Tuesday 1 May 2012

Obesity and diabetes

Key facts:

  • The correlation between obesity and diabetes is well established.
  • Obesity and overweight are the leading causes of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
  • Obesity and type 2 diabetes are 2 major health problems in the world.
  • Increased body weight elevates the risk of developing diabetes by more than ten times.
  • Losing weight is a cornerstone of diabetes management.

How does obesity cause diabetes?

It has been firmly established that increased body weight promotes insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that regulates glucose levels in the blood.

Insulin resistance means; the body is poorly respond to the actions of insulin. The result is elevated blood sugar level. Increased amounts of glucose in the blood is called diabetes.

People with healthy body weight respond well to insulin which is produced by pancreas. Their blood sugar levels are usually within the normal range.

People with type 2 diabetes usually have few symptoms. Some times they do not have any symptoms at all. Therefore, majority of people are diagnosed at a routine health checkup.

However, some people may have following symptoms

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased frequency of passing urine
  • Passing large volumes of urine
  • Waking several times at night to pass urine
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Candida skin infections
  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Tiredness
  • Skin wounds that are slow to heal
  • Numbness and tingling in the feet
As majority of people do not have specific symptoms, it is important to have regular health checkups, specially if you are overweight.

Obesity and diabetes are closely related conditions. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight is important to prevent diabetes.

Eating a healthy diet is the most important  factor that can prevent both conditions. Avoiding sugar and other sweets should be the first step towards healthy eating because sugar can cause obesity, and it can worsen diabetes.

A low fat diet will also help you have a healthy body weight. In addition, it will help maintain your cholesterol levels within normal range. Avoid fast food, they are loaded with fat and salt.

People with diabetes should eat high fiber diet. Fiber rich foods help reduce body weight. In addition, these foods usually have low glycemic index which is good for diabetics.

Regular exercise is important to maintain normal blood glucose level. Physical activity also help reduce your weight and keep you fit. Walking is a good exercise that can be done by majority of individuals who are suffering from diabetes. It also help avoid overweight and obesity.

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that can affect many parts of the body such as eyes, heart, kidneys, and nerves. If you think that you are overweight or obese, have a blood glucose test. It will confirm or exclude diabetes.

Keep in mind that maintaining a healthy weight can be the best thing that can be done easily.