Obesity Diagnosis

Obesity: Diagnosis


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1. Reviewing your health history

Your doctor may go over your weight record and if you have put on certain weight loss efforts in the past and what were their effects. He can also ask for your exercise habits, eating patterns and what other conditions you’ve had. Besides medications, stress levels and other issues are also taken into consideration. This is non-invasive and deals with your past medical and fitness history. This is done by any expert practitioner the first time you visit him. Initial medication and recommendations may be given based on this observation.

2. Scrutiny for other health problems

If you have a known history of health problems or a problem that runs into your biological family then your doctor will evaluate them. Your doctor will also test for other possible health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. With the sophisticated diagnostic tools available these days, such tests do not take more than one or two visits. At times, laboratory blood tests may be conducted to establish the same.

3. Calculating BMI

As mentioned earlier, the most common check to determine obesity is the body metabolism index. Your BMI also helps in determining risks to your health and which treatment would suit you.

4. Circumference of waist

Bulging in the lower part of the body around the waist is referred to as visceral or abdominal fat and it is also an indicator of obesity. In women, when the size of the waist is more than 36 inches and men with a waist circumference of more than 42 inches may have more obesity realted problems. This is again non-invasive and generally established on first visit to a doctor.

5. Blood tests

After primary level examination is complete, a doctor usually recommends lab testing of the blood sample. A blood sample may conclude various conditions like glucose level in blood, thyroid, cholesterol etc. They may require at least two visits to a laboratory to get the testing done. Such tests call for predefined conditions like fasting and testing on full stomach and so on. Such guidance will be given by the practitioner in advance.

6. Thyroid function test

Routine screening for hypothyroidism is done if symptoms are seen in a patient. Hypothyroidism causes obesity and TFTs are the most conducted tests in labs. In this analysis, increased TSH levels are used to establish the effect on the metabolic and cardiovascular profile in obese children and adolescents. Two visits to a laboratory on recommendation of a doctor is enough to establish the same.

7. ECG test

Obesity can also be determined by reading the pattern of heart waves through Electro Cardio Gram test which in other words is known as ECG test. These abnormalities may suggest severe health risk which may result in strokes and also sudden death. Alterations in the signal-averaged ECG and in heart rate variability may be referred to as arrhythmogenic. This is again non-invasive and records the pattern of heart beats.

8. Abdominal ultrasound

Accurate measurement of visceral fat and abdominal subcutaneous fat are indispensable for examination of obesity. Abdominal ultrasound is essential to establish the quantitative amount of fat in the abdominal area. Such a test is essential as visual examination may not give a correct indication of the actual mass deposition in the abdominal area. This is also non-invasive and takes 2-3 visits to a doctor.

9. Examination of serum transaminase

In this test, a liver examination is carried out on the patients to establish if fatty liver, fatty hepatitis, fatty fibrosis or fatty cirrhosis is a condition of the liver. This is done with the help of liver chemistry tests. Hepatic transaminase tests such as alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) are a way of determination of the liver condition.

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