Wednesday , 13 September 2017
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Obesity and its implications on sexual heath

Dr Kedar Padte

The fastest multiplying cells in the body are perhaps the cells that result in the formation of spermatozoa from the germinal cells in the testes. They are therefore the fastest to get affected when health is compromised. Similarly the female reproductive organs are also dysfunctional with ill health.

A common cause of ill health today is obesity. You don’t want to believe it? Well, let’s start by calculating your BMI.

 

BMI or Body mass index is calculated by simple formula ie

l BMI = Weight in kilograms

l Height in meter square

l Eg: A weight of 60 kg and height of 1.7 metres

l BMI = =

l BMI = 20.7, which is excellent

l BMI Chart for Adults

 

If one’s weight is 80 kg and height 150 cm, then BMI=35.55. This BMI falls in the obese category.

The reproductive function is controlled by the hippocampus in the brain and initially by the pineal gland. These in turn send tropic hormones to the pituitary gland that release GnRH (gonatropin releasing hormone) from hypothalamus which releases Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinisms Hormone from the anterior pituitary gland.

FSH and LH act on ovaries and testes in females and males, respectively, and release sex steroids oestrogen and progesterone (in females) and testosterone (in males). These sex steroids are derived from cholesterol and cholesterol alone.

Being lipid, cholesterol can be exchanged by fat globules and the more obese the person, the more haywire the sexual function.

Also the fat (lipid) in the peripheral tissues can produce oestrone (a metabolite of oestrogen which can disturb the reproductive cycle in females and males. When oestrone (female hormone) is produced in excess in a male, a teenage boy can start developing breast tissue, a condition called gynaecomastia.

Gynaecomastia may require anti-oestrogen treatment in young boys or even adult males with drugs like letrozole, etc, or even surgical correction. The sexual drive (libido) of such boys is reduced to a minimum, and sperm count can go down (oligo-astheno teratozoospermia) or even become zero (azoospermia).

In young girls this excess adipose tissue has similar effects with excess oestrone resulting in shutting down of pituitary gland and anovulation. The intermediate condition of polycystic ovarian syndrome or syndrome X was discussed by us in this very column, and can cause hirsutism, acne, diabetes and hypertension.

 

Obesity in both sexes has serious sexual dysfunction due to:

l Social rejection

l Reduced self esteem

l Alteration in looks and figure

l Anovulation (girls)

l Reduced sperm count in boy

 

Complete reduction in libido or sex drive in both sexes.

To lose or not lose excess weight is a mind game that can be supported by medical treatment and accurate diagnosis.

Causes of obesity:

Diet: Improper eating habits, such as consuming deep fried foods, chips, burgers, cheese, butter ghee and oil are the main causes. Even large quantities of healthy food will cause obesity. The prime culprits are chocolates, ice cream, pastries, pizzas and soft drinks (gassy or not) besides samosas, batatawada or pattys. Alcohol and similar beverages also top the list. Inactivity is one of the most common cause of obesity.

Genetic: It important for parents not to blame the child for obesity unless they have ruled out conditions such as hypothyroidism, Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome or the use of medication such as steroids (for asthma or arthritis and anti depressants as well).

Many quick weight loss programmes or diet meals are available in the market and online. Most have diets with dangerous preservatives (though the advertisement says no added preservatives) and chemicals that may reduce fat and also your health.

Dedicated dietician-trainer, parental guidance and creating will power to lose weight will help develop a good figure, self esteem, healthy lifestyle, social acceptance, stamina and a happy soul. Sound sleep, healthy breakfast, average lunch and minimal dinner will help.

Breakfast like a king, lunch like a commoner and dinner like a pauper is an old saying we must live by.

(Columnist is a well-known gynaecologist practising in Panaji. Send in your queries to padte.kedar@gmail.com)

 

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