It’s no secret that being overweight causes health problems. Some of the conditions caused by weight gain are long-lasting, but losing weight can reduce the risk of poor health and relieve many symptoms. Weight gain, especially around your abdomen, has been linked to health issues like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and acid reflux. There are two types of belly fat at work to protrude your gut past your belt. The outer layer of fat just below the skin’s surface is called subcutaneous fat. The deeper fat that hangs behind your stomach is called visceral fat.
Subcutaneous fat is the yellow fat we hear so much about. These cells expand to cause protrusions around the body. When we are a healthy weight, subcutaneous fat has an essential role to play. It is an energy store when we do not utilize all the nutrients we have consumed. It is the deepest layer of the skin that connects the skin to our muscles. It also helps to regulate body temperature.
Visceral fat is also known as brown fat. As this type of fat increases, it surrounds the organs and can travel throughout the upper body as a protective measure. Unfortunately, it does more than just grow. It can release inflammatory markers that can increase insulin resistance, increase chances of heart disease, and cause acid reflux.
When we eat, our food travels down the esophagus and into the stomach. At the top of the stomach, a valve called the esophageal sphincter opens to allow entry of the bolus of food. Once inside, our gastric juices are increased, and the esophageal sphincter closes to keep the contents from leaking out.
It is not unusual to have a bit of stomach acid travel backward (reflux) back up the esophagus. Temporary acid reflux can be treated simply with an over-the-counter remedy. If it is a common practice for you to reach for relief every time you eat or lay down, there may be a bigger problem.
Fat around the abdomen, whether subcutaneous or visceral can put pressure on the stomach. Compression forces stomach acid, and its other contents, back up into the esophagus. Over time the esophageal sphincter can become weak and inflamed. A weakened esophagus will not close properly and a greater problem follows. The lining of your esophagus is not designed to withstand stomach acid. It can become damaged over time and the cells can alter themselves as a protective measure.
You don’t have to suffer from the damage and discomfort of acid reflux. If you are overweight and have acid reflux, losing weight can greatly decrease your acid reflux. Contact the Center for Metabolic and Obesity Surgery today to schedule your consultation and get started on your weight loss journey! We are conveniently located in Maitland, FL. Weight loss is always easier with a medical team backing you than if you try to go it alone.