Doctor, I am 55 years old but plagued by a big tummy which I did not have 10 years ago when I had my last born. I stopped eating meat and taking alcohol while exercising often. Am I diseased? DOLEKA
Obesity is generally caused by eating too much food especially containing too much fat and sugars, while leading a sedentary life. Obesity generally leads to one gaining general weight including getting a big tummy. Weight gain is due to accumulation of fat in the body and where the fat accumulates depends on among others age and sex.
A woman in reproductive age, because of female hormones usually stores fat under the skin hence ending up with big upper arms, hips and bums. Men however store excess fat in their internal areas and therefore in the abdomen. This may lead to a pot belly which ostensibly is commoner in men compared with women.
After menopause and lowered female hormones, a woman may also start storing excess fat around the internal organs ending up with loss of bum while getting a bigger tummy.
As humans age, the muscle mass might diminish while fat increases leading to general obesity including abdominal obesity. Unfortunately, then one may also be too weak or too lazy to exercise as required, to shed off the extra weight. Age related excess weight may be difficult to deal with alone usually requiring services of your doctor to help out.
Many times, however, one with a big tummy requires dietary adjustments and general physical exercise in addition to exercises targeting abdominal obesity as advised by one’s doctor.
The doctor may also check out other conditions that may lead to abdominal obesity including stress, commonest after menopause.