Diagnosis of Obesity
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These exams and tests generally include:
- Taking your health history. Your doctor may review your weight history, weight-loss efforts, physical activity and exercise habits, eating patterns and appetite control, what other conditions you’ve had, medications, stress levels, and other issues about your health. Your doctor may also review your family’s health history to see if you may be predisposed to certain conditions
- A general physical exam. This includes measuring your height; checking vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure and temperature; listening to your heart and lungs; and examining your abdomen.
- Calculating your BMI. Your doctor will check your body mass index (BMI). A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obesity. Numbers higher than 30 increase your health risks even more. Your BMI should be checked at least once a year because it can help determine your overall health risks and what treatments may be appropriate.
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- Measuring your waist circumference. Fat stored around your waist, sometimes called visceral fat or abdominal fat, may further increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Women with a waist measurement (circumference) of more than 35 inches (89 centimeters, or cm) and men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches (102 cm) may have more health risks than do people with smaller waist measurements. Like the BMI measurement, your waist circumference should be checked at least once a year.
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- Checking for other health problems. If you have known health problems, your doctor will evaluate them. Your doctor will also check for other possible health problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Your doctor may also recommend certain heart tests, such as an electrocardiogram.
- Blood tests. What tests you have depend on your health, risk factors and any current symptoms you may be having. Blood tests may include a cholesterol test, liver function tests, fasting glucose, thyroid test and others.
Gathering all this information helps you and your doctor determine how much weight you need to lose and what health conditions or risks you already have. And this will guide treatment decisions.
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