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Weight And Heart Disease Risk: All The Answers You’re Looking For

Heart Disease and Weight Management

Ok, so you’re looking for answers. But if we’re talking about the risk of heart disease and how it is affected by being overweight, maybe you should start by asking yourself a few questions first:

  • Do you have clothes in your closet that range in all sizes? (The smaller ones hidden way in the back)
  • Do your pants dig into your waist?
  • Do you feel deprived and ravenous all the time?
  • Are the Food Networks your favorite shows to stream?
  • Do you feel guilty and body shame yourself?
  • Do you feel like you’ll never lose the weight you want and keep it off?
  • Are you afraid that excess weight can increase your risk of heart disease?


Heart failure is the organ’s inability to keep up efficiently with the demands placed on it. And it’s becoming more and more common. About 42% of Americans are now obese, an increase of almost 10% from the last decade, according to the American Heart Association. Obesity-related factors are estimated to cause 11% of heart failure cases in men and 14% in women. Even being somewhat overweight puts people at higher risk. By 2030, one in five adults may have heart failure, a great number due to obesity or being overweight.


So, what is the difference between overweight and obese? Your BMI might help get to the bottom of it. A Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measurement of a person’s weight with respect to their height. More often than not, it correlates with total body fat. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25, and obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30. For every five-point increase in BMI, the risk of heart failure increases by 32 percent.


Here are some examples of the ways being overweight or obese can increase the risk of heart disease:

  • Excess weight can lead to fatty material building up in your arteries (the blood vessels that carry blood to your organs). If the arteries that carry blood to your heart get damaged and clogged, it can lead to a heart attack.
  • It can change your cholesterol levels. Most of us know that obesity can cause a spike in bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but did you know it can also lower good high-density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol? HDL cholesterol is important for removing bad cholesterol and working to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • It can cause your blood pressure to rise. High blood pressure requires the heart to work harder. Over time, this force can cause the arteries to narrow, resulting in atherosclerosis. The changes to the heart muscle and arteries can raise the risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, and heart failure.
  • It can lead to diabetes. Over time, high levels of blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in and around your heart, as well as the nerves that control your heart. This makes them almost twice as likely to develop heart disease.
  • Being overweight or obese obesity can raise your risk of developing atrial fibrillation, a rapid, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) of the upper chambers (atria) of the heart that can promote the formation of blood clots and lead to heart failure, or other heart-related complications, according to the American Heart Association.
  • It may make up to one-fifth of all cases of AFib. AFib stands for atrial fibrillation (AF), which is a type of arrhythmia or abnormal heartbeat.


Now for some good news. (Oh, good.) Let’s start with Semaglutide. You probably know it as Ozempic, Wegovy, or Rybelsus. Semaglutide is the same active ingredient in all of them. Think of it as the less-expensive, non-marketed generic. Semaglutide has the potential to markedly reduce the risk of heart attacks and other heart-related conditions among millions of Americans with obesity who have also been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, a Yale study shows. As much as 20%. Semaglutide is a GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide) that acts on the appetite center in the brain and in the gut to make you feel full. Full, as in you can look at a lot of goodies you love and not feel like you have to have it all. (Then want more.)

Then there is Tirzepatide, the active ingredient in Mounjaro and Zepbound. Tirzepatide is the first and only dual GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonist hormone that controls both insulin and glucagon secretion. In addition, the GIP hormone controls lipids and fat deposits in the body. The two hormones work together as a single molecule. Like Semaglutide, it delays gastric emptying, producing fullness for many hours. It is the most potent FDA-approved weight loss medication ever produced, with an average weight loss of more than 23% of starting weight. But wait, there’s more.


If you have ever tried to lose weight (how about tried and tried and tried), you know how hard it can be to do it on your own. You have all seen those “before and after” pictures of a formerly obese person holding up a ginormous pair of slacks that are now bigger than their entire bodies. But what those dramatic pictures do not show is just how difficult that journey from point A to point B can be. No one understands that, as well as the experienced medical weight loss specialists at Thrive Health Solutions. Medical weight management is the safest and most effective way to lose the weight that’s weighing you down (both physically and emotionally) and weighing heavily on your heart health. At Thrive, they are concerned not just with your weight and heart health but with your overall health. Knowledgeable, highly trained, and compassionate, they will create an individualized treatment plan that may include Semaglutide or Tirzepatide. They’ve got them all. Whatever is right for you. At Thrive, they will be there for you in every way, all the way.  So, before you’re ready to throw in the towel, know there is finally the help you’ve been hoping and looking for, probably for quite some time. So, this time, just don’t give up. Take heart, and text or call Thrive Health Solutions for an appointment now.

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