Pickwickian syndrome (severe obesity)


General or Other | - Others | Pickwickian syndrome (severe obesity) (Disease)


Description

Pickwickian syndrome is a complex of symptoms that primarily affect patients with extreme obesity. The syndrome is named after a character in a Charles Dickens novel, The Pickwick Papers, who seemed to show some of the traits of this disease. Symptoms of Pickwickian syndrome include excessive daytime sleepiness, shortness of breath due to elevated blood carbon dioxide pressure, disturbed sleep at night, and flushed face. The skin can also have a bluish tint, and the patient may have high blood pressure, an enlarged liver, and an abnormally high red blood cell count.

Causes and Risk factors

The major health problem that occurs in patients with this disease is sleep apnea. This is caused in part by the excess amounts of fatty tissue surrounding the chest muscles. This excess fat places a strain on the heart, lungs, and diaphragm of the patient, making it difficult to breathe.

The major cause of Pickwickian syndrome is extreme obesity. This obesity places an excessive load on the pulmonary system. The role of genetics is also being studied.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The primary treatment for Pickwickian syndrome is focused on weight loss and increased physical activity. Also, medroxyprogesterone may help improve the condition.

For prevention of the sleep apnea that generally accompanies Pickwickian syndrome, there are several possible treatments. If the sleep apnea is only present when the patient is flat on their back, a tennis ball can be sewn into the sleep clothes to remind the patient not to sleep on their back. ...