January 07, 2018

Understanding Diabesity: How Does Obesity Cause Diabetes?

Understanding Diabesity

Diabesity – a description of diabetes caused by obesity – sounds frightening, like a Frankenstein creation of disease. But the condition doesn’t have to be a horror. With lifestyle adjustments, it can be controlled.

Diabesity occurs when the body is not processing blood sugars properly, which leads to high glucose, says Vasdev Lohano, MD, a Baptist Health Medical Group endocrinologist in New Albany, Indiana.

But the underlying problem is much more than blood sugar, Dr. Lohano said. It begins with obesity and progresses to insulin resistance, which along with high blood sugar, can cause high blood pressure, high “bad” cholesterol and other problems that ultimately can lead to heart disease, stroke and death.

Dr. Lohano explained that those with prediabetes – not yet diagnosed with diabetes but with abnormal blood sugar – can benefit the most from changing their habits. Prediabetes is typically defined as having a fasting blood sugar between 100 and 125. If those with prediabetes work to lose 7 percent of their body weight through diet and exercise they have a 60 percent chance of going from prediabetes to normal levels.

Learn more about Baptist Health Diabetes Care and about how you can get started with our exercise programs and special events along with support groups.

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