For more than 30 million Americans, diabetes or prediabetes is a fact of life. Being overweight is a major factor that can make a person susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, the body either resists the effects of insulin or it doesn’t produce enough insulin for the cells to maintain proper levels of glucose (sugar). Insulin is a hormone that regulates the sugar in your body’s cells, and being overweight puts excess pressure on your body in regulating these levels.
If you have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, losing weight can make a significant positive impact on your health and diabetes management. Let’s take a look at how your weight affects – and can be affected by – diabetes.
Weight Gain and Diabetes
Obesity is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, but actually any amount of excess weight makes you more likely to have diabetes. In fact, 90 percent of people diagnosed are overweight. In addition, fat that is concentrated around your waist (belly fat) carries an even greater link.
For those who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, excess weight can make your body become resistant to insulin. Your pancreas therefore makes more insulin in response to this resistance, and the pancreas can eventually lose function from being overworked.
How Weight Loss Can Help
According to the American Diabetes Association, losing just a few pounds can make diabetes more manageable. Plus, obesity is also linked with heart disease, so losing weight truly improves your overall health.
Losing weight therefore reduces the need for insulin medication, decreases feelings of depression, and can reduce or eliminate obstructive sleep apnea.
Why Diabetes Can Make Losing Weight More Difficult
Maintaining your weight after losing it successfully is hard for everyone, but these are some additional hurdles you may face if you have type 2 diabetes:
- Medication to lower blood sugar can cause weight gain.
- People who are treated for depression or other psychiatric disorders (which are common with diabetes) may take medicine that causes weight gain.
- Peripheral nerve damage (diabetic peripheral neuropathy) can affect the body’s ability to maintain weight.
- Changes in metabolism related to diabetes can make weight loss more difficult.
Strategies for Weight Management
It is important to remember that weight loss is a long-term process, and patience is important. Dramatic changes in eating habits may cause you to lose weight right away, but this is virtually impossible to maintain.
Below are some excellent ways for those dealing with diabetes to manage their weight:
- Evaluate your lifestyle. Are you eating out of habit and not when you’re hungry? Are you including physical activity in your daily routine?
- Stick to your plan. Developing a safe weight-loss plan with your primary care provider will help with accountability, and your doctor will make sure the plan will work for your lifestyle.
- Make good food choices. Set realistic expectations for the foods you eat; complete deprivation of the foods you love can lead to failure. Your doctor can advise you about good snacks, too.
Doctor in Palm Beach County
Working with a trusted primary care physician is one of the best things you can do for diabetes management – and for your overall good health. Advanced Medical Clinic in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach offers continuity of care throughout our patients’ lives.
Our experienced medical staff take the time to get to know our patients at their wellness exams, and we are here to help you manage diabetes and other chronic conditions. We will help you set realistic goals and keep you on track for success.
Call (561) 434-1935 for an appointment at Advanced Medical Clinic today, or fill out our online appointment request form. We offer same-day appointments for your convenience. We look forward to serving you and helping you live an active, healthy lifestyle you enjoy.