Overweight - Symptoms, causes and treatment

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Overweight - Symptoms, causes and treatment
Overweight - Symptoms, causes and treatment

Overweight is a condition when the body weight exceeds the normal body weight. Excess weight can be experienced by all age groups, both children and adults

Overweight or overweight is different from obesity. Obesity is caused by excess levels of body fat, while excess weight can occur due to the accumulation of fat, fluid, or large muscle mass. However, in the medical world, the term excess weight usually occurs due to the accumulation of fat mass.

Overweight - Alodokter

Excess weight can be determined by calculating the body mass index (BMI), which is a measure to determine body mass from the ratio of body weight (kg) and height (m2).

Based on WHO criteria for Asian adults, a person can be said to be overweight if they have a BMI of around 23–24.9 kg/m2 If the BMI is above this value, which is 25 kg/m2 or more, this condition is categorized as obesity.

Causes of Excess Weight

Excess weight occurs when the calories that enter the body are not balanced with the calories used. This condition is generally triggered by the following factors:

  • Genes in the family that make it easier for the body to store calories
  • Inability to buy he althy food and eat lots of low-nutrient and high-calorie foods, and high in fat and sugar
  • Reduction in the frequency of physical activity due to changes in lifestyle, work patterns, and transportation
  • Genetic disorders, such as Cohen syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Bardet-Biedl syndrome, and Alström syndrome
  • Endocrine disorders, such as hypothyroidism, Cushing's syndrome, and tumors
  • Use of certain drugs, such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and diabetes drugs

Symptoms of Overweight

Overweight is characterized by a body mass index that exceeds the normal limit, but has not yet reached the obesity category. Excessive body weight can also cause fat accumulation in the waist. This condition does not cause any other symptoms, but it can cause a number of complications.

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if you are overweight with the following conditions:

  • Not knowing the right way to lose weight
  • Didn't succeed in losing weight the way it was done before
  • Worried about losing weight or increasing physical activity has an impact on your current he alth condition

Doctors can help determine the right diet and exercise for your condition. That way, complications can be avoided.

Diagnosis of Overweight

To diagnose overweight, the doctor will ask questions related to the patient's lifestyle, including diet and daily activities. The doctor will also ask about other risk factors, such as a family history of being overweight.

The examination is continued by measuring the patient's body mass index (BMI), which begins with checking the patient's height and weight. BMI can be calculated using the ideal weight calculator.

The ideal weight calculator can help determine whether your weight category is normal, underweight, or overweight. Please note that calculators for children up to 19 years of age are different from calculators for adults.

The doctor will also measure the patient's waist circumference to detect fat accumulation in the abdomen. Next, the doctor will carry out further tests to determine the cause of excess weight, such as:

  • Blood test, to measure blood sugar levels, cholesterol, triglycerides, and other organ functions
  • Pelvic ultrasound, to detect cysts in the uterus, if the patient is suspected of having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

Over Weight Treatment

Excess weight management aims to restore the ideal body weight and maintain it. The treatment method will be adjusted to the cause and severity of the condition, including:

Lifestyle changes

Changes to a he althier lifestyle can help balance calories in the body to achieve and maintain a normal weight.

To lose weight, the calories used by the body must be greater than the calories in. Meanwhile, to maintain body weight, calories in and out must be balanced.

Lifestyle changes to overcome excess weight can be:

  • Maintaining a he althy diet

    To lose weight, it is necessary to reduce calorie intake gradually. A he althy diet can help determine the number of calories consumed.

  • Active regularly

    Doing physical activity or exercising regularly can help burn calories so you will lose weight. Even so, first discuss with your doctor about physical activities that suit your condition.

  • Sleep enough

    Research shows that an increased risk of obesity can be triggered by a lack of sleep. Therefore, people who are overweight will be advised to get enough sleep.


Counseling aims to help patients plan what needs to be done to lose and maintain weight, such as a low-calorie diet, exercise, and changes in daily habits. This program can be done individually or in groups.

Use of drugs

If lifestyle changes can't cope with excess weight, your doctor may prescribe medications to help you lose weight, such as:

  • Drugs that affect the work of the brain in regulating appetite, such as diethylpropion, phentermine, lorcaserin, n altrexone, and liraglutide
  • Orlistat, which is a drug that serves to reduce the absorption of fat from the food consumed

Although proven to be able to lose weight, these drugs will work more effectively when accompanied by lifestyle changes. In addition, the use of drugs must also be in accordance with the doctor's advice, to reduce the risk of side effects.

Overweight Complications

Excess weight can affect he alth, both physically and mentally. Excess body weight can cause fatigue and discomfort due to pressure from the burden that must be carried by the body. In addition, being overweight can also cause other he alth problems, such as:

  • Back pain
  • Muscle and joint pain (arthritis)
  • metabolic disorders
  • Respiratory disorders, such as sleep apnea and asthma
  • Diabetes type 2
  • High cholesterol
  • High triglycerides
  • High blood pressure
  • urinary incontinence
  • Kidney stones
  • fatty liver
  • Pelvic bone shift
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Depression
  • Cancer

Prevention of Overweight

Overweight is a preventable condition. Prevention can be done by living a he althy lifestyle, such as:

  • Maintain a he althy, nutritionally complete, and balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes every day
  • Limiting the consumption of foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, and fat
  • Get enough rest and sleep
  • Avoiding consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Manage stress well

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