Diabesity: The dreadful combination of diabetes and obesity

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How To Control Diabetes
Author:  Dr.RamKumar S
DM ENDO,  Apollo Hospital,Chennai

Do you have diabetes? With over 72 million cases, India houses the second largest number of diabetes cases across the globe. Obesity or being overweight poses a significant risk factor for the development of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

Diabesity is a term used to refer to a form of diabetes that typically develops in adults and is associated with obesity. Many studies and experts have been vocal about the risks associated with obesity. Obesity acts as a magnet to attract various lifestyle disorders, of which the most common lifestyle disorder is diabetes. Obesity with Diabetes or Diabesity is a deadly pair. 

The recent surge in the number of diabetic cases with obesity in India is worrisome. According to studies, factors like urbanization, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, consumption of tobacco, and growing life expectancy have amplified the number of people affected with diabetes. 

What is diabetes, and what are the different types of diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus, or diabetes, is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by elevated blood sugar levels. There are two types of Diabetes:

Type 1:  Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. This type of diabetes mainly affects children and teenagers.

Type 2: Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition where the body cannot use insulin the way it should. Type 2 diabetes is common among adults. Obesity, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle are major causes for developing this type of diabetes. In people with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes insulin. But the body cannot use insulin to assimilate blood sugar.

What is the link between type 2 diabetes and obesity?

Diabetes and obesity – ‘diabesity’ – are viciously linked to one another. Obesity hampers your body’s ability to control blood sugar with insulin. In overweight individuals, the fat deposits accumulated in the body releases increased amounts of fatty acids and other hormones. These increased levels of fatty acid, along with pro-inflammatory factors, makes your body less sensitive to insulin [1]. Therefore, diabetic individuals need to keep a check on their weight. 

How can you control the vicious cycle of Diabesity?

For individuals with diabetes, it is essential to maintain weight. To keep a check on weight, a person with diabetes, must follow an active lifestyle and switch from junk food to healthy eating habits. 

Lifestyle measures you can follow:

  • Include regular exercise
  • Avoid high-calorie foods
  • Include fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and water in your diet
  • Try to get adequate sleep of 7-8 hours 
  • Practice relaxation and breathing techniques to relieve stress

Along with a good diet and exercise, making sure that you take medications as directed by your doctor is of equal importance. Do not stop taking medicines without consulting your doctor. Remember that a healthy and happy life is in your hands and is entirely your choice in every aspect. 

References

  1. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-and-obesity.html.

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