How Does Obesity Cause Type 2 Diabetes?


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Falling ill is the natural way of life. As long as we are alive, we will fall ill. But, there are certain illnesses we can prevent by choosing a healthy lifestyle. Diabetes is one of them.

Diabetes has taken epidemic proportions the world over. A recent survey suggests that more than 23 million US citizens suffer from diabetes. What is more surprising is that, out of this population, 5.7 Americans are not even aware that they are suffering from this disease. Diabetes is of two types: Type 1 and Type 2. Both these types of diabetes are caused due to irregularity in the production of the hormone insulin, which is known to regulate the sugar level in the blood.

Type 1 diabetes mostly surfaces during juvenile stage, such as adolescence or childhood. In this condition, the blood sugar level increases as the body is incapable of producing insulin in adequate amount. But, type 1 diabetes is not very common. However, more than 90% of the diabetes cases belong to type 2 diabetes that occur especially after 40 years. Due to wrong food habits and lifestyle, this type of diabetes has also started occurring among children.

Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin Formation:

Most of the health experts connect physical inactivity and obesity with type 2 diabetes. In this type of diabetes:

  • Body produces insulin but is incapable of using it properly
  • This disrupts the insulin producing capacity of your body, and after a particular period of time, your body fails to produce enough insulin to maintain normal sugar level in the blood.
  • This raises the sugar level in the blood, which causes diabetes.
  • Diabetes in the long run can also affect the working of your other organs and can lead to blindness, stroke, heart diseases, pregnancy complications, foot and leg amputations and kidney failure.

Note: According to a survey, diabetes kills more than 2, 00,000 people every year.

Obesity And Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes:

Although most of the health experts are of the opinion that obesity increases the chances of type 2 diabetes, the degree of obesity and stable BMI has to do a lot with the occurrence of this type of diabetes. According to a research:

  • It is not necessary that all those people who are obese or overweight are at the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • The background information, research suggests that several other factors too are involved in the occurrence of type 2 diabetes.
  • The research suggested that obesity follows different patterns and hence the percentage of occurrence of type 2 diabetes has to be evaluated depending upon the varying patterns of obesity.
  • Moreover, metabolic risk factors also play a major role in the occurrence of diabetes.
  • When an international team carried out an in-depth evaluation of study conducted on more than 5000 people in between 1991 to 2009, it revealed that 604 people with stable BMI and stable overweight showed only a slight increase in their resistance to insulin five years prior to the detection of type 2 diabetes.
  • On the other hand, a group of 15 people with increasing obesity showed a huge rise in their insulin resistance that led to diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in these people.
  • Twenty six people who were persistently obese all through the study did not show any significant change in their insulin resistance except dying off some of the beta/pancreas cells.

This suggests that being obese certainly brings you closer to getting type 2 diabetes. However, the risk increases only if your body follows a particular pattern of obesity.

How Does Obesity Triggers Off Type 2 Diabetes?

Obesity affects the body and triggers off changes that lead to type 2 diabetes in several ways. Some Of Them Include:

1. Obesity Causes Disruption In The Metabolism Of Fat:

  • A theory suggests that if you are obese, it can lead to disruption in your regular metabolic activities.
  • These fat tissues also known as adipose tissues that release fat molecules within the blood.
  • These fat molecules reach within the insulin responsive cells that react with the insulin cells present in the liver and muscle.
  • Thus, these fat molecules create disturbance in the working of the liver and muscles, thereby damaging the ability of the cell to respond to the insulin.

2. Obesity Leads To Inflammatory Response:

  • Excessive weight around the tummy causes the fat cells to release chemicals with pro-inflammatory properties.
  • Presence of these chemicals causes disruption in the body’s response to insulin that lead to insulin resistance.
  • Losing some of the tummy fat can reduce the speed of release of such chemicals and delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

3. Obesity Leads To Prediabetic Symptoms:

  • According to a theory, obesity leads to prediabetes.
  • This is the condition when your blood sugar levels are higher than the regular, but has not reached high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
  • During this condition, large amounts of fatty acids are found circulating within the blood.
  • Eventually, these fatty acids or fatty blocks can cause disruption in the working of mitochondria, the powerhouse of your body cells.
  • Due to this the cells stop functioning completely creating a complete havoc within the working of your overall body system.

The above evaluations suggest that the increase in the amount of fatty tissues in your body can disrupt the regular working of your entire body system and create prediabetic symptoms that can ultimately lead to the occurrence of type 2 diabetes. So, obesity in the long run can always lead to type 2 diabetes.

Can You Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?

Although for obese or overweight people the evaluation might seem quite serious, the better part is that, you can prolong or eliminate the occurrence of type 2 diabetes if you lose 5% to 10% of your weight. According to a US study, a moderate exercise half an hour every day can help you keep type 2 diabetes at bay.

You can opt for simple exercises, such as walking, jogging, cycling or skipping to lose weight. Eating a balanced diet full of fiber and nutrition sans fatty foods and maintaining a regular sleeping schedule goes a long way in restricting the onset of type 2 diabetes.

If you are obese, you are certainly at a risk of getting type 2 diabetes. However, if you maintain a good lifestyle, restrict your BMI and try to reduce weight by participating in exercises and being active all the day. Now, you can keep this deadly disease away.

Do you have diabetes? Are you obese? How are you trying to manage the disease? Share your tips with us.

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