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View Diary: Chris Christie placed angry call to doctor who expressed concern about his weight (360 comments)

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  •  what kind of cell alterations? (0+ / 0-)

    just as an e.g. not a treatise :-)

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 08:18:21 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Not as a treatise? You don't ask much :P (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pundit, middleagedhousewife

      I'm going to have to use jargon, but I'll try to explain as I go.  At the individual cellular level, and not yet delving into specific organs or systems, cellular damage causes hyperplasia,dysplasia, and metaplasia.  Hyperplasia means your cells are dividing more frequently, and increases things like your chances of cancer should a DNA error occur. Dysplasia is similar, but usually refers to alterations adjacent to cancerous cells, and metaplasia is cells growing where they shouldn't.  The best example of that is actually smoking-related, where the heated air kills off the ciliated cells that line your airways, and they replace with non-ciliated cells that son't help move irritants, hence 'smoker's cough', where you have to brute force removal of things bothering you.

      As a general rule, anything that forces a cell out of it's normal homeostasis (the 'natural state' of a cell, where it's working as it's designed to) will cause it to become injured, and either die outright, or alter to try and adapt to the new conditions.  The same goes for larger structures than cells as well - when you apply friction to the skin, you get blisters, which are the body throwing water to the area to act as a cushion.  The same sort of thing happens in individual cells, with extracellular fluids moving into the cells.  

      This makes cells swell up, which means that things moving around inside the cell take longer to go where they're going, reducing the efficiency of a lot of cellular processes, which cascade up to the macro level as well, so that organs in which swelling has occurred are functioning poorly, taking more energy to move proteins, oxygen, and minerals around inside the cells, as well as whatever specialized jobs those cells might do if they're in the kidneys, lungs, or other specialized organs.

      It also screws up your endocrine system, which wants to think of things in more acute (right now) terms rather than chronic ones, so your body spends far more time trying to 'fix' what it would like to consider immediate problems, but it can't.  So you wind up with higher stress hormone levels running around in your blood stream, which in turn puts more strain on your heart and lungs, which are already stressed because they have to get oxygen to all of those extra cells, and supply more to offset reduced efficiency in the altered cells.

      Over time, more and more of your cells aren't getting the oxygen they need, and you wind up with stiffer circulatory cells that are more prone to 'leak' because they can't stretch as well as they should, and you start showing signs of oxygen deprivation from the outside (distal) parts of your body, those farthest from your core.  Fingernails may 'club', rounding downward, you lose hair growth on your lower legs, the skin becomes thinner, shinier, eventually darkens.  Healing becomes far slower, so injuries are a lot more likely to become infected and turn nasty, especially since injured nerves degrade, and you either wind up with constant pains or nerves that just don't signal as they used to, so you don't even realize you've damaged yourself.

      There are all sorts of additional problems with individual systems not functioning as well as they should because of cellular damage, and they all sort of egg each other on - you don't breathe as efficiently as your should, your kidneys don't clean toxins from your bloodstream as well, your liver doesn't metabolize as it should.  You build up plaques in your circulation, which make it easier to create blood clots and cause even more damage from oxygen not reaching areas 'downstream'.

      And that doesn't even cover the more purely mechanical problems like swollen tissues pressing on each other, mechanical joint damage, and the like.

      For people who are seriously overweight, losing the extra is simply the #1 thing they can do to live healthier, longer lives.

      5, 10, even 20 pounds over 'ideal'?  Don't worry.  50+ pounds up?  Experiment to find out what works for you in losing if you can.  It may be a change of diet, more activity, who knows what.

      I had gotten up to 300# before I took the pathophysiology course, and found out in gruesome detail what I was putting my body through.  7 months later, I'm below 230#, and aiming to end up around 180 or so by the one year mark.  I do a bit more physical activity, not because I need to to lose weight, but simply because having lost weight, I feel I can again.

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