Dr. Bhoyrul shares why obesity is an illness and describes the medical conditions associated with obesity.
My patients often come in and they say, “I am obese.” Nobody is obese. People suffer from obesity in the same way as people suffer from diabetes.
And the reason for that is obesity is not a social condition, obesity is an illness. And the reason it’s an illness is obesity is, it doesn’t matter how you go there but once our patients suffer from the illness of obesity they have a condition, a medical condition where they have excessive amounts of body fat, typically around their mid-section.
And as direct biological consequence of having excessive amounts of body fat, that causes illnesses that are directly associated with obesity.
So backing up, obesity is a clinical illness and is the cause, direct cause of many other clinical illnesses. So many that one of my professors said, to know obesity is to know medicine, because there are at least 16 different illnesses that are directly caused by obesity.
In women infertility, a major cause of infertility is obesity. Diabetes, hypertension, breast cancer, women that we know are four times more likely to suffer from breast cancer if they suffer from obesity.
It may not mean that obesity causes breast cancer, it may just be that women who suffer from obesity it might be harder to detect breast cancer and so they might actually get treated at a more advanced stage.
But nevertheless, diabetes, hypertension, breast cancer, colon cancer, asthma, sleep disorders, joint disorders, depression, infertility, the list is sadly almost endless.
But the most appealing thing is not the fact that there are all these illnesses associated with obesity, it’s the fact that we can do something about it.
The fact that when we treat our patients who suffer from the illness of obesity, we end up reversing many of this disease processes. It’s very gratifying for a young women to come in who has suffered from infertility all her life and she has been told that she can’t have children because she has got polycystic ovaries.
We do a LAP-BAND® operation and before you know it she is pregnant. That is a direct result of the treatment of obesity having an impact on her infertility. That’s just one of many examples.
About Dr. Sunil Bhoyrul, M.D.:
Dr. Sunil Bhoyrul, M.D., is the award-winning surgeon in charge of the bariatric surgery program at La Jolla Weight Management. He is a fellowship-trained specialist in laparoscopic surgery and an attending surgeon at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California and Alvarado Hospital in San Diego. Previously, Dr. Bhoyrul was the head of general surgery and surgical director of bariatric surgery at the Scripps Clinic. Each year since 2005, Dr. Bhoyrul has been selected by his peers as one of the “Best Doctors in America.” He was also honored with San Diego’s “Top Doctor” award for 2008.