If there is one health condition that is truly reaching epidemic proportions in the United States, it is diabetes. The primary culprit for diabetes reaching epidemic proportions is obesity. The International Diabetes Foundation claims that diabetes and obesity are the “biggest public health challenge of the 21st century.”
Type 2 Diabetes Running Wild
From 1989 to 1999, the rate of diabetes in the United States increased by roughly 40 percent. During that same time period, the rate of obesity jumped from about 12 percent to nearly 20 percent. These are alarming statistics, but today type 2 diabetes is really running wild. Someone is diagnosed with diabetes every three seconds, and some estimates say that of all the children born in the year 2000, one in three will develop diabetes at some point.
The Unmistakable Link
Among people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, between 80 and 90 percent are also diagnosed as obese. When you carry excess weight on your body, it impairs your body’s ability to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. Obesity can also cause you to become resistant to insulin, which means you’ll need more insulin to get sugar into your cells if you already have diabetes. If you don’t have diabetes, the effects of insulin resistance cause you to develop diabetes.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight Is Key
It doesn’t often require a significant weight loss to reduce or even reverse many of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. If you are severely obese, you may need to lose a greater percentage of your body weight to notice a difference, but most people can see great results by dropping 5 to 10 percent of their weight.
These results may include preventing the disease altogether, reducing or eliminating your diabetes medication and preventing some of the most serious diabetes complications like blindness and stroke. The path from overweight with diabetes to no longer overweight without diabetes is different for everyone, and if you need help it is important to ask.
If your own doctor doesn’t have the necessary experience or resources, he or she can point you to someone that does. You may only need to modify your lifestyle to shed the unwanted weight, or you may require more substantial treatment, such as bariatric surgery. Whatever you need to do, it is important to take the first step and make it happen. Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to death.
In fact, the American Diabetes Association says that as recently as 2010, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Naturally, not all of those cases were obesity-related, but that is irrelevant. Take the disease seriously and do your part to eliminate it.
Don’t let diabetes be a part of your future. Contact our weight loss team at New Beginnings Weight Loss today for help.