Being Overweight And Breathlessness – Is There Any Relation?

Overweight And Breathlessness

Being overweight and obese is one of the major concerns for the whole world. It could affect your health and most of the organ systems. It can cause major cardiovascular health issues, higher levels of bad cholesterol, and respiratory issues. This article mainly discusses the breathing disturbances that are caused by being overweight and how it decreases the normal functioning of the lungs. According to the statistics and surveys, the number of individuals causing pulmonary health risks due to obesity is getting higher and the recovery takes years of dedication and medications. 

How Does Being Overweight Affect Breathlessness?

Obesity can influence the health of many organ systems, especially the lungs. The volume and capacity of the lungs to occupy the air will be decreased and hence, the oxygen fluctuation raises in the body. If you are overweight, it can affect your metabolism and direct mechanical changes in your lungs. Many of the overweight ones can have issues with respiratory sleep disorders and hypercapnic respiratory failure. And also, it can the issues mentioned below, 

  • Forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)
  • Forced vital capacity (FVC)
  • Functional residual capacity (FRC)
  • Expiratory reserve volume (ERV)

Apart from that, the major consequence of being overweight can cause Obesity Hypoventilation syndrome. Now let us look into it. 

Relation between being overweight and breathlessness

Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome (OHS)

This is a crucial health issue that can cause obesity and overweight. Those who are affected with Obesity Hypoventilation syndrome can be affected by the higher amount of carbon dioxide in the blood rather than oxygen. The symptoms can be shown as snoring and risks to breathe smoothly. It can raise irregularities in blood pressure.

This obesity-related breathing issue can cause depression and mood swings too. Further, oxygen reduction can affect your heart and make cardiac issues. Also, it and performance. 

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is a health condition with increased weight and obesity. The oxygen level can be reduced due to the soft muscle relaxation in the tongue, throat, and mouth and thus the airway passage will be blocked. It leads to heart failure, strokes, kidney failure, etc.

Hypercapnic Respiratory Failure

The hypercapnic respiratory failure happened due to the increase in the carbon dioxide level in your body and blood. A higher amount of BMI can decrease the intake of oxygen and increases chronic carbon dioxide retention. It affects the nervous system, and imbalances, and is mainly known as central nervous system depression.  


According to statistics, the rate of those who are having asthmatic issues and obesity is very relative. It triggers total health by wheezing, chest pain, and trouble breathing. Weight gain could narrow and tighten the volume of the lungs. It mainly happens due to fat deposition in the chest area. These fat-accumulated cells can cause inflammation and increase asthma. At the same time, obese people cannot holiday shows of allergens, chemicals, pollution of air, etc. Studies have proven that an increase in weight can be because the bronchial hyperresponsiveness and that includes respiratory decline and breathing issues. 

Being Overweight Cause Breathlessness? 

As we mentioned in the introductory part, being overweight can cause breathlessness and intake of enough oxygen from the air. There are many factors that are causing overweight and related pulmonary health issues of decreased functions of the lungs. And also, it can pass to the next generation as metabolic syndrome and asthma. According to research reports, surveys and statistics increased BMI could increase inflammation in the lungs. Saudi air passage through the lungs will block or be disturbed. For those who are overweight, the volume of the lungs to hold the air and oxygen could be decreased as well as the strength of muscles there would be reduced. So you need a higher ventilation level to enable the quality of air and breathing in order to tackle respiratory insufficiencies.  Studies by Naimark and Cherniack stated that total respiratory compliance could be affected and it will be decreased to the total occupancy of one-third of your lungs. It is mainly happening to reduce the compliance of the chest wall and respiratory resistance will be heightened. The strength of respiratory muscles will be decreased and could affect oxygen consumption.

Being Overweight Cause Breathlessness 

Overweight And Lungs

There are many things that are related to your lungs and respiratory system that could be affected by being overweight and short of breath. It could directly influence the mechanical changes of fat deposition in the belly abdomen and chest wall. At the same time, it increases the information as we mentioned. It could maintain effective your lungs, this more functioning of air passage the lung volume, respiratory muscles strength, the distribution of oxygen in the body, etc

The reduction of expiratory reserve volume and functional residual capacity can be affected through the increase of uncontrolled weight and that disturbs the capacity of the lungs to hold the maximum air with the oxygen. It is mainly happening to the adipose tissues that hold the fat accumulation around the abdominal and chest area. Moreover, it blocks or concerns the smooth air passage through the respiratory tract. Respiratory muscle strength is measured by the pressure of inhalation and exhalation. The decreased lung volume can loss of the strength of the respiratory muscles. This could cause energy loss and the body becomes so weak. So the oxygen could not enough for the complete functioning of your body and causes emphysema, Bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. So respiratory health issues are very much important to treat and it is even capable of shortening your lifespan.


We have discussed how being overweight is correlated with breathlessness. According to studies and medical reports by professionals, being overweight and obese can cause multiple respiratory issues. Also, it could threaten your health. Increased levels of Body Mass Index can cause inflammation of the cells in the lungs and it could decrease the volume of your lungs. If you are not in your correct BMI, you must the precautions to maintain a healthy body weight and multiple medical checkups in a year. You can consult and nutritionist and get a nutritious and proper diet according to your body, age, and lifestyle, and also breathing exercises, meditations, and yoga can assist you with better breathing, stamina energy, and balance your weight.

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