If you're seeking acid reflux help, one of the first things to realize is that being overweight or obese, even by few pounds, can increase your risk of acid reflux; increase the number of attacks you experience, increase the number and severity of symptoms, add to your risk of developing a hiatus hernia, and can make acid reflux generally a more debilitating condition. But how do you know if you are overweight or obese? How do you know how much weight you need to lose to receive meaningful acid reflux relief?
The first thing you should understand is the difference between being overweight and being obese and what each of these terms really means. Overweight is a term used by doctors and health professionals in order to identify if a person has excessive body weight including fat, muscle, water, and bone. On the other hand, obesity is a condition that refers specifically to an excess amount of fat in the body. It is therefore possible to be overweight without being obese, such as in the case of bodybuilders and some muscular athletes.
In terms of getting acid reflux help for your symptoms, obesity is what needs to be avoided, as it is the excess of fat in your body that has shown to cause the heightened risks and acid reflux symptoms. Obesity is measured by determining the amount of fat in your body. Keep in mind that body fat is a natural part of our makeup, and is required to survive. Fat is vital for many functions such as storing energy, absorbing shock, and insulating for temperature regulation. Women, as a rule, have a larger percentage of body fat than men. Generally speaking, the majority of health professionals consider a man with more than 25 percent body fat, or a woman with over 30 percent body fat to be obese.
It is not easy to measure the precise amount of fat in a person's body. The most accurate ways to determine this is by weighing you underwater and measuring water displacement, or by using a special form of X-ray test called a Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA). Clearly, these are not techniques that you will be able to apply at home whenever you want to check your body fat level.
Some doctors measure the thickness of the fat layer beneath the skin in specific body parts often using specially designed calipers. Others use a harmless electrical current that runs through your body to judge the amount of body fat. Some gyms and health clubs, as well as some weight loss programs also offer these forms of measuring fat body. However, should they be performed by an inexperienced or poorly trained individual, the results can vary widely and be quite inaccurate. Furthermore, if you are severely obese, these tests are less likely to be accurate.
Therefore, it is useful to have a tool of your own for judging your level of body fat. This measure is referred to as the body mass index (BMI) and is based on weight-for-height tables that provide an acceptable range for an adult of a given size. Though this is not as accurate as some of the other tests previously mentioned they are much more practical to the average person. Keep in mind that these tables do not distinguish between increased levels of fat and muscle, so a very muscular person could easily appear obese according to BMI tables.
That being said, the BMI is the current standard used to measure the amount of fat in the body of an adult. The higher the BMI, the greater your risk of obesity and the higher your risk of increased problems with acid reflux. The BMI formula can be calculated as follows:
– Your current weight (lbs) multiplied by 703 = X
– X divided by your height (inches) = Y
– Y divided by your height (inches) again = Your BMI
If your BMI is below 18.5, you are typically considered to be underweight. If your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, you're within your healthy weight range. If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, you may be overweight. If your BMI is greater than 30, you are at risk of being obese.
If you are overweight or obese, some of the best acid reflux help you can get is to start an acid reflux diet and exercise program to lose weight and reduce your symptoms and risks of greater GERD problems.