Obesity, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, Gastrointestinal Diseases

The gastrointestinal tract plays a key role in obesity through its contributions to satiation and satiety, production of gut hormones that influence appetite, absorption of nutrients that ultimately determine the positive energy balance that results in obesity, changes in bile acids and the micro biome, and the metabolic products of microbial digestion of nutrients (short-chain fatty acids) that modify some of the metabolic factors that are associated with obesity. Obesity usually is associated with morbidity related to diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. However, there are many gastrointestinal and hepatic diseases for which obesity is the direct cause (e.g., non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) or is a significant risk factor. When obesity is a risk factor, it may interact with other mechanisms and result in earlier complicated diseases. There are increased odds ratios or relative risks of several gastrointestinal complications of obesity: gastroesophageal reflux disease, erosive gastritis, gastric cancer, diarrhoea, colonic diverticular disease, hepatocellular carcinoma, acute pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer. Gastroenterologists are uniquely poised to participate in the multidisciplinary management of obesity as physicians caring for people with obesity-related diseases, in addition to their expertise in nutrition and endoscopic interventions.

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Damage to the circulatory system
  • High blood pressure

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