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How does obesity cause diabetes?
We are a nation of the overweight. A strange dichotomy, as we are also a nation obsessed with exercise. We are surrounded by marketing media flooding every moment that we are awake with all of the foods and goodies that we shouldn’t eat; but we do eat anyway. The latest generation is the first one to have such a high rate of obesity and diabetes. While we might attribute part of that to a culture that insists on sitting behind a computer or game screen, the facts are there. There is a definite correlation between being overweight and diabetes.
Obesity is defined as increased weight gain due to unhealthy dietary practices. This is typically twenty percent above the ideal mass of the body. In approaching the question of how does obesity cause diabetes, we have to understand that a healthy body has a well balanced increase and decrease of glucose levels. Obesity causes the build up of fats around cell walls. The liver loses the ability for the metabolism of glucose. Glucose is supplied with the help of the insulin hormone. In essence, obesity reduces the body’s ability to use insulin properly. A glucose build up is deposited in the urine.
Another affecting factor is that obesity can completely offset the fine balance of hormones in the body. The imbalance can directly affect any potential or inherited factor that the patient might have towards a diabetic condition.
It is also believed that as a person ages, there is a lowering of physical activity. The additional body weight adds pressure to the pancreas, which is responsible for insulin production. The pancreas is a major player in our bodies, because the insulin is what breaks down the sugars that we consume.
Two unusual terms that are used when discussing the topic of obesity are: Endoplasmic reticulum stress (also known as ER stress) and overnutrition. ER stress is usually a result of overnutrition. Overnutrition is when the caloric intake of the body exceeds the body’s ability to use the calories. ER stress is the lack of the ability to synthesize the proteins and process the blood fats. In this state, the body usually stops insulin production on a temporary basis.
IRS suppression isn’t a radical group determined to end a government process. It actually refers to insulin receptor substrates. These are receptors inside the cells that react to insulin. When they are suppressed, any insulin that is present is not used.
The human body is designed for survival. One of the downsides of this is resistin. It is thought that resistin is a body defense against famine. Resistin is produced by fat cells and causes them to resist insulin. We return back to the second paragraph to see that this can add to a no win situation.
The state of obesity causes a myriad of chemical actions and reactions which, in essence, reduces the ability of insulin production and the use of any insulin that may have been produced.
If we want our children and the next generations of children to be healthy, we will have to rid educate on what not to eat, fill school cafeterias with healthier food and require that food manufacturers focus on healthy contents. In addressing the question of how does obesity cause diabetes, we have to be ready to apply the solutions.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Diabetes Prevention14 May 2010|