• Dr. Julie McLaughlin

Obesity And Type 2 Diabetes


The connection between obesity and Type 2 Diabetes is well known, 80% of individuals who are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes are either overweight or obese with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or more. Children who are obese are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes earlier and earlier in life which is very sad. This is a disease that can and must be prevented.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is also known as Diabetes Mellitus. It is the most common form of the diabetes and in the United States; it is the 7th leading cause of death. T2D is also a leading cause of heart disease and inflammation. Type 2 Diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels become elevated in the blood due to either insulin resistance or to the lack of production of insulin, which works to remove sugars from the blood.

Type 2 Diabetes can lead to long-term complications and other serious medical

conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, eye disease, and amputations. It also increases your risk of other diseases such as kidney disease and coronary heart disease.

The symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes begin to take place when your body is not responding to insulin correctly. Insulin is an important hormone that is released by your pancreas. Every time you eat, your body breaks down starches and the sugars you consume and turns them into glucose. Glucose is the product that fuels the cells in your body. Special cells called "beta cells" release insulin, and the insulin transports the glucose to the cells so it can be used as energy.

Glucose will remain in your bloodstream if it is not transported to your cells, and if too much of it builds up in your bloodstream, it can result in T2D. The cells in your body can become energy-starved and eventually, the high glucose levels begin to affect your nerves, your eyes, your kidneys, and/or your heart.

The Connection Between Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

There is continuous research being done on the subject of why overweight and obese i

ndividuals are so much more likely to develop Diabetes Mellitus in addition to Metabolic Syndrome. One of the most well-known theories on the relationship between obesity and Type 2 Diabetes is that the condition of being overweight causes changes in the cells of your body that makes them resistant to insulin. This condition is called "insulin resistance." In the United States, the number of individuals developing

Type 2 Diabetes is climbing and the increase correlates with the rise in the number of overweight individuals. According to the ADA (American Diabetes Association), there are 29.1 million adults diagnosed with diabetes, and 90 to 95% of those cases are type 2. In 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 years or older had pre-diabetes, in 2010 that number was 79 million.

The condition of pre-diabetes occurs when fasting blood sugar levels fall above

normal ranges of 100, but have not yet reached levels that require a diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus above 110. Pre-diabetes can also be detected if you have elevate insulin but normal glucose. It is very important to ask your doctor to check not only your glucose, but also HgA1C, insulin, GSP and Homa-IR if you are overweight, have a family history of diabetes or have had a previously elevated glucose test. At McLaughlin Care, Dr. McLaughlin tests for all 5 of these markers when lookin at Metabolic risk for her patients.

Lower The Weight, Lower The Risk

Numerous research studies have revealed that it even if overweight individuals would make an effort to lose just 5% to 7% of their body weight, it could make a significant difference in their overall health. Even if they have already been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, the progression of the disease can be considerably slowed and even reversed just by losing body weight. People who have lost significant amount of weight, reverse the condition and are able to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

The Role Of Belly Fat

It is not only how much an individual weighs that matters, it also matters which area of their body is carrying the majority of their weight that can increase their risk for health problems, including type 2 Diabetes. Research has shown that those who carry the majority of their weight around the waistline area (visceral fat, aka belly fat) are more likely to develop and suffer from more health issues related to their obesity than those who carry the majority of their weight in their hips and thighs area. Women's waist measurements should be less than 35 inches and 40 inches for Men

Bottom Line

Losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If it has been awhile since you have had your labs done call McLaughlin Care and Dr. McLaughlin will get you set up for a complete lab analysis of not only your diabetes markers but for you cardiovascular system as well. Functional medicine is our preferred method of treatment, prevenetion and reversal of this disease. We recomend our 8 Weeks to Wellness program which encompasses eating better, moving better, thinking better and sleeping better. This is a national wellness program that has a proven tract record at not only controlling T2D but actually reversing it. The lifestyle procotols we use are diet, supplementation, exercise, chiropractic, massage and meditation. If you or someone in your family needs help with this condition please call our office 847-234-2346.

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