Health A to Z Last updated on 2023-03-29 11:34:27
How significant is weight in Diabetes management?
- Dr. Swati Kaktikar
- 8 Min Read
- Fact Checked
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels resulting from the body's inability to produce or use insulin effectively. Diabetes management involves several factors, including medication, exercise, and diet. However, weight plays a significant role in diabetes management, and maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for the prevention and management of diabetes.Table of contents
- How does weight affect diabetes?
- Why is maintaining a healthy body weight important for the prevention of diabetes?
- Does weight gain worsen diabetes?
- Can I cure diabetes by losing weight?
- Is diabetes always weight-related?
- Do normal-weight people get diabetes?
- Benefits of weight loss in type 2 diabetes
- How much weight do I need to lose to reverse diabetes?
- Diabetes Care Program
- What you’ll get..
- What the 3 months program entails?
- How to book Diabetes Care Program?
How does weight affect diabetes?
Weight can have a significant impact on the development, management, and progression of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for about 90-95% of all diabetes cases*, is primarily caused by insulin resistance, which means that the body becomes less responsive to insulin's effects, resulting in high blood glucose levels. The exact cause of insulin resistance is not fully understood, but obesity and excess weight are known to be significant risk factors for the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Excess body fat, particularly around the waistline, can contribute to insulin resistance by causing chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and the release of free fatty acids into the bloodstream. These factors can interfere with insulin's ability to regulate blood glucose levels, leading to high blood sugar levels and eventually to the development of diabetes.
Research has shown that even modest weight loss (5-10% of body weight) can significantly improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood glucose levels, and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes*. In addition, weight loss can improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is a significant complication of diabetes.
For those already diagnosed with diabetes, weight management is an essential part of diabetes management. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications can help to control blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of developing complications such as heart disease, nerve damage, and kidney damage.
Why is maintaining a healthy body weight important for the prevention of diabetes?
Maintaining healthy body weight is essential for the prevention of diabetes, as excess body fat increases the risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes.
When insulin resistance occurs, the pancreas produces more insulin to try to compensate, but eventually, the body cannot produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range. This leads to elevated blood sugar levels, which can cause a variety of health problems.
Excess body fat, particularly around the waistline, is a major risk factor for insulin resistance, and when that happens, can sometimes trigger the release of free fatty acids into the bloodstream, which eventually accumulates in the liver and skeletal muscles, causing lipotoxicity that further increases the risk of
- Insulin resistance (it’s a vicious cycle) and, eventually, diabetes
- Cardiovascular diseases (excess fatty acid can lead to accumulation of fat in blood vessels causing heart diseases and strokes)
- Fatty liver disease, and
- Inflammation (this can further lead to chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart diseases)
Maintaining a healthy body weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help to prevent the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Weight loss has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood glucose levels, and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In addition to preventing diabetes, maintaining a healthy body weight can also reduce the risk of developing other health problems associated with obesity, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer.
Does weight gain worsen diabetes?
Yes, weight gain not just worsens diabetes but also increases your risk for other medical conditions like high cholesterol levels, heart diseases, strokes, arthritis, cancer, liver diseases, etc.
So this is how excess body fat cause these medical conditions:
Excess body fats cause insulin resistance. Once insulin resistance occurs, causes the release of free fatty acids into the bloodstream, which accumulate in the liver. The liver cells convert these free fatty acids to triglycerides and VLDL (very low-density lipoproteins) and release them back into the bloodstream.
(Very simply put, the liver combines 3 molecules of free fatty acids together to form a triglyceride molecule)
Some of these triglycerides accumulate in your blood vessels, increasing your cholesterol levels. The rest of it goes back into fat cells, gets broken down, and is again released into the bloodstream as free fatty acids, which are then released back into the bloodstream and liver. It’s a vicious cycle — the more weight you gain, the more risk of developing various health complications also increases, including but not limited to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and musculoskeletal disorders.
Can I cure diabetes by losing weight?
Losing weight can help to improve blood sugar control and reduce the need for diabetes medications, but it cannot cure diabetes.
Losing weight can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance, making it easier for the body to regulate blood sugar levels. Even a modest weight loss of 5-10% of body weight can have a significant impact on reducing blood sugar levels and improving diabetes management. Weight loss achieved through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help to lower HbA1c levels (a measure of average blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months) and reduce the need for diabetes medications.
However, it is important to note that diabetes is a chronic condition that cannot be cured. Even with weight loss and improved blood sugar control, diabetes will still require ongoing management and monitoring. This includes regular blood sugar monitoring, maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, and taking medications as prescribed by a healthcare provider.
Is diabetes always weight-related?
No, diabetes is not always weight-related. While excess body weight, particularly around the waistline, is a significant risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, there are other factors that can contribute to the development of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes, for example, is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This results in a lack of insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels and the development of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is not related to body weight or lifestyle factors and cannot be prevented through weight loss or other lifestyle modifications.
In addition to type 1 diabetes, other factors that can contribute to the development of diabetes include genetics, family history, age, and ethnicity. Some ethnic groups, such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans, are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, even with a healthy body weight *.
Furthermore, some medications, such as corticosteroids and certain antipsychotic medications, can also increase the risk of developing diabetes. Gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy, is also not related to body weight and is caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy.
Do normal-weight people get diabetes?
Yes, normal-weight people can get diabetes. While being overweight or obese is a significant risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, there are other factors that can also contribute to the development of diabetes.
One of these factors is genetics. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to developing diabetes, even if they have a healthy body weight. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as physical inactivity, poor diet, and smoking can also increase the risk of developing diabetes, regardless of body weight.
Moreover, there is a condition called "lean diabetes," which refers to people with a healthy body weight who develop diabetes due to insulin resistance and other metabolic abnormalities. People with lean diabetes tend to have higher levels of visceral fat, which is a type of body fat that surrounds organs in the abdomen, even though they may have a healthy overall body weight.
Benefits of weight loss in type 2 diabetes
Weight loss can have significant benefits for people with type 2 diabetes, including:
Improved blood sugar control: Losing weight can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance, making it easier for the body to regulate blood sugar levels.
Reduced need for diabetes medications: As blood sugar levels improve with weight loss, the need for diabetes medications may be reduced or even eliminated. This can lead to cost savings and fewer side effects associated with diabetes medications.
Lowered risk of diabetes-related complications: People with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of developing diabetes-related complications, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage. Losing weight can help to reduce the risk of these complications and improve overall health.
Improved cardiovascular health: Weight loss can help to improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and the risk of heart disease.
Improved quality of life: Losing weight can lead to improvements in energy levels, mood, and overall quality of life. It can also help to improve mobility and reduce joint pain associated with carrying excess body weight.
It is important to note that weight loss should be achieved through a balanced diet and regular exercise rather than fad diets or extreme calorie restrictions. A healthcare provider can provide guidance on safe and effective weight loss strategies for people with type 2 diabetes.
How much weight do I need to lose to reverse diabetes?
The amount of weight that needs to be lost to reverse diabetes can vary depending on the individual and their specific situation. However, research has shown that even modest weight loss can have a significant impact on diabetes management and even lead to remission in some cases.
A study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology found that losing just 10-15% of body weight was associated with a 90% remission rate in people with type 2 diabetes. For example, someone who weighs 200 pounds would need to lose 20-30 pounds to achieve a 10-15% weight loss.
However, it is important to note that weight loss alone may not be enough to reverse diabetes. Other lifestyle factors, such as regular physical activity and a healthy diet, are also important for diabetes management and reversal. In addition, some people with type 2 diabetes may require medication or insulin therapy, even with weight loss and lifestyle changes.
Furthermore, it is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine a safe and effective weight loss goal and plan. Rapid weight loss can be harmful to people with diabetes, as it can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels and potentially lead to other health complications.
Diabetes Care Program
That’s why keeping all these in mind, we’ve designed a Diabetes Care Program to help you manage and reverse your diabetes effectively.
It is a scientifically designed program based on the American diabetes association recommendations.
It's an on-demand 3-month program led by a team of health professionals, including diabetologists, fitness trainers, and a dietitian.
They'll work together to create a personalized plan based on your unique needs and goals. The program is designed to help you make healthy behavioral changes that can lead to better blood sugar control, weight loss, and overall improved health.
What you’ll get..
With our Diabetes Care Program, you'll receive expert guidance and support every step of the way toward managing your diabetes and living a healthier life.
When you sign up, we'll connect you with a Care Manager who will help you throughout the program. Our care Managers are certified dietitians and will be your health coach through this journey.
We will assess your general health and Diabetes at the beginning of the program through a whole-body check. Based on this, your dietitian will formulate a personalized dietary plan just for you based on your dietary habits and choices.
Our care managers will guide you and help in making any dietary changes as and when needed.
Our program is all about helping manage your diabetes by making healthy behavioral changes. Our Care Manager will support you along the way to help you achieve your health goals.
The goal is for you to take control of your health and enjoy a happier life with fewer diabetes-related complications. Start your journey towards better health today!
What the 3 months program entails?
- Unlimited consultations with top diabetologists
- 2 at-home blood tests — one at the start and one at the end of the program
- Weekly fitness sessions
- Weekly and On-demand follow up by our Care Managers
- Monthly (every 28 days) follow-up by diabetologists and dietitians (but should you want to speak with them anytime, you can always let your Care Manager know)
How to book Diabetes Care Program?
Follow these simple steps:
- Download the MFine app
- Register using your phone number
- Next, click on “Complete Care Programs” at the top of your screen
- Click on “Diabetes Reversal Program” to get started
Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help keep diabetes under control. The American Diabetes Association recommends lifestyle style modification as an important treatment strategy. Weight management is a crucial component of diabetes management. Excess fat deposition, especially around the abdomen, can increase insulin resistance and make blood sugar levels harder to control. However, even a small reduction of 5% to 10% of body weight can significantly improve blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of complications, and improve overall health. Moreover, weight management can also help in managing other risk factors associated with diabetes, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Therefore, adopting healthy eating habits and regular physical activity can help manage diabetes effectively, leading to a healthier and happier life.
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