Obesity Is A Pain…

An article in the Times-Colonist of July 8, 2012 states that “obesity can cause not only mental agony, but also physical pain…” Hmm my interest was piqued! Do they mean generalized pain or more pain with specific causes? This article had personal interest for me because of the surgery and stuff I have been undergoing. Are my fat cells conspiring against me to make me hurt more that if I was a thinner person?

According to Obesity (OMG, a whole journal called, Obesity!), a study of more than one million people in the US (of course, we Canadians will now take the report with more than a grain of salt, some cheese and some gravy) found that overweight people reported 20% higher rates of pain than “normal” weight people. It seems the higher the weight, the greater the pain! Crap, I don’t need this.  It talks about us obese people, classIII (BMI of 40 or more), one of the fastest-growing weight classes in Canada as reporting more chronic pain – general aches, joint pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, etc.

Active Fat Cell!

Researchers say that one plausible (I like plausible!) explanation is that fat is biologically active. I can’t help but wonder if they mean like my skin?  I know fat cells produce certain hormones and chemicals like leptin and estrogen. These hormones can make us retain fat; feel hunger; feed uncontrollably etc. I can blame my fat cells for my low-wrinkle skin and no food-intake shut-off. But can I blame them for pain? I know I can blame pain for lots of negative things in my life and that study reinforces, that, too.

“Chronic, daily pain affects every dimension of a person’s life, says Dr. Arya Sharma, scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network. “It affects your sleep, it affects your quality of life, your energy levels, your professional life.”

This study discovered that the chances of people reporting pain rose with each category of obesity. Hmmm the pain scale matched with the BMI scale would be an interesting study. Of course we know that a lot of people eat when they are in pain (or not). I know I was definitely less active the more pain I felt. As pain recedes activity increases. But of course this begs the question – Is the “burn” of great exercise pain or sensation? When do we cross that line from discomfort to pain? Is it actually tied to weight or experience. Ask any woman about the pain of menstrual cramps or labour and the answers will be all over the map. Some of it is tied directly to memory. If women remembered the pain of the moment of physical birth, all families would have only one child. And if this was not considered “pain” but part of an “experience with discomfort” it would explain why women have more than one child. Men cannot even comprehend this concept, yet.

I want a study that looks at pain from the inclusive perspectives of obesity ( and all its degrees), gender and the variety of pain receptors and their level of functionality. (Holy crap, that sounded really good, eh?) My husband’s family has huge pain “tolerance”. They are all thin. Is it tolerance that is connected with fat cells not pain itself? This where I have so much fun picking apart news articles like this. Sigh. I guess, I would have less pain if I had less health issues. If there was no stress on my hips, there would be no pain?

If no one kept telling me to lose weight would I have no pain? If I could teach my fat cells to make good hormones to help my lose weight, would that help pain? Right this minute, on the pain scale of one to 10, I’m feeling a zero. My lower back is itchy, my left baby finger is really stiff and my staples are pulling, but no pain. I must have lost a pound or so? Enough already!

Thanks for listening. ;D Diane

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~ by 1fatgirlshrinking - Diane Kirby on July 8, 2012.

3 Responses to “Obesity Is A Pain…”

  1. Reblogged this on Lara: On the Weigh Down and commented:
    Reblogging seems like a shortcut – but not this time! When I was at my heaviest, I was in physical pain ALL the time. It didn’t matter if I was sitting, walking, or lying down. Walking was agony after even a few steps and my joints hurt constantly. Since I’ve lost the majority of the weight, my knees give me a bit of trouble once in awhile but mainly the pain is “post hard workout” soreness. I actually feel BETTER after moderate activity. Also, injuries from when I was so heavy took longer to heal than they do now. Yet another reason to consider weight loss from more of a health perspective than a vanity one! (i.e. I want to look better and be able to wear smaller sizes)

    • Thanks for sharing this! We need more people to think of it a health issue not just vanity! Repost all you want!

      • Fantastic!! Very happy you see it that way too. One of the main reasons I started on the weight loss journey was because I was so unhealthy (doc concerned with all my bloodwork numbers) and in pain all the time. Also an emotional wreck – depressed all the time. Losing the weight has helped in both those areas, a gift I value so much more than fitting into a smaller size!

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