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Overweight. Certain areas of body dark in color. Sex problems. Guidance

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 9400 Questions
have friend...male...age 46...grossly 410 pounds..there are areas of his body which have become quite dark. lowers legs, in winter.. area of face....he's ALWAYS falling sleep on job... sleeps knees on floor with upper body laying top of bed.. there's diabeties for both parents..both overweigh..- probably sex problems ..have checked online - hemochromatosis came up...which will put by him....are there anyother condiditons he should check out...he has said his doctor's says he's in completely good health..which i find hard to believe.
Posted Tue, 11 Jun 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 10 hours later
Hello and welcome to XXXXXXX

Thank you for your query.

I respect your concern for your friend. Let me help you with a few conditions that could be checked/ruled out, based on the description you have provided me:
-Diabetes (check blood sugar and HbA1c) -- poor blood circulation takes place in diabetes, which can cause darkening of skin. Winter also causes changes in blood vessels, in normal people this change would not be seen; but in the presence of some abnormality, there will be a noticeable change. This is the first condition I would like you to rule out, even more due to the strong family history
-Atherosclerosis (to check blood supply, as he often falls asleep)
-Sleep disorders
-Varocise veins
-Cardiac function (tests: EKG and 2D-echocardiography)
-Obesity can cause a change in blood circulation, which is still not considered abnormal, this can result in numbness, excess sleep, lethargy, in-activeness, poor concentration, depression, etc.
-Blood cholesterol

I also need you to understand that obese individuals may look unwell quite often and their activities and capacities might not match up to that of a normal/healthy individual. As a friend the best advise you can give is to restrict his intake and increase his physical activities.

Addressing hemochromatosis which you are suspecting, this is also brought about in men due to: diabetes or heart failure. So finding diabetes would still be our first option. Hemochromatosis will also have other symptoms like joint pain, weakness, fatigue. Can be diagnosed with a simple blood test (serum transferrin saturation and serum ferritin).

I hope I have succeeded in providing the information you were looking for. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications or any more information. I would gladly help you.

Best wishes.
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