Obesity

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Obesity is when you have too much body fat. Obesity puts you at a higher risk for serious medical problems, including diabetes and heart disease. Your caregiver will use your height and weight to calculate your BMI (body mass index). Your BMI is one way to measure your body fat. You are obese if your BMI is greater than 30.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

  • Obesity increases your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol levels. These problems can lead to dangerous medical conditions such as blindness, kidney damage, and stroke. Obesity also increases your risk of depression and breathing problems. You are at greater risk for a heart attack, stroke, or cancer if you are obese. These problems can be life-threatening.

  • Obesity medicines may cause side effects, such as gas, leaking bowel movements, and having to use the bathroom suddenly and more often. You may lose blood or get an infection during obesity surgery. You may not lose enough weight to decrease your risk factors for other medical conditions. Your caregiver may need to do surgery a second time. Ask your caregiver for more information about the risks of having and being treated for obesity.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Vital signs:

Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about your pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your current health.

Medicines:

Medicine may help you lose weight when used with diet and exercise. You may receive other medicines for other health problems that you may have because of your obesity. Ask your caregiver for more information about your medicines.

  • Appetite suppressant: This medicine helps you feel full, so you want to eat less.

  • Lipase inhibitor: This medicine blocks your body from absorbing the fat you eat.

Tests:

You may need the following tests:

  • Urine sample: For this test you need to urinate into a small container. You will be given instructions on how to clean your genital area before you urinate. Do not touch the inside of the cup. Follow instructions on where to place the cup of urine when you are done.

  • Blood tests: You may need blood taken to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.

  • Heart monitor: This test is also called an EKG or ECG. Sticky pads are placed on your skin to record your heart's electrical activity. An EKG gives information about how your heart is working. Lie as still as possible during the test.

Surgery options:

If you are morbidly obese and cannot lose weight by yourself, your caregiver may suggest surgery. Bariatric surgery is surgery that may help you lose weight. Losing weight can help decrease your risk of getting diabetes, heart disease and other medical problems. After surgery, you will need to follow a special diet. You may also need to take vitamins. Ask your caregiver for more information about surgery that is used to treat obesity.

  • Gastroplasty: A band or staples are used to make your stomach smaller. This limits the amount of food you can eat at one time. An adjustable band may be used, which allows your caregiver to reduce the size of your stomach without doing surgery again.

  • Gastric bypass: Your stomach is made smaller, which reduces how much food you can eat before feeling full. Your stomach opening is connected past the first part of your bowel, which decreases the amount of calories taken into your body.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of the Blausen Databases or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Obesity (Inpatient Care)

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