What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disorder in which there is a high level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. It is the most common form of diabetes. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas by special cells, called beta cells. When you have type 2 diabetes, your fat, liver and muscle cells do not respond correctly to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. As a result, blood sugar does not get into these cells to be stored for energy. When sugar cannot enter cells, a high level of sugar builds up in the blood. This is called hyperglycemia. Family history and genes play a role in type 2 diabetes. Low activity level, poor diet, and excess body weight around the waist increase your chance of getting the disease.
What is Obesity?
An obese person has accumulated so much body fat that it might have a negative effect on their health. If a person’s body weight is at least 20% higher than it should be, he or she is considered obese. Obesity can in turn lead to complications like Diabetes, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Osteoarthritis.
What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?
The BMI is a statistical measurement derived from your height & weight. It is considered to be a useful way to estimate healthy body weight fat.
It is calculated by the following formula:
BMI = Weight (in Kilograms) / Height (in m.) X Height (in m.)
If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9, you are considered overweight. If your BMI is 30 or over you are considered obese.
Is there a link between Obesity and Diabetes?
Of the people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, about 80 to 90% are also diagnosed as obese. This fact provides an interesting clue to the link between diabetes and obesity. Understanding what causes the disease will hopefully allow us to prevent diabetes in the future.
Being overweight places extra stress on your body in a variety of ways, including your body’s ability to maintain proper blood glucose levels. In fact, being overweight can cause your body to become resistant to insulin. If you already have diabetes, this means you will need to take even more insulin to get sugar into your cells. And if you don’t have diabetes, the prolonged effects of the insulin resistance can eventually cause you to develop the disease.
What can you do to prevent diabetes?
The good news is type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. Research studies have found that lifestyle changes and small amounts of weight loss in the range of 5-10% can prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes among high-risk adults. Lifestyle interventions including diet and moderate-intensity physical activity (such as walking for 150 minutes per week) were used in these research studies to produce small amounts of weight loss. The development of diabetes was reduced 40% to 60% during these studies that lasted 3 to 6 years. Preventing weight gain, increasing activity levels and working toward small amounts of weight loss if you are overweight can have a big impact on the likelihood that you will develop diabetes in the future. Managing your weight is the best thing you can do to prevent the development of diabetes.
What can you do if you already have diabetes?
You can have a positive influence on your overall health by choosing foods wisely, exercising regularly, reducing your stress level, and correct medical treatment. Small amounts of weight loss (losing 10 pounds or more) can also have a big effect on how easily you can keep your blood sugar in the healthy range and can help prevent the complication of diabetes. Small amounts of weight reduction can decrease the amount of medication you need to keep your blood sugar in the healthy range.