HEALTHBEAT4: Obesity & Asthma - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

HEALTHBEAT4: Obesity & Asthma

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As America's waistline grows so does the risk of yet another health problem.

"Yes, common sense would say if you gain more weight it would be harder to breath now we have conclusive research linking the two diseases," said Dr. Adi Gupta, surgeon with Tri-State Specialists.

Dr. Adi Gupta is talking about asthma.

Each year half-a-million people get diagnosed with the lung ailment half of them because of their weight.

"Obese individuals are anywhere from 1/2 to 3 1/2 more times likely to have asthma. It's a different kind of asthma it's not the same," Gupta said.

It's not the same because obesity asthma doesn't react well to traditional treatment, and inhalers and steroids aren't as effective," Gupta said.

"Obese people with asthma have a lower quality of life than non-obese people with asthma. They're five times as likely to go to the hospital than non-obese asthmatic," Gupta said.

Gupta a surgeon with Tri-State Specialist says there's four reasons why obesity causes asthma.

Abdominal fat puts pressure on the chest and lungs.

Obesity creates more inflammation.

A diet rich in saturated fat causes damaging free radicals to form in the body.

And finally, reflux often associated with obesity damages the airways.

"I think people not being able to breath is one of the most terrifying feelings anyone can have," Gupta said.

And, sometimes the attack can turn deadly.

"The severe state of asthma is called status Asthmaticus. That's where the airways just go into spasm and yes if that does happen people do die," Gupta said.

But, there's good news by taking off the pounds it can make a person breathe more easily in more ways than one.

"We have good evidence that weight loss helps at whatever means. It helps with hypertension heart disease, diabetes and now asthma."

 

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