a doctor offering an obesity diagnosis

Diagnosing Obesity

Obesity is a highly complex disorder that can affect more than your appearance. It is a condition that can put you at a higher risk for developing serious health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Many other conditions have been linked to obesity, including depression, sleep apnea, asthma, and joint pain. While obesity can be a devastating disorder, it is one that can be prevented or reversed. By following a healthy diet and exercise plan, you can help yourself avoid being diagnosed with one of the world's leading health disorders.

How is obesity diagnosed?

If your doctor thinks that you may be obese, he or she will go over your health history with you possibly also perform a physical exam. Your doctor may take your waist measurement, which can help determine if you are at risk of developing additional health risks. For instance, If you have more fat around the waist than the hip area, you could be at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

What medical professionals diagnose obesity?

Your primary care physician can help you come up with a treatment plan so that you can reach your weight-loss goals, however there are some instances in which your doctor may feel that a specialist could provide you with better options. Your doctor may send you to a number of different health care specialists.

  • A registered dietitian can provide you with healthy meal plans and help you find new ways to change your eating habits.
  • A bariatric surgeon may be required if your doctor suggests weight-loss surgery.
  • An exercise physiologist or personal trainer can help you configure a healthy and safe fitness plan that will work for you.
  • An endocrinologist may be needed if your obesity is linked to hormone issues, such as thyroid disease or Graves' disease.
  • A psychologist or social worker may be useful in helping to treat depression, anxiety, or stress.

What tests or procedures are used to diagnose obesity?

Your doctor can determine if you are obese by calculating your BMI, or body mass index. This is an estimate of the amount of fat that is present on your body. A person who has a BMI that is higher than 30 is considered to be obese. However there are some factors that may limit how accurate BMI measurements truly are. Your doctor will be able to take these factors into consideration when determining whether or not you are obese. Other tests that may help a physician or specialist diagnose you with obesity include blood tests that can determine hormone issues, which could cause you to gain an excessive amount of weight.

There are dozens of medical conditions that are associated with obesity. In order to avoid serious disorders such as high blood pressure, stroke, or endometrial cancer, you should speak with your doctor as soon as possible about what you can do to avoid obesity or what you can do to lose weight if you have already been diagnosed. There is help available for this condition, and with some personal strength and encouragement from others, you can find yourself at your ideal weight sooner than you think.

Last Updated: February 09, 2016