Contributed by- Dr. Snehal Singh
India is the rising heart disease capital of the world. Heart disorders are considered as the major culprit behind the rise in the death toll in the recent years. The present scenario of rapid increase in heart problems has made it extremely critical to know all about the causing factors.
Did you know that sudden weight changes can cause heart problems?
So much has been said about the relation between obesity and heart problems. Weight gain or obesity is considered as one of the major causes behind the rise in heart problems in recent years. But, very few know that weight loss too can be bad for the heart. Sudden weight changes can dramatically effect heart health and can be fatal in a lot of cases.
To understand the effects of sudden fluctuations in weight it is important to discuss the affects of weight gain and loss on the heart separately.
How Does Obesity Affect The Heart?
Being overweight or obese surely affects your health in many ways and more particularly increases the risk of heart problems manifold. Obesity is, having body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, which means that the body weight is much more, almost 20% than the ideal weight. It also means that there is excess fat deposited in your body, some of which is often present around major organs. Being obese reduces metabolism and increases the risk of heart diseases, stroke and diabetes.
It is not just the body weight but also the fat distribution that has to be taken into account. People with excess fat around the heart or the waist are at higher risk of developing heart disorders. So, there is a major relation between the size of the waist and heart disorders. Excess fat accumulation around the waist can affect the heart functioning by increasing its workload. It can also affect the output causing irregular heart rhythm and increases the risk of heart failure.
Obesity can increase the risk of:
- high levels of bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- low good cholesterol levels
- high blood pressure
- fat deposition in blood vessels
All the above mentioned risk factors are also the predisposing factors for a heart attack. Severe obesity alone can be considered as a major risk for heart problems. Managing weight can be tricky for most of us but the risks are way too high. The importance of maintaining ideal body weight can not be emphasized enough. Healthy weight not only makes you feel better but also makes sure that you live a good and healthy life.
Can Losing Weight Too Fast Cause Heart Problems?
Everyone has their own reasons to lose weight. Whatever the motivation, losing those extra kilos is always a good idea. But rapid weight loss can also have harmful affect on health, especially heart? Seeking the help of quick weight loss solutions like crash diets, cleansing diets or starvation diets will only do more harm than good. Weight loss is a gradual process which needs time, trying to lose weight at once is not wise. Moreover, crash diets clubbed with intense exercises will only escalate the risk of heart problems.
Rapid weight loss plans are mainly based on the concept of consuming less calories and burning more. Thus, you end up having low calorie food in the form of low or no-carb diet and protein foods. The cleansing diet includes elimination of essential food nutrients intake and some may end up having only juices or lemon water. Such quickfix diets not only causes rapid weight loss but malnutrition as well. Lack of proper nutrient intake will affect your wellness and is also a major source of heart issues.
The common heart problems associated with rapid weight loss includes:
- the increased risk of dehydration
- cardiac stress
- damage of the blood vessels resulting in fluctuations of heart rate
- low blood pressure
- irregular heart rhythm
- increased risk of heart failure
Repeated or prolonged crash diets and sudden weight loss can put you at a greater risk of heart attacks. Rapid weight loss can even slow your metabolism and lead to weight gain later in life. Most of the times, intense exercise routine is opted for rapid weight loss. Such abrupt physical workout increases the heart’s workload and when coupled with crash diets can severely affect the heart conditions.
The initial quick loss of weight is the water weight which is not harmful. But intense or sudden weight loss if continued can affect your health drastically. It is not what you want; instead opt for a healthy lifestyle with balanced diet and moderate exercises to gain your desired weight in the correct time frame. Special diets or strict routine for losing weight, if necessary must be followed for a specified period and only with expert advice. However, losing weight in a healthy way is the best option to maintain prolonged health and fitness.
Heart health is one of the key factors that determines good health, so it necessary to protect your heart. Know your heart risk with regular health-checks, blood tests and cardiac markers like C-reactive protein (CRP), creatinine kinase-MB-CPK, CPK. A correct weight management consists of a slow and steady plan by incorporating appropriate lifestyle changes. Have a healthy diet, regular moderate physical exercises and follow medical advice to maintain ideal body weight.
Healthy weight loss does not have a quick fix and needs determination but the benefits makes the entire effort worth it.