The Link Between Diabetes And Obesity

Apr 11, 2022

Link Between Diabetes And ObesityUnderstanding Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most common medical conditions prevalent today. It affects the body’s production and use of insulin, a hormone that regulates the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The glucose imbalance causes a variety of often very serious health issues. The disease appears in 3 forms:

  1. Type 1: In this case, the body stops making insulin
  2. Gestational: This occurs among pregnant women
  3. Type 2: This is the most common form of the disease and one about which there is a lack of knowledge – knowledge that could lead to avoiding the ailment or that will enable the patient to better understand what can be done to control the condition.

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

Several factors contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. These include:

  • A genetic disposition to contract the disease. In other words, If there is a family history of diabetes, then a person’s chances of contracting it are significantly higher.
  • A person’s age. While diabetes can occur at almost any age, it is most common in those over the age of 45.
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle. Not getting an adequate amount of regular exercise makes the metabolism more prone to developing type 2 diabetes.
  • For women, if they have suffered from gestational diabetes, or have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCS), the chances of developing type 2 diabetes increase.
  • A major factor in the development of the condition is obesity, among both men and women.

Read Also: Can Diabetes be cured permanently?

What Is Obesity?

The generally accepted definition of obesity is that of having too much fat (or adipose tissue) on the body. It is the amount of fat that determines if a person is obese, not the bodyweight as is often mistakenly thought. A person may have high body weight, but that could be due to muscle development, heavy bones and other reasons. The medically accepted method of determining if a person is obese is by measuring Body Mass Index (BMI). If the result is 25 or higher, a person is thought to be obese. Although not perfect, this is the most effective way to determine obesity. The formula used for this is: weight (kg) / [height (m)]2.

Based on this formula, the accepted results are:

  • Below 18.5 = Underweight
  • 18.5-22.9 = Normal weight
  • 23-24.9= Overweight
  • 25 or higher  = Obese
  • 40 and greater = Morbidly obese

Another method of determining obesity is by the measurement of abdominal fat. A man with a waist measurement exceeding 90 cms. or a woman with a waist measurement of over 80cms. is said to be obese.

The Impact of Obesity On Type 2  Diabetes

When a person is obese, this is what happens. The pancreas, an organ in the abdomen, produces insulin with is the hormone used to carry glucose around the body to where it is needed so that the cells can convert it into the energy that powers the metabolism. The glucose that is not immediately required is transported to the liver where it is stored for later use. When a person is obese, the cells resist allowing insulin to carry the glucose to where it is needed. Additionally, the liver, where excess insulin is stored, cannot accept or absorb it because it (the liver) is already filled with fat. It is like trying to park a car in a parking space that is already full – an impossibility.

Since the insulin cannot carry the glucose to where it is required or store it in the liver, it remains in the blood. Since the cells and liver are being starved of glucose, the pancreas starts to produce more insulin in an effort to carry the glucose around the body. The insulin levels rise and the pancreas becomes overworked. This, over time, causes the pancreas to become weak and produce lower amounts of insulin. The amount of blood sugar increases to unhealthy levels. This results in the onset of diabetes.

Those with high blood sugar will typically experience symptoms like frequent urination, increased hunger and thirst. Because the high blood sugar levels cause dehydration, fatigue is often another problem. If type 2 diabetes is not treated and brought under control, serious and possibly life-threatening medical conditions like cardiac problems, nerve damage, vision issues, high levels of infections, high blood pressure, ketoacidosis, strokes and mental health issues, among others, could develop.

Controlling Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

There is, as of now, no cure for type 2 diabetes. However, just because a disease cannot be cured, that does not mean that it cannot be treated so that a person suffering from it is able to lead a long, active and happy life. The list of prominent people from all walks of life, from cinema to sports to business to politics and beyond who have has very successful lives despite having diabetes, is very long.

Since obesity and diabetes are so closely linked, the first step in the treatment and control of the ailment is to control obesity. Sudden crash or extreme dieting or bursts of excessive exercise are not the way to do it. All these will do is place even more strain on the body and exacerbate the medical problem. The right way to go about controlling obesity is by a medically supervised fat loss programme. This will ensure that the fat loss is rapid and safe and that it is done with the right combination of a balanced diet and exercise. Simultaneously, after a detailed diagnosis that will determine the severity of the condition, a programme of medication, including insulin injections, will be started. These actions will allow the patient to return to the active life he or she enjoyed before type 2 diabetes appeared.

Connect with an Endocrinologist At New Medical Centre. This will help in diagnosing the onset of type 2 diabetes early so that treatment can begin without delay. As with all diseases, the earlier treatment starts, the more effective it is. Visit our website to know more about the health packages and specializations available and go to the Contact Us page to get in touch with us and begin your journey to improved health.

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