Obesity and diabetes are two diseases that are cause for serious concern among many Americans.
Every year, more and more overweight and obese people run the risk of developing diabetes due to a poor diet, eating large quantities of food, and little to no exercise. Both obesity and diabetes can seriously affect a person when left untreated, interfering with his or her lifestyle and relationships with other people. If you’re obese, or if you have a friend or family member who suffers from obesity, you need to be informed about the risks of obesity and diabetes.
What is Obesity?
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Obesity is a condition where fat stored and accumulated inside the body increases to the point that it hampers a healthy and productive lifestyle for a person. Obesity is clinically defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of above 30 kilograms per square meter. Obesity is characterized by having excessive fat deposits, being grossly overweight, or having other illnesses and conditions directly related to or caused by it.
While obesity is a medical condition, many people view it to be a social problem as well. Millions of dollars are spent every year on obesity research and to accommodate the medical and social needs of obese people. Weight loss programs cut into the budgets of families, and medical treatments for obesity are very expensive.
The Link Between Obesity and Diabetes
Among the many diseases and illnesses associated with obesity, diabetes is perhaps the most common and the most dangerous. Obesity-related diabetes was once categorized as type-2 diabetes, although medical experts have now categorized type-2 diabetes into many different causes and types. In a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 55% of people with type-2 diabetes also happen to be obese. Studies by the CDC also conclude that 8% of Americans (roughly around 23.5 million of the total population) suffer from type-2 diabetes. (Eberhardt, Ogden, Engelgau, Cadwell, Hedley et al, 2004).
Obesity-related diabetes is developed over time because the hormones found in abdominal fat are known to be resistant to insulin, a hormone that helps metabolize many substances found in food, including fats and sugars.
Obese people tend to eat a lot of foods rich in sugar and fat in excessive quantities. The body’s ability to produce insulin is then compromised, and obese people then suffer from more symptoms of diabetes than people who maintain a regular body weight.
As the signs and symptoms of diabetes progress, an obese person may find it very difficult to manage and control his or her weight. Diabetes has signs and symptoms that actually aggravate and increase weight:
- Urinating frequently (some morbidly obese patients are either attached to a catheter or wear diapers because of the problem)
- Excessive thirst (which is often the reason why obese diabetics tend to drink liters of cola, soda, or other fluids)
- Increased appetite (which leads obese patients to eat more than they should)
Risks and Treatment
When not diagnosed and treated early, a person suffering from obesity-related diabetes may run the risk of dying. Some of the life-threatening consequences of obesity coupled with diabetes include hypertension, heart failure, hormonal imbalances, or your body just giving way from all the weight it has to support.
Along with a weight loss program, obesity-related diabetes is often treated with insulin therapy and other medication. A doctor has to monitor the treatment because an obese patient’s hormonal levels are so imbalanced that a lot of diagnosis and calculations have to be performed to get the right dosage for the hormonal treatment. A doctor may warn you against the consumption of fats and sugars to help your body cope with the problems and hormonal imbalances caused by obesity-related diabetes.
Dieting and Weight Loss
Reducing weight is by far the most effective way to stop the onset of diabetes and for a person to recover from obesity. There are many ways to bring an obese patient’s weight down to the normal recommended body mass index.
Diabetes Nutrition and Food Intake.
A well-planned diabetes diet regimen is the first course of action for people suffering from obesity. The diet is usually planned by a doctor or a dietitian, and is designed to reduce weight without having the patient suffer from shock, nutrient deprivation, or starvation. Make sure to follow the diet faithfully to prevent weight gain in the future. Together with exercise, a diet can reduce your weight in a matter of months. It will take time before you see results, especially if you’re morbidly obese.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Sometimes emergency measures have to be taken to control binge eating and overeating.
Gastric bypass surgery involves removing part of the stomach and the intestinal tract so that the body can digest and metabolize faster and more efficiently. Gastric bypass surgery is only conducted for obese patients who cannot be treated by any other means.
Think of obesity as a very complex disease, with many illnesses affecting you at the same time. Knowing the facts about diabetes can help you stay healthy. If the threat of weight gain is not enough for you to seriously consider slimming down, diabetes can give you an insight into your own mortality. With these tips to guide you in your weight loss regimen, you can win the battle against obesity, and save your own life at the same time.