obesity with diabetes a lethal combination

Obesity along with Diabetes: A Lethal Combination

Imagine a secret enemy base living next door like innocent neighbours. Although it appears inactive and harmless, it is quietly working around the clock to carry out lethal attacks on your city. The excess fat in obese patients is similar; it appears inactive but is constantly causing lethal damage to the body.

The story of hyperactive fat: For a long time, medical science thought that fat cells were like phone batteries—they just stored and released energy. But recent studies have a different story to tell—that of an unleashed enemy when fat is excessive. 

Weakening of our defence due to obesity

Our body has immune cells to fight bacteria and viruses. The fat cells, for their own overprotection, release false signals to these immune cells that they are diseased, even when they are not under any attack by pathogens. This sends local immune cells to become tizzy, causing chronic inflammation. In other words, obesity makes fat cells to behave as if they are infected all of the time, overworking our immune system. However, the good news is that shedding weight helps drop inflammation, which in turn helps the immune system work normal hours.

The story of hyperactive fat: For a long time, medical science thought that fat cells were like phone batteries—they just stored and released energy. But recent studies have a different story to tell—that of an unleashed enemy when fat is excessive. 

Excess Burden on the heart due to Obesity:

The more fat we store, the more blood vessels the body has to newly create to transport blood to all parts of the body. This also means a lot of extra work for the heart every day, which increases blood pressure. Secondly, the excess fat, called visceral fat, stored around the heart interacts with the heart in a negative way to develop heart disease over time. However, this process is reversible. For example, if we lose one kilogramme of weight, the body breaks down and absorbs the blood vessels it doesn’t need.

That’s not all. There are many other diseases for which excess body fat is the key reason. Several types of cancers, infertility, depression, the tendency to commit suicide, sexual dysfunction, arthritis, osteoporosis etc., too get either the onset or accelerated by obesity.

Obesity Triggers Diabetes

In healthy people, there is a switch that tells the liver to produce glucose only when the body is fasting. In obesity, this switch malfunctions and orders the liver to abnormally produce glucose, whether the person is fasting or not. This is the path to insulin resistance. This insulin resistance turns into full-blown diabetes when the excess fat attacks the pancreas—the organ responsible for producing insulin for controlling blood glucose—and impairs its ability to produce insulin. The most depressing news is that every six seconds, someone in the world dies from complications related to diabetes. Diabetes is the 7th-leading cause of death in the world.

Roughly 90% of patients with type 2 diabetes have excessive body fat. That’s why doctors coined the word Diabesity to signify the close relationship between diabetes and obesity.

Diabesity is very costly to live with. If a normal-weight person without diabetes spends, for example, Rs 1000 per year on healthcare, Diabesity sufferers may spend about Rs 4100 per year in comparison, due to the regular medicines, tests, etc. needed to monitor the disorder. These expenses only grow along with the progressive disease and its complications as time goes by.

Although more men than women develop diabetes, women face more complications such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, heart attacks, depression, etc. Among men, erectile dysfunction is the most common diabetes complication—about 75% of diabetic men confront it. The helpless feeling of type-2 diabetes patients is reinforced by the strong social and medical belief that, since diabetes was described thousands of years ago, it cannot be reversed.

In the early 1980s, surgeons first realised that many patients with type 2 diabetes who had undergone bariatric surgery for the treatment of morbid obesity experienced complete diabetes remission. Is bariatric surgery the right option for your diabesity? The first step of this journey is to understand what obesity means. Obesity is not measured only by your weight. The Body Mass Index (BMI), which measures your weight in relation to your height, is a common way to determine obesity and its severity.

What does World Health Organization (WHO) comments on Obesity?

WHO considers a BMI greater than 30 as class 1 obesity. BMI above 35 is Class II, i.e., serious obesity, and BMI above 40 is Class III, i.e., severe obesity. Minimally invasive bariatric weight-loss and diabetes surgery might be an option if your BMI is above 32.5 with type 2 diabetes, or for that matter, any other obesity-related comorbidity, or if your BMI is more than 37.5 without any comorbidity. One must discuss obesity issues with an expert bariatric surgeon. The time to act against it is NOW!

obesity with diabetes a lethal combination

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *