Obesity is an epidemic in the world today. Diabetes is also on the rise. Is there a correlation between the two? The experts say that there is and that you need to know about it. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Diabetes is a condition of the body where insulin production is affected in some way. Insulin production may be non-existent or in limited quantities, or the body may be resistant to using the insulin that is produced. Let’s go back a step.
Insulin is produced in the pancreas in response to blood sugar levels. Insulin directs the sugar in the blood to different sites in the body where it is used for fuel. Depending on the amount of sugar in the blood, more insulin is produced to deal with the issue.
With Type 2 diabetes, the body has developed a resistance to the insulin it produces. When the blood sugar levels remain high, the body produces more insulin to deal with it. Even with the overabundance of insulin being produced, the amount that overcomes the resistance may still not be enough to deal with the blood sugar levels. This is called non-insulin dependent diabetes and it affects mainly adults above the age of 45.
Type 2 diabetes can be brought on by environmental factors. It develops late in life for most people. Researchers have found connections between obese people and the rise in diabetes cases. Being obese increases the likelihood that certain diseases will occur. People who carry excess weight are at greater risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke and joint problems.
It is not just eating too much but also the types of foods we eat. Eating an overabundance of vegetables is not the root problem. Processed foods, sugary snacks, soft drinks and fatty foods increase the levels of glucose in the blood. More and more insulin is needed to deal with it. The body’s metabolic system is out of whack. With the increased risk of so many conditions, the body is more prone to developing insulin-resistant diabetes. Once you develop diabetes, other things come into play such as the slower rate of wound healing and the need to manage your blood sugar. There is hope, though.
Type 2 diabetes can be managed and sometimes reversed with weight management. Losing just ten percent of your body weight can stop the medication use to manage certain conditions. (This is huge!) Insulin resistance can decrease or disappear when an obese person returns to a weight in the range for the acceptable BMI. Being obese carries the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Losing weight reduces that risk or eliminates it altogether, as well as the risk of some other serious diseases.
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