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Does obesity create any permanent, irreversible damage?

30yo white male, overweight and obese most of my life. Adult life constantly between 240-290lbs, not the best of diets. If I were to make significant, lasting dietary, lifestyle, and exercise related changes, lose both weight and fat, add muscle, and overall get into a healthy weight/BMI and maintain i while continuing to eat better and exercise often....would there be any reason at such a you g age to worry about there being any permanent damage from the obesity? Whether heart/artery related or anything else, could there be unfoxable things present? How likely?
3 Responses
134578 tn?1602101550
My reaction to your question is that if a person is  overweight and eating a bad diet, the benefits of dieting and exercise far outweigh how hard it is to be overweight. You will improve the kind of nutrients you get and your body will benefit, you'll protect yourself from illness or even early death, and you'll feel better and look better. I think most damage to the body is repairable, or at least is far outweighed by improved health. I'm hesitant to say the following because it can be used as a way to put off dieting and exercise, but I've also read that fat cells can be reduced in size by diet and exercise but don't go totally away. (Only things like liposuction take them out for good. ) That said, lots of people lose weight and keep it off despite having put on some added fat cells when they were overweight.
Avatar universal
You'll never know.  Too many factors play into this.  Some people start out their lives overweight.  Some get overweight young.  Some not until they get older.  Causes for it differ.  Medication can cause it.  Diet can cause it.  Heredity plays a part.  Food allergies and intolerances can play a role.  So this isn't really a question to ponder, as you can't really answer it.  What you can answer is that if you stay this way you will definitely increase the chances of a painful older life.  Or no older life.  All the rolls of the dice on this one will come out, change the lifestyle.  
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
If you already have damage from being overweight, such as heart disease or diabetes, chances are those won't be reversible, but if you don't already have any health problems, losing weight can certainly help prevent them.  

I've read that we're never too old to get healthy and although I don't necessarily agree with it, you're young enough to do yourself a world of good by losing weight and doing everything you can to keep it off.  

I'd recommend that you get a thorough check up, including thyroid panel (since thyroid controls metabolism), blood glucose and insulin levels, etc to make sure you're starting off with a (relatively) clean slate.

Good luck and I hope you'll stick around and let us know if there's anything we can do to help you.
3 Comments
Just to be optimistic here, if it's Type 2 diabetes you can in fact control that with diet.  Maybe not completely reverse it, but control it to the point where it's as good as being reversed.  Heart disease as well if you stop what was stressing the heart can also often be repaired by the body to the point where it's as if it never happened.  Obviously, this depends on how out of hand the problem has gotten.  My sister in law has Type 2 and she ate herself into several insulin shots a day, but if you take care of it you can do without insulin.  For someone this young, most things are still reversible unless they are genetic and you were born with them, like Type 1 diabetes.  
"For someone this young, most things are still reversible unless they are genetic and you were born with them, like Type 1 diabetes."  I  do agree that some conditions can be controlled (at least easier to control) with diet/exercise, but it's not true that "most" things are still reversible at this age unless they're genetic... I have a nephew that had heart problems and a stroke at a very young age that was not reversible (he passed away last year), plus I have family members with type II diabetes that was not reversible with diet.  
I'm sorry to hear that, but it is, of course, anecdotal evidence based on people you know, not scientific evidence.  I doubt the scientific evidence is going to be there, though.  The fact your family members didn't reverse their Type 2 doesn't mean they couldn't have, it just means whatever it is they tried didn't work.  Probably a lot else out there they could have tried.  But I didn't really say Type 2 could be reversed, I said it could be controlled to the point you can avoid pancreatic damage and insulin and evolving into Type 1.  But for some, of course, nothing will help, and if one waits too long it also gets to be very hard to do.  And when I say most things are reversible, it doesn't mean they will be reversed, just that they can be in some or many people.  Again, I don't think we really know because the research can't be done, it's quite expensive to do properly, and when there's no monetary return, we get small studies that don't prove anything.  Truth is, docs and pharma make a lot more money keeping us alive and sick then they do healing us, so that's where the money goes for research.  But consider that there are so many different ways of eating and exercising and sleeping and meditating and etc. etc. out there that to test all of them on a particular person would be very time consuming but might result in incredible results.  We just don't know.  I saw a lot of people perform miracles in the health food stores I managed, and I also saw a lot of people achieve little.  It all depends.  Just to do anecdote against anecdote, I had a customer who had been diagnosed with liver, kidney, and heart failure basically and when I met him it was 25 years later and he was doing great.  He did it by researching diet and natural medicine and it worked.  I had cancer patients who had given up on being tortured by docs alive decades after they were basically declared dead.  You just never know until you know.  So again, just trying to be optimistic.  Peace.
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