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Weight Loss as the Essential Part of Diabetes Management

Today there is so much buzz and fuss about the epidemic of obesity that soon the necessity to lose some pounds will be treated as a sacred duty not only by fashion models and movie celebrities, but by every human being on Earth. On the other hand, it is true that humans are real tough nuts in their bad habits, and the majority of us still remain immunized against those passionate appeals from our doctors and health care providers, begging us to at least try saying goodbye to the belly fat and using all their imagination to draw dreadful pictures of health consequences in the future. Anyway, hot and spicy pizza or a box of favorite chocolates seem much more real for most of us than some potential health problems in future, which, by the way, may even not happen…

So, if you are fed up with all this healthy lifestyle propaganda – it is ok to order next pizza; but if you still have some interest in preserving your health for as long as God and global warming allow, please, go on reading.

Overweight, along with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, belongs to the list of criteria, which determine the so-called metabolic syndrome or syndrome X to make it more mysterious – a health condition, which is not a disorder itself, but it is a strong warning sign about the increased risks to develop serious health disorders, such as diabetes and heart problems, later in one’s life.

Besides, scientists name overweight and obesity as the key contributing factors to the development of type 2 diabetes. A clinical study, conducted in the USA in 2006, showed a strong relation between diabetes and excessive body weight. Diabetes was found in 18 of 1000 obese people and in 5 among 1000 overweight people. For comparison – only 2 among 1000 people with normal weight suffered from diabetes. Furthermore, according to American Diabetes Association nearly 9 out of 10 people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.

However, there is one important and particular issue about excessive body weight in the context of diabetes: here weight loss is not only a way to prevent or delay the development diabetes, but it is also an essential part of effective diabetes management. Speaking in other words, weight loss provides a therapeutic effect on people, who already have diabetes.

Here is a short list of quite real and clinically proven benefits for diabetes patients that can be obtained by just losing about 10-15 pounds:

Lowering elevated blood sugar. It is not a secret that having more sugar in one’s blood is the major concern with diabetes. If you can lower it by changing some eating habits and loosing some weight – that is very good, because it means you will need less medications to keep your diabetes under control.

Improved glycemic control. In order to check how well a patient could control his blood glucose over prolonged period of time a special test called HbA1c is used. People with diabetes have to undergo this testing every 2-3 months. If you loose weight – your results in HbA1c test are likely to be better. 

Increased “tolerance” to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is not always about the lack of insulin, often it is about insulin resistance – a condition, when body cells do not want to cooperate with available insulin. Weight loss advocates say that getting rid of some stored fat works against insulin resistance, making body cells more friendly and sensitive to those amounts of insulin, which are still produced by the pancreas.

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Of course, this list can be enriched with other true benefits of weight loss, such as lowering high blood pressure, fighting cholesterol, and even reducing the stress on knees, ankles and feet, which is also not of minor importance.

Finally, I would like to spike the last tack into the board with “Lose Weight for Better Diabetes Control” slogan on it by offering the conclusive results from the recent clinical study by Kaiser Permanente, which showed that people, who lose excess body fat right after being diagnosed with diabetes, are almost twice as successful in controlling their diabetes, than those, who did not lose weight or even gain some.


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