24 May, 2023

What Is Class 3 Obesity?

Class 3 obesity (once known as morbid obesity) is a life-threatening disease that can cause a variety of secondary health issues and shorten a person’s lifespan. Today, many effective treatments exist that can assist patients in losing weight, improving their health, and even reversing the progression of some obesity-related diseases.

Today, we are going to talk about class III obesity, how it is diagnosed, the challenges it can present to those who suffer from it, and some effective ways to treat this disease.

What Is Class III Obesity?

Obesity is a condition that is caused by the accumulation of too much excess fat on an individual’s body. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines obesity as a state in which a person’s body fat percentage becomes excessive and begins to cause health problems.

There are different levels of obesity, with class III currently the highest on the standard BMI scale. This scale is used around the world by medical professionals, insurance companies, and others to gain a quick snapshot of a person’s health. Individuals with a BMI of over 30 are classified into levels of obesity on the scale, with those over 40 considered to have class 3 obesity.

This scale does not provide an accurate reflection of a person’s actual percentage of body fat because it does not take into account a variety of important variables, such as the amount of muscle a person has or their race. However, it is a quick and easy method to classify people into “risk” categories for health problems.

This unit of measurement is known as the BMI, or body mass index, and it is a quick calculation that assigns you a number based on your height and weight. You can check your BMI number on the scale to see which category you fall into. The CDC offers a free BMI calculator if you would like to see your classification.

The Worldwide Standard BMI Scale
Weight Class Category BMI Ranges
Underweight and not considered healthy Less than 18.5
Healthy Weight 18.5 through 24.9
Overweight (at risk) 25 through 29.9
Class 1 obesity 30 through 34.9
Class 2 obesity 35 through 39.9
Class 3 obesity 40 or higher

Obesity is the result of consuming more calories than you burn over time. The ratio of calories consumed to calories burned varies from person to person. Your genetic makeup, overeating, consumption of high-fat foods and lack of physical activity could shift the scales in your favor. Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, arthritis, and certain malignancies. If you are obese, reducing as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can delay or prevent the onset of several of these diseases.

BMI scale

Is Class 3 Obesity A Common Problem?

According to numerous reports from sources such as the World Health Organization, the CDC, and The Trust for America’s Health, as of 2020, approximately 42% of American adults are considered obese and almost 10% of those individuals are in a category called class 3 obesity, which has also been called morbid obesity and severe obesity.

The World Health Organization has labeled the prevalence of morbid obesity around the world as an “epidemic” due to the staggering percentages of individuals who are affected.

How Is Class 3 Obesity Diagnosed?

Obesity is characterized by excessive body fat. It is different from being overweight, where you weigh more than what is considered healthy and move into a category where your health is affected because of an excessive accumulation of body fat.

There are different ways that a health professional might use to diagnose patients suffering from class III obesity.

The BMI scale basic criteria
The standard BMI scale is often used as a first-line diagnostic tool to determine if a patient falls into the category of obesity class 3.

  • Have excess weight of at least 100 pounds (compared to the “healthy” weight range for their height and gender);
  • Patient BMI is at least 40;
  • Patient has a BMI of 35 or higher and at least one obesity-related health condition, such as type 2 diabetes or hypertension.

There is a margin of error with this method, as it does not take into account the extra weight carried by individuals with higher muscle mass, such as bodybuilders or athletes like football players. It also does not consider different ethnic differentials. Normally, healthcare professionals will use additional forms of testing to determine the extent of the patient’s condition.

Lab testing
Your physician may conduct a series of tests to identify any health conditions associated with or caused by obesity. These may consist of tests indicating how well your kidneys and liver are functioning, a blood cell count, lipid levels, vitamin levels, thyroid function, an EKG, a sleep apnea study, and many others.

What Does ICD 10 Obesity Mean?

Often patients who are diagnosed with morbid or severe obesity have the E66.01 code written on their medical record, report, or bill. This E66.01 is the ICD 10 code for class 3 obesity. ICD 10 is the 10th revision of The International Classification of Diseases (ICD), a system of coding diagnoses and symptoms for billing, statistics, and classification purposes in the healthcare industry.

It is an essential tool for keeping track of diseases, gathering information about public health worldwide, and making informed decisions based on the collected data. For example, healthcare workers across the world can indicate the ICD 10 code for morbid obesity on the medical reports of their patients who are suffering from severe forms of obesity. This practice helps doctors from different countries have a common language and improve the quality of healthcare services.

What Causes Class III Obesity?

Class 3 obesity can be caused by a number of factors, but predominantly results from the body retaining a greater amount of fat than it converts to energy. What triggers each person to expend or store calories can be simple or complex. The most prevalent reasons for weight gain include eating foods that are unhealthy, eating too many large portions, and not getting enough physical exercise.

Additional contributors to the predisposition to obesity include genetics, hormone issues, the environment, geographical or socio-economic factors, cultural influences, and more. Weight gain can also be a result of certain medical conditions or medications.

What Is The Average Life Expectancy Of Patients With Class 3 Obesity?

If obesity is left untreated, it can result in many serious health conditions, including shortening an individual’s life expectancy by as many as fourteen years. In the United States, obesity is ranked second after smoking as the leading cause of preventable death.

Some of the health conditions associated with obesity class 3 include:

  • Type 2 diabetes;
  • Heart disease;
  • Metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and high cholesterol all at the same time);
  • Hypertension;
  • Faster buildup of arterial plaque;
  • Sleep apnea;
  • Many different types of cancer;
  • Breathing disorders;
  • Joint Deterioration;
  • Infertility;
  • Depression.

Class 3 Obesity Treatment Options

The type of treatment recommended for class 3 obesity will be unique to each patient. Because there are numerous underlying causes of obesity, class III obesity often requires a multifaceted approach to treatment, which might include a combination of the following components:

Modifications In Lifestyle
The adoption of lifestyle modifications such as the consumption of a nutritious diet, increased levels of physical activity, sufficient sleep, and effective stress management techniques are all factors that play a role in the reduction and regulation of body weight.
Therapeutic Intervention
Therapy can be a great tool to help weight loss patients address the root causes of obesity and receive the support they need to successfully address underlying issues that may be affecting their ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Prescription Medication
Weight loss injection Intervention may prove effective in the management of obesity for some patients. These prescription weight loss injections can help reduce the patient’s appetite and suppress their hunger while boosting their metabolism.
Surgical Weight Loss
Without medical intervention, individuals with class 3 obesity have a very low chance of achieving a healthy body weight. There are a number of surgical options that may be viable options to help these individuals lose weight. Consulting with a bariatric surgeon can assist in determining your candidacy for weight loss surgery and best surgical procedure option for you. These options may include a lap band, gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or duodenal switch.

Non-Surgical Class 3 Obesity Treatment

Recently, endoscopic weight loss procedures have been gaining the attention of individuals who desire to lose weight without surgery. Non-surgical weight loss procedures can help patients lose weight without the risks or extended recovery times associated with surgical interventions. The qualifications for these non-surgical procedures are not as rigid as those in place for bariatric surgery, so more patients who need help can get it.

Patients with a BMI above a certain threshold may not be able to undergo surgery due to potential health risks. Doctors typically employ a multi-step approach in such cases. The healthcare provider may recommend a safe and non-invasive procedure to aid in initial weight loss, followed by another procedure or surgery to facilitate significant weight loss.

The Orbera Balloon
The Orbera balloon is an effective procedure that helps patients control their eating habits without the need for surgery. A balloon-like medical device is inserted into the stomach through a quick and easy endoscopic procedure that can be done right in the doctor’s office! The balloon is filled with saline to help reduce the size of the stomach and promote weight loss.
Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG)
ESG is a non-surgical weight loss procedure that works similarly in technique to a gastric sleeve but without having to undergo surgery. In most cases, ESG can be reversed. Sutures are used to alter the patient’s stomach, making it smaller and pouch-shaped. The procedure is less invasive than surgery as it is done through the patient’s throat and does not involve any incisions. The procedure is a safer and quicker alternative to surgery, doesn’t necessitate a hospital stay, and has a recovery period of a week for most patients.

Seeking Timely Help For Obesity Is Critical

Class 3 obesity is a condition that can be very dangerous and has the potential to be life-threatening. The good news is that it can be treated using a weight loss procedure. Losing weight and reducing your body fat percentage have been found to be effective in reducing or eliminating obesity-related health issues like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and more.

Simmons Advanced Weight Loss Solutions can assist individuals who are suffering from obesity or class III obesity. Our goal is to assist you in restoring your well-being and enhancing your standard of living.

You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Okeefe Simmons and his team of professionals, who are dedicated to help you achieve your weight loss goal. During your consultation, you will learn more about non-surgical weight loss options and how we create a custom plan that is tailored to your needs.

Give us a call today to schedule your appointment and begin your journey to better health!

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