women. This is due to the fact that obesity impacts the pill’s “clearance,” the rate at which the drug is processed and eliminated from the body, and lower-than-optimal levels can raise the risk of failure.

Talk to your healthcare provider about taking a pill that has a stronger dose of hormones or by taking pills continuously instead of opting for the usual week off for your period.

2. Obesity puts you at risk during an overnight hospital day
All hospitals are not equal. If you’re obese and have many medical conditions, pick a bigger hospital with at least one doctor on duty throughout the night. Some smaller hospitals don’t offer that and it could cost your life since breathing can be hindered by strong painkillers, especially opioids. Make sure to ask about a hospital’s resources and care plans before scheduling your procedure.

3. Your wounds can take longer to heal
Obesity often contributes to longer-than-normal recovery time for wounds and raises the risk of infection and other serious complications. You want to have a potentially easier recovery, so take particularly good care of yourself while healing, that is try eating fewer sugar-laden, processed foods, and more protein- and nutrient-rich foods, including products that contain vitamins A and C, as well as zinc. If you can’t lose weight despite following a healthy diet for a long time and getting exercise, consider talking to your doctor about weight loss surgery.

4. Administering anesthesia in obese people can be more complicated
In fact, administering and monitoring anesthesia in obese patients can be more difficult than with normal-weight people. In addition to figuring out the proper dose of drugs for someone with higher body weight, there can be difficulty with the operating room with airway management and common obesity-related problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

5. Heart surgery is more difficult
Obese people might have a long road to recovery after heart surgery. In fact, obese heart-surgery patients are four times more likely to have a longer ICU stay, three times more likely to need more time on a ventilator, and three times more likely to need a return trip to the ICU.

6. Obesity might reduce the effectiveness of flu shots
If you get the flu despite getting the flu shot, this might be due to your obesity and strains might not be to blame. According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, the vaccine wasn’t as effective in obese people. Experts still don’t know why they suggest that the immune system’s T cells may not work as well in people who have obesity.

7. Certain diagnostic tests will not provide accurate results
The tests might not give you the answers you need. Ultrasound waves have trouble penetrating tissue through more than eight centimeters of fat. Ask your healthcare provider how weight impacts the accuracy of each test.

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