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4 Chronic Diseases Which Weight Loss Can Help Reverse or Manage
4 Chronic Diseases Which Weight Loss Can Help Reverse or Manage
June 27/2024

4 Chronic Diseases Which Weight Loss Can Help Reverse or Manage

Believe it or not, weight plays a critical role in an unnerving number of chronic diseases. Excess weight, particularly obesity, is a major risk factor for many health conditions that significantly impact quality of life and longevity. The good news is that weight loss can help reverse or manage many of these chronic diseases.

In this brief article brought to you by the licensed primary care doctors of Southern Maryland Medical Group, we explore four chronic diseases in particular: type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, and sleep apnea.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by insulin resistance, where the body's cells do not respond effectively to insulin. Excess fat, particularly visceral fat around the abdomen, contributes to insulin resistance. By losing weight, especially around the midsection, insulin sensitivity can improve and allow the body to regulate blood glucose levels more effectively.

Studies have shown that even a modest weight loss of 5-10% of body weight can significantly improve blood glucose control and reduce the need for diabetes medications. In some cases, substantial weight loss can lead to remission of type 2 diabetes, allowing individuals to maintain normal blood glucose levels without medication!

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) encompasses a range of conditions, including coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and stroke. Excess body weight increases the heart’s workload and contributes to atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). It also raises blood pressure and cholesterol levels, further elevating the risk of heart disease.

Weight loss can lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce inflammation, all of which contribute to better heart health. Losing weight decreases the strain on the heart, improves cardiovascular function, and can significantly lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

In fact, weight loss is often one of the first recommendations for individuals diagnosed with hypertension or dyslipidemia (abnormal cholesterol levels)!


Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, commonly affects the knees, hips, and lower back. Excess weight places additional stress on these weight-bearing joints, accelerating the breakdown of cartilage, the tissue that cushions the joints, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.

By losing weight, you reduce the mechanical stress on your joints, alleviate pain, and improve function. Research indicates that for every pound lost, there is a four-pound reduction in knee joint load, meaning your gains can be exponential!

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep, has a strong link to obesity. Excess weight, especially around the neck and upper airway, can cause the airway to narrow or become blocked during sleep. This obstruction leads to pauses in breathing, fragmented sleep, and reduced oxygen levels in the blood.

The solution can be as simple as decreasing the fatty deposits in your neck to reduce the size of the airway obstruction and improve airflow during sleep. Studies show that even moderate weight loss can significantly reduce the severity of sleep apnea.

In some cases, weight loss can eliminate the need for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which is commonly used to manage sleep apnea.

Consult with a Licensed Physician

Your body is your temple, and bigger is typically not better. If you need a hand in your weight loss journey, then call Southern Maryland Medical Group to consult with a licensed primary care physician. We are happy to schedule a convenient appointment or arrange a walk-in for as soon as possible.

Our Locations

Southern Maryland Medical Group has 3 convenient locations to provide professional medical care services in the Southern Maryland area. Call or schedule an appointment with one of our locations to get medical care help. 

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Camp Springs, MD

5801 Allentown Road, Suite 400 Camp Spring, MD 20746

Phone: 301-868- 0150

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-868-0243

Greenbelt, MD

7500 Greenway Center, Dr #1200 Greenbelt, MD 20770

Phone: 301-486-7580

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-486-7581

Riverdale, MD

6510 Kenilworth Ave, Ste 1400, Riverdale MD 20737

Phone: 301-618-0771

Billing Inquiries: 301-552-1270

Fax: 301-618-0772