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Table 4 Selected Quotes for Major Signs and Symptoms

From: Development of the Weight-Related Sign and Symptom Measure

  Selected Quotes
Shortness of breath …you’re toting on this extra baggage and I find it’s very difficult to breathe sometimes. I get a lot of episodes where I feel like I’m short of breath or I just can’t breathe as relaxed as I want to breathe. (Overweight female) When I was at my biggest weight, I was out of breath even going upstairs. Now I’m going up and down the stairs and I don’t have that issue now, so I can definitely see the difference. (Obese Class III male)
Joint pain For me it’s the ankles…I notice what really hurts the most, worse than my knees, and I have arthritis in the knees, is the ankles. The ankles are really taking a pounding holding up this much weight. (Obese Class III female) I have achy joints…So knee problems, knee issues. I can’t stand for too long. I have to sit down. I can’t go up the stairs. (Obese Class I female)
Back pain …when I gained some weight, it put more pressure on my back, so it aggravated my symptoms more. So, when I started to lose some weight, I could have a little more relief. (Overweight male) Yeah, it brings you to a slouch. When your gut sticks out, I mean, it just puts a strain on you…It hurts…it’s hard on your back. (Obese Class I male)
Low physical stamina Just like pace yourself, things that would be routine, now you find yourself, I can do it for about 15 min, then okay, then rest, then go back to do it again. I used to be able to do it all at once…I think weight has something to do with that. Obviously, age also. (Obese Class I male) It makes it a little difficult that I have to plan my day around my activities, around my weight … but I do know that losing weight has helped. I have lost 15 pounds in the last 3 months, and I have noticed that has helped quite a bit, but it still makes it hard to keep up your stamina. (Obese Class II female)
Trouble sleeping …there are times where I usually get four or 5 h of sleep, but it’s just constantly tossing and turning, from not being comfortable. Just being so big I guess I can’t get comfortable. When I was thinner, it was easier. I could lie down at any time and never hurt anything. (Obese Class II female) … I used to sleep in on the weekend but now with my son I don’t get to sleep in, so I never get to recover. And I think part of that is just because I have sleep apnea … because of my weight, and I can’t get a really good night’s sleep because of it. It’s probably been years. (Obese Class III male)
Sensitivity to heat So, I am hot all of the time and cold…it is different when I am thinner. (Obese Class II female) My wife calls me the human furnace. Even in the wintertime I need a window open and a fan on because number one, I’m either hot and I can’t breathe. (Obese Class II male)
Low energy I always had an extremely high energy level and the heavier I’ve gotten the more that my energy level has dramatically dropped…I have to constantly battle what part of me wants to stay home and rest and another part of me saying you’ve got to get up and go to work. A lot of it is my energy level. (Obese Class III female) I have more energy. I know that much because like I’ve said, lately I’ve been maintaining this weight. When I did lose some weight, I was able to do more things. I wasn’t always taking a deep breath. Like doing the laundry, I’ll do a load of laundry and have to bend down, pick it up, put it in the machine. By the time I’m done with that, I’m like, okay. I need a break. (Obese Class II male)
Heavy sweating I sweat like crazy. When I was heavier, I was just sitting in the shade by a tree. I’d be sweating…Now that I’ve lost a little weight it’s not as bad. (Obese Class III male) But I mean it’s still good to have a fan on because I am just overweight and when you have all that weight…your body just tends to increase the temperature especially when you sleep. For some reason, for me I have been sweating in my sleep, so I have to sleep with the fan on. (Obese Class II female)
Foot pain Then I’ve also had issues with plantar fasciitis, which is, like, heel pain. And the podiatrist said it’s all the extra weight. For every step I take, it makes it really bad for my heels, so definitely extra weight causes problems. (Obese Class I female) Yes, I get foot pain sometimes. It feels like… At the top of my foot, not the bottom. Like the muscle feels pulled, stressed. (Obese Class III female)
Low sexual desire So, the reason I have one kid is I just don’t have the stamina or just don’t have that drive. If you’re in good shape, you’re always…everything is working the way it should be. (Overweight male)