Obesity and Diabetes – A Deadly Combination


Obesity is a serious condition that needs to be properly managed to counter its effects. With a long list of complications linked to this condition, it is important for the afflicted to enroll in an active weight loss program which would propel them towards better and healthy living. However, not so many patients are lucky. Engaging in a weight loss program may be a little too late to attain the desired success. This may be attributed to the patients going down with diabetes. The effects of such a combination can be catastrophic. This is evident from the kind of suffering the afflicted have to endure as a result of numerous diseases attacking them.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that may take a number of years to manifest. The disease affects different organs and their systems as the patient progresses through its different stages of severity. However, the primary reason behind the increased prevalence of this disease, especially Type 2 diabetes, is the ever-increasing number of obese people, and the sedentary lifestyle that most of us are leading presently. The disease manifests itself when someone’s blood sugar levels are too high, and the hormone insulin which is supposed to assist the glucose in the blood to be absorbed into body cells is not used up properly by the body.

Having a high body mass index (BMI), which is the case for the obese greatly contributes to a condition known as metabolic syndrome. This is associated with insulin resistance which is the result of a reduced muscle mass and a corresponding increase in fat in the body. This simply means that the insulin in the blood finds it hard to pump sugar into body cells.

Since the combination of obesity and diabetes pose a challenge to manage, issues such as an increase in cholesterol and triglycerides come about. This increase is one of the primary causes of vascular diseases. In addition, high incidences of heart attacks, strokes, and an impaired supply of blood to lower limbs can be attributed to the elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. The increased levels of fats in the body are responsible for the poor functioning of the liver due to its enlargement.

Another complication that comes about from the combination of these two diseases is diabetic microangiopathy. This complication occurs as a result of the smallest arteries and arterioles becoming blocked over time from the deposition of carbohydrate products on them and the blood supply to many tissues is compromised as well. The deposition of these products is caused by an altered metabolism which is characteristic of diabetes. The blockage greatly interferes with the supply of blood to every important organ in the body. In effect, organ systems such as peripheral nerves, the retina, and the kidney are the most affected.

Peripheral neuropathy is another complication that is associated with diabetes. Most diabetics suffer great pain from this complication which ends up causing the loss of sensation in the lower limbs of the afflicted. As a result, the person is not in a position to recognize slight differences in heat, pressure, as well as minor injury. From the severity of the condition, the patient slowly develops ulcers and the skin on their feet ends up breaking down, a state that is very difficult to heal.

The combination of diabetes and obesity should be properly managed to avoid new complications from developing. Obese patients should be put on a program to help them in losing weight and improve their muscle mass.

About author


Dr. Rajesh Kapoor

Dr. Rajesh Kapoor is a renowened Bariatric Surgeon trained in advanced surgeries from different leading institutes of World. A gold medalist, Dr. Rajesh hold special expertise in Gastric Cancers, Bariatric & Metabolic Surgeries, etc. He is Director of GI&HPB Department at Jaypee Hospital, Noida

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