Restrictive lung disease occurs when the lung cannot inflate (Expand) to it’s full capacity. Mostly, lung expansion occurs when the chest wall moved outwards and the diaphragm moves downwards during inspiration.
When significant amounts of abdominal fat are present, it is harder for the diaphragm to move downwards and the heavier chest wall does not expand as easily. This results in reduced chest wall and subsequent lung expansion during inspiration.
An individual whose weight is above a healthy level therefore requires more energy to inhale a given volume of air in comparison to someone of a healthy weight. More energy is thus required to take a breath when an individual is above a healthy weight, this translates to being more breathless on exertion and having a reduced exercise capacity.
People with obesity are also at higher risk of chest infections and may suffer more serious complications from chest infections.
Weight loss is very beneficial for people with lung restriction due to obesity and may completely resolve the defect.