There are millions of people throughout the world who are affected by overweight and obesity. According to the World Health Organization, since 1975, the number of people who are obese has increased by almost 300%. At least 650 million adults are obese today, accounting for an estimated 13% of the global adult population.
Obesity is associated with a number of chronic illnesses. In fact, the majority of chronic diseases that lead to premature death have some connection to obesity. With this in mind, many people are seeking out ways to help them reduce these risks and achieve a healthy weight. The major problem, however, is that a number of the strategies that are promoted today yield either ineffective results or come with certain risks that might be too significant of a drawback for the person affected by obesity.
In the last few years, there have been new therapeutic techniques that have come into play when looking at how people can treat obesity. Many of these therapies pose as effective options that do not come with the serious side-effects associated with surgical procedures and pharmaceutical drugs that are sometimes used to reduce weight in an obese person.
How Obesity Is Affecting The Global Population
Obesity’s impact on the global population is considered an epidemic. It is estimated that 2.8 million people die every year with obesity or overweight being a direct contributing factor to the reason of death.
The excess fat that is stored in the body of a person who is overweight or obese causes them to experience a significant increase in the risk of certain adverse events, as well as diseases. Some of the risks that have been linked to obesity include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
These are only some of the potential dangers that come with carrying the excess weight in the body. Without taking appropriate action to counter obesity or overweight, the risk of these problems will continue to increase – and these diseases can lead to early death, often due to complications that the diseases cause in the person’s body.
Traditional Treatments For Obesity And Associated Diseases
Treating obesity can be complicated, as there are cases where a person suffers from associated diseases that make it difficult for them to participate in the exercise. Since physical activity is considered a critical part of weight loss, the lack of exercise in a person’s daily routine is likely to lead to a calorie surplus – and this is when the person continues to gain excess weight.
A healthy diet is another factor that becomes a critical part of weight management for an obese person. Even when setting up a caloric deficit program, the lack of healthy foods in a diet could interfere with nutrient absorption, lead to nutritional deficiencies, and potentially cause the person to suffer from other problems. The risk of certain conditions, including those commonly associated with obesity, may also be higher when the person does not get enough nutrients in their body.
In addition to these factors, there are some medications and other conventional treatments that have been suggested for the treatment of obesity.
The use of pharmaceutical drugs to treat obesity will only be considered if a person meets certain criteria. The criteria are generally defined as a BMI that is higher than 30, but some doctors may only prescribe drugs to the individual if they have a BMI that renders them extremely obese. When there are medical complications caused by obesity, then a prescription for pharmaceutical drugs may be provided to a person with a BMI of 27 or higher.
Some of the drugs that may be used to assist in treating obesity include:
Among these, phentermine does pose as one of the most commonly used prescription drugs. Even though these drugs may have a positive effect on weight management, they do come with certain risks and side-effects that make them inappropriate for many obese people.
Weight loss surgery is sometimes used in a person who is obese as well, although the criteria are generally much stricter compared to a prescription for a pharmaceutical drug that treats obesity. A BMI of 40 or higher is needed in most cases before a doctor will consider advising their patient to undergo weight loss surgery.
Natural Therapies That Poses As Potential Treatments For Obesity And Associated Diseases
Due to the side-effects linked to drugs like Phentermine, which may include mental changes, hearing problems, sight-related adverse events, dizziness, chest pain, and more, many people are looking for alternative ways to get rid of excess fat in their body.
A large variety of treatments have been suggested as ways for obese people to better manage their weight. While there are therapies that may yield effective results in helping the person with their weight management strategies, it should be noted that clinical trials and scientific evidence have not been presented for all therapies commonly suggested.
Hot Stone Therapy
Hot stone therapy is a massage technique that actually dates back to ancient times in China. Today, however, this has become a very popular massage option for people who frequently visit a spa and related salons.
Hot stone therapy involves the heating of specific types of stones. These stones are then placed at specific areas of the body to yield a relaxing effect.
In most cases, the use of hot stone therapy is associated with a reduction in stress, along with an improvement in symptoms generally linked to anxiety disorders. What many people do not realize, however, is that hot stone therapy might also yield effective results when it comes to weight loss.
Hot stone therapy has been linked to the elimination of toxins that accumulate in the body. With this in mind, it is important to consider the fact that a build-up of toxins in the human body can lead to complications – such as a reduced ability to reduce fat cells.
When toxins are released more effectively from the body, it may be able to assist in increasing the amount of weight the person is able to lose through an appropriate anti-obesity program, which should ideally include both exercise and a healthy diet.
In one study, evidence was presented that hot stone massage therapy could yield an improvement in sleep. Poor sleep is a common problem among the general population and also seems to have a direct impact on weight management. One research paper explains that there seems to be a link between the epidemiology of both obesity and sleep. Those individuals who constantly lie awake at night and experience other related symptoms of insomnia are at a higher risk of gaining excess weight.
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Heat therapy generally involves specific techniques that cause the temperature of the body to increase. There are different ways that heat therapy is applied to the individual, with the specific technique usually dependent on the facility being utilized.
It is generally known that an increase in body temperature assists in the reduction of fat cells in the body. This is actually how exercise causes fat loss – the physical activity leads to an increase in core body temperature, which causes fat cells to be burnt.
Heat therapy might provide a similar effect, leading to a rise in the core body temperature of the person undergoing the procedure. As the core body temperature is increased, there may be an increase in the amount of fat burnt.
The use of heat therapy may produce additional benefits for a person, as well. In one study, researchers explain that heat therapy might not only be beneficial for the excess weight in an obese person but could yield additional advantages related to the potential complications that usually come with obesity.
In the study, the researchers particularly focus on the fact that heat therapy could possibly cause a reduction in the inflammation that occurs with the presence of excess fat cells accumulating in the body. The cardiometabolic disease may also be improved when heat therapy is utilized by an obese individual – another potential complication that has been linked to obesity.
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Photon Light Therapy
Photon light therapy, sometimes also referred to as red light therapy, is another potential therapeutic procedure that might pose as a useful alternative treatment for those individuals who are obese.
A photon light therapy session involves the generation of natural light, which is then emitted to both the skin and the cells within a person’s body. The light helps to reduce the amount of oxidative stress that affects the person. Oxidative stress has been associated with many potential adverse effects in the body – including a higher risk of cancer.
In addition to fighting against oxidative stress, the use of photon light therapy also leads to a stimulation of cellular energy production. In particular, a process known as adenosine triphosphate is activated.
The adenosine triphosphate affects specific cells in the body, known as adipocytes. These are cells responsible for the storage of fats. When the adipocytes are affected by photon light therapy, it causes the lipids stored inside to burn or disperse. This, in return, might be a useful technique for reducing the amount of excess fat cells that are stored in adipocytes throughout a person’s body.
The light used in this particular therapy might also affect the modulation of both Ghrelin and Leptin hormones. This could improve satiety and reduce the risk of the person overeating when they feel hungry throughout the day.
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Far Infrared Therapy
Far infrared technology has become increasingly popular over the years and now poses as a potential alternative treatment for obesity as well. The use of infrared laser technology causes the generation of heat up to 1.5 inches beneath the surface of the skin. While the light from the infrared laser is not able to penetrate deeply into the body, this surface-level therapy could still yield effective results when it comes to weight loss.
The fact that far infrared therapy causes a heat generation effect below the skin can help to assist in the break down of fat cells. The technology causes fat cells not only to be broken down but also causes fat content to become water-soluble substances.
Far infrared therapy uses rays that are considered perfectly safe for the human body – even though the technology generates heat underneath the skin, the temperature will not rise to the point that will cause damage to the body.
The therapy is also able to assist in the detoxification of the body, which is another helpful way in which fat cells can be released and eliminated more effectively – as a build-up of toxins can make losing weight a more difficult process.
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Are Natural Therapies For Obesity Safe?
It is well-known that not all-natural remedies and therapies that are often suggested as alternatives to pharmaceutical interventions are completely free of side-effects. For this reason, an obese person interested in taking advantage of alternative therapy to possibly help them reduce their current weight should first note any potential side-effects that may face the treatment option.
Each particular therapeutic service that might assist with improving a person’s weight management capabilities does come with its own pros and cons. It is important for the individual to consider the specific therapies that they might be interested in utilizing.
Once the person decides on a specific therapy, they should ask the professional providing the service about the advantages and potential risks that come with the therapeutic service. This will help the person assess whether it is a worthy option to consider and if they should rather take a look at other alternative treatment options that might be utilized to assist in the management of obesity.
Obesity is a global epidemic, leading to associated diseases that have a direct impact on the lifespan of the individual. There are many suggested strategies that help a person fight against obesity, but some of these do come with risks and side-effects, especially when considering a pharmaceutical approach or surgical procedure. Fortunately, in recent times, a number of alternative therapies have also been shown to yield improvements in weight management with a much lower risk of side-effects.