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Heart Wellness

  • Obesity and Heart Conditions

    There are many factors that can cause heart conditions, which is part of the reason why heart conditions are so common. However, this also means that by controlling the various factors, it is possible to prevent the beginning of heart conditions in adults.

    Obesity is one of the most common causes of heart conditions, especially coronary artery disease. Part of this is because there are more fatty elements in the blood of an obese person, hence increasing the risk of fatty deposits forming in the coronary artery. This may result in a narrowing of the arteries which puts more strain on the heart.

    When the blood flow to the heart is restricted, ischaemia (a lack of oxygen to the cells) occurs. The cells of the heart may start to die due to lack of oxygen, resulting in a heart attack (myocardial infarction), which leads to heart muscle damage and heart muscle death.

    Obesity can also cause insulin resistance, which can result in diabetes, one of the major causes of heart conditions. Obesity can be caused by one or more of the following factors:

    • Genetic make-up. Some people are more likely to become overweight or obese due to their genes
    • Overeating, or overeating foods that are high in calories
    • Lack of exercise

    The first step in fighting obesity is to use up more calories than the calories consumed. This can be done through proper dieting and going on a regular exercise regimen. Low calorie meal replacement options are available to help you reduce calorie intake while avoiding hunger. Dietitians at Gleneagles Hospital will help you create personalised diet plans to suit your needs. Effective medical therapy is also available to help you lose weight without suffering from hunger. Gleneagles Hospital also has the expertise in performing bariatric surgery to help those with severe obesity achieve lasting weight loss. Besides addressing the issue of obesity, overweight patients with hypertension, high cholesterol or diabetes should also undergo treatment for these conditions.

  • Diabetes and Heart Conditions

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    Insulin is a chemical produced by the body to process glucose (sugar) in the blood. When the body is resistant to insulin or there is too much glucose in the blood, the insulin may no longer be able to process the glucose properly. High levels of glucose in the blood can damage artery walls, increasing the chances of deposits building up in the arteries and causing conditions such as:

    Diabetes can be managed through a combination of medication, weight loss treatment and lifestyle changes. Medical treatment for diabetes include insulin injections and medication that increase the patient’s production and absorption of insulin. Weight loss surgery can be done on obese patients to help them manage their diet and lifestyle better. Diet changes and increasing exercise can help reduce the amount of glucose in their body, as well as lower the risk of suffering from heart conditions.

    The team at Gleneagles Hospital will help you enjoy a high quality of living, even with diabetes. The hospital's team of hormone specialists (endocrinologists) and partnered health professionals can help you tailor personalised and effective treatment strategies that manage diabetes and prevent or slow the development of complications. The hospital is also well equipped to manage your diabetes in any medical circumstance, whether it is before or after surgery, pregnancy, or chemotherapy.

  • Thyroid Disorders and Heart Conditions

    While many common causes of obesity and diabetes are due to lifestyle, some people may have hormonal problems that can lead to obesity. These problems can be due to disorders with the thyroid, which is responsible for the production of hormones.

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    Polycystic ovary syndrome in women and hypogonadism in men are 2 common thyroid disorders that can lead to obesity. Patients with these disorders can find themselves persistently gaining weight despite no changes in their lifestyle, and have difficulty losing weight despite increased exercise. They may also experience mood swings and low energy levels, which can affect their diet and exercise.

    While these thyroid conditions cannot be cured, they can be managed on a long-term basis through medication and treatment. These treatments can help control or even reverse the symptoms of thyroid disorders, preventing the beginning of obesitydiabetes and heart problems.

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