Is Obesity Compromising Your Defences?

A mosquito bites eight-year old Ria in the middle of the night. Her body immediately shifts gears into red alert mode and rushes to fight the allergen that her sensitive system has detected as a threat. The next morning Ria awakes bright and chirpy, rested to begin the new day. Her body’s defences have worked very hard through the night, even as she peacefully slept.

The same mosquito has also bitten Amar, her father sleeping beside her. But Amar wakes up shivering. His body is burning with high fever and he feels drained of energy and extremely unwell.

The same bite triggered vastly different reactions in two seemingly healthy individuals. One may wonder why.

The answer lies in what is called Immunity.

The Immune System is our body’s defence mechanism made of many biological structures within us. This complex structure immediately detects our own healthy tissue and only attacks the external organisms invdading our bodies and destroys them to safeguard our health.

It is when the immune system collapses or does not function at optimum levels that one succumbs to diseases of various kinds ranging from Common Cold to Cancer.

This state where the immune system is not working at optimal levels is known as Immunodeficiency or Immunosuppression.

Obesity and Alcoholism are two major causes of Immunodeficiency. At the other end of the spectrum, Malnutrition is equally responsible for a compromised immune system.

In a patient with Immunosuppression, the primary immune response gets blocked. In other words, the body is unable to fight the external allergen or pathogen and defend and protect itself.

As a result, such people may suffer frequent viral infections, bacterial infections or fungal infections, as the body everytime succumbs without giving a fight.

If one is constantly falling sick, it is likely that the Immune system is not functioning properly.

Just like a fort with the highest ramparts are the most difficult for an enemy to breach, a body with an efficient immune system is most difficult for a virus/fungus/bacterium to disable. To strengthen this Silent Warrior that defends and protects you from everything unpleasant from flu to cancer, it is important to have the Immunity in ship shape.

That is how winning over Obesity helps in improving the body’s Immune System.

Obesity is determined by calculating the BMI or Body Mass Index of the person.

Eg : if one’s height is 175 cm and weight is 70 kg, the BMI would be calculated as follows :-

BMI = 70 / (1.75 * 1.75) = 22.86

When one’s BMI is 30 or more, one is said to be Obese.

Bariatric Surgery is a scientifically proven, tried and tested alternate method for weight loss and obesity. Known also as Weight Loss or Obesity Surgery, it is a procedure to induce weight loss amongst people who suffer from Obesity. Particularly amongst those for whom other weight loss measures have not worked.

Bariatric surgery involves reducing the size of the patient’s stomach with the help of a gastric band also known as a lap-band. Alternatively, a part of the stomach is removed. This results in reduction of food intake and long term weight loss.

Post the bariatric procedure, one is required to have small frequent meals. As the stomach size is reduced, one tends to feel full with smaller quantities. The food intake will thereby reduce on its own.

The impact of bariatric surgery becomes apparent within the first few weeks of surgery.

The procedure is performed through laparoscopy i.e. through the key-hole method. This involves a single incision. As a result, there will be no major scars of surgery.

Bariatric Surgery involves risk just like any other surgery. But it is important to understand that as with any other surgery, the surgeon’s skill and expertise reduce the risk involved.

The success of a surgery and the patient’s experience depends mostly on the experience, skill and expertise of the surgeon. It is therefore necessary that one approaches a top bariatric centre with vast experience in routinely performing laparoscopic Bariatric surgery.

Apart from adversely affecting the Immune System, Obesity is associated with increased risk of several physical health disorders including diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, arthritis, infertility, sleep apnea and thyroid amongst others.

It is also a major cause of mental and psychological problems like Depression, Anxiety, etc. caused due to social seclusion and isolation.

Bariatric Surgery may be the answer to end your battle with Obesity and a compromised Immune System. Fight Obesity to Enjoy a Healthy and Fulfilling Life.