The Link Between Obesity and Diabetes

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes and a further 84 million have prediabetes. Nearly 40% of American adults are obese. The overlap between groups with either condition is substantial.

While age and genetics can play a part in the development of both diabetes and obesity, lifestyle is the most common factor in people who have both. This is good news because it means there are things you can do to mitigate your personal risk. 

At Hayes Endocrine and Diabetes Center in Nashville, Tennessee, Dr. Andrea Hayes can help you manage your weight and blood sugar levels, giving you your best chance at avoiding the complications of diabetes and obesity so you stay healthy long-term. With her help and certain changes to your lifestyle, you can regain control over your health and avoid what has become known as diabesity

Food, insulin, and diabetes

When you eat, everything you consume is broken down by your body into simpler forms. Carbohydrates turn into glucose, which is a type of sugar. This sugar enters your bloodstream, making your blood glucose rise. In response, your pancreas produces and releases a hormone called insulin, which helps sugar move out of your blood and be utilized by or eliminated from your body. 

Type 1 diabetes usually features an inability of your pancreas to make insulin. Type 2 diabetes can mean reduced insulin production or insulin resistance, meaning insulin can’t get into your blood cells to release the glucose trapped inside them. The result is out-of-control blood glucose levels, which can cause ongoing and lasting harm to your body.

The diabetes-weight link

When your body carries extra fat, you’re more likely to experience insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, your insulin production can slow down because your body senses insulin is in your bloodstream but not being used. 

This creates a vicious cycle. Gaining weight makes it more likely you’ll become obese or diabetic, but being diabetic means it’s difficult to lose weight. The solution to excess fat is to lose weight, but your body can’t effectively deal with blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance and lowered insulin production.

You can break the cycle

Dr. Hayes is a diabetic herself and knows firsthand the struggle to stay healthy and avoid unwanted and dangerous weight gain. She works with you to create a lifestyle plan that includes sensible nutrition and exercise, plus medication if needed to help control blood sugar levels.

By achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, you can steer clear of the serious health threats posed by the combination of diabetes and obesity and break the cycle.  

Whether you already have diabetes, are prediabetic, or are worried about weight you can’t seem to lose, Dr. Hayes can help. Call our office at 615-206-7852 or book an appointment using our online scheduler today.

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