Is Obesity a Risk Factor For Type 1 Diabetes?
What is Obesity?
Obesity is a medical condition in which the excess accumulation of fat begins to have a negative impact on a person’s health. Obesity causes changes in the body’s metabolism and increases a person’s risk of developing other diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
Previously, type 1 diabetes (T1D) was also known as juvenile diabetes, because it is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. It is the less common form of diabetes, with only 5% of people suffering from this condition having a T1D diagnosis.
In T1D, the body either does not produce insulin or produces very little insulin. Insulin is a hormone that lowers blood sugar levels by removing glucose from the bloodstream. Without it, blood sugar levels may rise uncontrollably.
Various factors may contribute to type 1 diabetes, including family history, genetics, geography, and age. While there is no cure for T1D, it may be treated and managed via insulin therapy, specialized diets, and physical activity.
Obesity and Type 1 Diabetes
Obesity has long been known as a leading cause of type 2 diabetes; however, new research shows that obesity might also play a role in T1D. In a recent study on children predisposed to this condition, the relationship between body weight and age at diagnosis was examined. Ultimately, a strong correlation was seen between the weight of children and an earlier diagnosis. While this research did not prove that obesity causes type 1 diabetes, it did suggest that being overweight accelerates this process.
Physical activity and lifestyle both play an important role in preventing obesity, which may prevent or slow the development of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Because of this, following a healthy lifestyle, eating a balanced diet, and exercising daily may all contribute to reducing instances of this disease.
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.