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(Cross-post from Weighty matters)

I have been having some minor problems with loss of balance, which I attribute to obesity. I am not dizzy or lightheaded. I do find that I feel off balance every once in a while and have to "catch" my balance. I have not fallen or passed out.

I think it is because I am obese, and do not have much muscle strength (secondary to not exercising for a very long time). I looked up a couple of articles on the internet and it seems to be a fairly common problem, but I have never heard of anyone complain about it. Usually they complain about lack of energy, achey joints, back pain, depression.....but not balance problems.

Does anyone else have a problem with this, or have you in the past?

Thanks.
Jen
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I wonder if it isn't a case that it's not viewed as any sort of symptom if it isn't related to other issues (like dizzyness)?

I can certainly see how it could be problematic. I do know that while I am not obese, I occasionally get overbalanced when I squat down. It's like a rock back on my heels and just keep going. Most often when I'm digging around in bottom cabinets.

What kind of activity do you find yourself doing most often when you have to do a balance check?

LWW
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I think you might want to get this checked out by someone who knows......on the principle that it's sometimes the subtle synptoms that are the ones you should react to (not that I'm good at that, mind)

I don't think "lack of strength" is likely to be your problem. I don't know how much you weigh over "ideal" but just for the sake of argument, if I carried around, say, a couple o' 12 kg kettlebells routinely all day and every day that would be considered a Serious Workout!

Reaction time, OTOH is something different. This is what the frail elderly suffer from more than frailty. That's what's often the issue when folk complain of lack of balance. You might lose it naturally with the passage of time because you never challenge yourself.....or it might be an early warning that there's something going on that's totally unrelated to body weight, activity level etc.

Vivienne
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Jen,

As others have suggested, seeing your doctor is the first step.

If nothing is found, consider Tai Chi. It doesn't need to be competition level. It teaches balance. I have back and knee issues, and my doctor recommended it.

If I had started earlier, I probably wouldn't have the knee issues. A lot of the damage is due to just not walking properly.

The falls I have had were mostly due to lack of attention while walking. If you aren't balanced, it is impossible to recover from the unexpected.
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Thanks for the input. It has been much better this week......haven't had an episode in days. I'm going to start walking today (going to be unseasonable warm here) and then start riding my stationary bike on cold days. I've also been having low back muscle spasms-----which I often have when I have not walked for awhile.

If it reoccurs I will go to my doctor.....I have been reading some research studies on obesity and balance and have found that this is a common problem, especially as one ages. I have to keep in mind that I am no longer 35!

Thanks again!
Jen
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balance problems need to be medically evaluated to rule out anything serious. I mean--sure--most of us have probably had brief episodes of dizziness/lightheadedness--we all know what they're like and that they're just something that happens when we hop out of bed too quick or have been bending down alot then suddenly stand up straight. BUT the fact that it's an issue that's actually caught your attention and that it bothers you so much you even posted about it suggests you need to report it to your dr. It could be something as innocuous as an ear wax build-up, but it could mean other things that need attention before they become bigger things.

I'm of the opinion we know our bodies better than anyone and we know when something isn't 'quite right'. Good luck. and it probably is nothing to worry about, but just be sure.
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