Beer belly, scientifically called visceral fat, is fatty deposits in the abdominal cavity near vital internal organs (heart, stomach, liver, kidneys, lungs). This is a physiological tissue of the body, the main task of which is to protect internal organs from shocks, shocks, and their thermoregulation. In addition, visceral fat maintains normal metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and produces some inflammatory signaling molecules and hormones.
When does visceral fat become dangerous? Aif.ru told therapist, head of the medical examination department Ekaterina Terentyeva.
— The body fat norm for a woman under 30 years of age should not exceed 28%, for a man — 23%. After 50 years – 33% and 28%, respectively.
The danger is represented by a significant lack or excess of visceral fat.
Excess visceral fat can cause damage to almost all organs and systems.
The most common of them: hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome – which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Breast cancer, colon cancer, reproductive disorders, liver damage, and varicose veins have been shown to be associated with obesity.
How to determine how much fat is in the body?
A simple method for self-estimating your body fat is to measure your waist. For women aged 18-45 years of average height, the normal waist circumference should not exceed 88 cm, for men of the same age – 94 cm.
You can also check the size of the subcutaneous fat layer using a special device – a clipper; a ruler or caliper will also work. With their help, you need to measure a fold of skin and fat 10 cm to the right of the navel. The results are compared with a special calculation table.
For example, a fold 14 cm thick in a 30-year-old man corresponds to 13% body fat, which is normal.
What tests should be done if there is an increased level of visceral fat?
If weight problems or abdominal obesity are detected during an annual medical examination, it is recommended to perform laboratory tests:
- biochemical blood test with determination of parameters of protein, carbohydrate, bile metabolism, kidney and liver function;
- thyroid hormone levels;
- blood lipid profile;
- ultrasensitive C-reactive protein;
- the level of sex hormones in people of reproductive age and up to 60 years in men, up to 50 years in women.
The results of these tests will help the attending physician develop a treatment strategy and, if necessary, prescribe additional studies.