Diabetes And Weight Loss: What You Should Know
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious medical condition characterized by high blood sugar levels because the beta cells are unable to make insulin or the body becomes resistant to it. Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells located in a gland known as the pancreas. Normally, this hormone attaches itself to the receptor cells outside the body’s cells to increase their glucose uptake. This is important so the body’s cells can use glucose as energy. If the body cannot make enough insulin, glucose will build up in the blood stream, which can lead to high blood sugar levels. If left untreated, high blood sugar levels can lead to health problems such as blindness, nerve damage and kidney problems. There are two main types of diabetes, that is type 1 and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a serious autoimmune condition which occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the beta cells. As a result, the pancreas cannot produce insulin, which leads to high blood sugar. On the other hand, T2D occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the body becomes resistant to it. T2D is the most common type of diabetes, affecting 90 percent of people with this condition.
Diabetes and Weight Loss
Type 2 diabetes is normally associated with weight, where being overweight is considered a high risk for developing T2D. Being overweight is one of the risk factors of diabetes, generally. Studies show that being overweight increases your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. However, if you maintain a healthy weight through exercise and diet, you can prevent diabetes. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, losing weight can help you manage your condition better. Losing up to seven percent of your body weight can reduce your risk of getting diabetes by up to 60 percent. The first step of losing weight is to weigh yourself. Knowing your weight will give you an idea of how much weight you may need to lose. If you want to lose weight, but also want to keep it off, you have to exercise and watch your diet daily. However, before you add exercise into your routine, it is important you discuss it first with your doctor. Depending on your medical condition, they can help you find the right exercise program that is suited for you. If you are overweight, exercising regularly can help you shed weight and help your body use insulin more efficiently. Insulin is the hormone that helps glucose enter the body’s cells to be used or stored for energy. Exercising regularly makes receptor sites outside the body cells more receptive to the effects of insulin.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
Some people with T2D or pre-diabetes may not develop any signs and symptoms at first. However, in T2D, the symptoms can develop quickly and can be severe.
The following are the signs and symptoms of diabetes.
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Extreme hunger
- Blurred vision
- Unexplained weight loss
- Slow healing wounds
If you notice any of the above signs and symptoms of diabetes, you should make an appointment to visit your doctor. The earlier you are diagnosed with diabetes, the earlier the treatment can begin.
Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.