Thursday, 4 November 2010

Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity and Diabetes

More than seventeen million Americans suffer from diabetes. This accounts for nearly 6.2 percent of the total population. In addition, nearly six million are not aware of the presence of the disease.

Diabetes is of two kinds. Both types are a result of malfunction of the hormone insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes occurs predominantly in childhood or adolescence. It results in elevated levels of blood glucose.

Nearly 90% of all cases of diabetes are Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs after age forty. However, it is increasingly becoming common for children and adolescents to suffer from this type of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes has an intricate link to obesity and lack of exercise. In this form of diabetes, the body does produce insulin but cannot utilize it in an effective way. Initially, there may be a rise in insulin levels to counter high blood sugar. However, over time the body fails to produce enough insulin, leading to complications. This directly leads to high blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar for long periods of time can cause heart ailments, strokes, blindness, failure of the kidneys, amputation of the feet, and complications in pregnancy.

The sheer number is intimidating: nearly 200,000 individuals die because of diabetes every year.
Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity and type 2 diabetes go hand in hand. Obese individuals are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes in comparison with individuals who have a normal weight. Obesity reduces the body’s ability to utilize insulin effectively, which can cause high blood sugar levels. Nearly 90 percent of individuals having type 2 diabetes are obese. The number of cases of diabetes has increased threefold since the 1990s. The trend is only going to rise. The trend can be directly traced to higher incidence of obesity and being overweight.

Prevention of Diabetes

It can be very pleasing to hear that type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Slight alteration to lifestyle and weight loss in the range of 5 to 10 percent can go a long way in the prevention of this disease. Lifestyle modifications include changes to diet and physical exercise. Walking for 150 minutes over a period of one week will reduce your weight and the chances of obesity. This can cut the risk of diabetes by nearly 40 to 60 percent.

Individuals already suffering from diabetes

Eat wisely to prevent high levels of blood sugar. Exercise regularly. Reduce levels of stress and make certain lifestyle changes. Weight loss, even of a few pounds, can go a long way in prevention of diabetes. This would also reduce the need for medication. Proper nutrition can also help to a great extent.

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