Worldwide obesity has been more than doubled since 1980. It appears that the world’s population just keeps on getting fatter and heavier. The heavier you are, the greater is the risk for you to develop diabetes. This explains the upwards growth of diabetes over the years. There are more and more people who are becoming affected by diabetes and sad to say, it’s not just among adults. Diabetes is more and more often dictated in our youth over time, indicating just how large of a problem this is really coming to be. And it is shocking to note that in 2013 alone, 42 million children below 5 years old were obese or overweight! More and more adults and children are being affected by diabetes as their weight continues to take a surge upwards into the obese category.
But how does body fat contribute to diabetes and what’s the correlation between body fat and diabetes that you have to take note of? Let’s take a closer look at the connection between body fat and diabetes so you can understand the link that’s coming into play so that you know how to take precautions. Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreas. It’s main function is to extract glucose or sugar out of the bloodstream and infuse it into the body cells whereby it is either burnt to produce energy or stored. Insulin is distributed to the cell via a receptor ( just like a key entering the door lock) on the cell surface. Once connected, the big sugar molecules enter the cell profusely. Thus without insulin, sugar cannot reach the cells, and the blood sugar level surges to a high level. Once there are problems with the cell receptors or malfunctioning inside the cells, the strength of insulin flow becomes reduced and lower.
This is referred to as insulin resistance. Not enough glucose is channeled into the cells while excess sugar is retained in the bloodstream. The initial issue that’s going to crop up is the fact that the more fat you have sitting on the body, the higher the level of insulin that will be needed in order to distribute the glucose to the cells after carbohydrates are consumed. Fat that is accumulated in the abdomen or belly around the organs is most detrimental and could be the key to your type 2 diabetes. This fat will form a coating around the cells and makes it difficult for hormone insulin to transport glucose into the cells with ease. This results in insulin resistance. If the insulin secreted is not sufficient to deliver glucose to the cells, the glucose will stay in the blood stream causing high blood glucose which is the actual problem with diabetes in the first place. As more and more body fat continues to accumulate, more and more insulin will regularly be required and this overproduction of insulin can really do harm your body’s system.
When your body fat is at it’s high, this also indicates that you’re taking a diet that contains insufficient amount of fruits and vegetables most of the time. Instead, those who have high levels of body fat most likely eat high fat snack foods, highly processed breakfast, fast foods and cereal bars, and so on. Because they’re feeding their bodies with these food items that are lacking in nutrients rather than the more nutritious vegetables and fruits that you actually need, this is going to starve and stress your pancreas and make it even harder to secrete the amount of insulin needed to work on the glucose in the blood. Eventually, when there is increased fat in the blood stream due to elevated levels of body fat, this can trigger a particular receptor in the body called GPR40, which normally reacts to high levels of blood sugar by boosting a higher increase in insulin production. But when fat is also found other than the sugar in the blood, this activates these receptors even further, therefore you receive an even greater production of insulin. Thus, over time this gradually strain and wear on the pancreas until finally it’s totally worn out and just not working properly any more. So these are the various ways in which body fat is correlated to the progress of diabetes that you should know about. Although some diabetes pills can help the body cells to improve insulin sensitivity, they often come with potential side-effects.
Therefore, the best recommendations for those who are right now at risk for diabetes is to cut down their overall level of body fat as soon as possible. Weight loss through regular exercise and cutting calories by far is the best way to reduce insulin resistance and lessen the severity of diabetes.