Diabesity is the combination of diabetes and obesity and it just may very well be the largest health epidemic in human history. The epidemic is expected to plague 366 million people in 2030 (2. Wild S, Roglic G, Green A, Sicree R, King H. Global prevalence of diabetes: estimates for the year 2000 and projections for 2030. Diabetes Care. 2004 May;27(5):1047-53.)
- Nearly 60% of the population has a genetic predisposition for the development of diabetes and/or obesity. The predisposition is accelerated with poor diet and leads to chronic illnesses.
- 2 out 3 patients are overweight or obese.
- 1 out 3 adult patients have pre diabetes.
- 1 out 10 adult patients will have diabetes.
What most people do not realize is that thin people are not immune to blood sugar problems and they get diabetes, likely due to food choices, just like those who are overweight. Yes, TOFI (thin outside fat inside) is a new term used to describe those who are thin in appearance but have the same health risk factors as those who are obese. Diabetes does not discriminate based on weight.
Over consumption of sugars and low quality carbohydrates can lead to glucose toxicity and chronic illness well before diabetes is diagnosed. Glucose toxicity means a decrease in insulin secretion and an increase in insulin resistance due to chronic hyperglycemia. It is now generally accepted that glucose toxicity is involved in predisposing about 60% of individuals to carbohydrate intolerance and the worsening of diabetes by affecting the secretion of β-cells.
Increases in any type of sugar consumption even from “healthy sources” like fruit, dairy or starch will lead to high blood sugar and elevated insulin levels.
High insulin levels promote inflammation and chronic poor health conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) autoimmune diseases (e.g. Celiac disease), acanthosis nigricans, cancer and so many other conditions.
Diabesity or TOFI diabetes is a silent killer and can go undetected for many years because symptoms are not recognized and therefore ignored and untreated. Blood sugar disorders do not have to plague the world.
Knowing the tell tale signs of abnormal blood sugar and how to take action to normalize it will help keep you healthy.
You are the most important part of your health care team. Communication with your doctor and early identification of any symptoms with appropriate testing is an important part of a very doable diabetes solution. The first step to treatment is to be self aware of the symptoms. There are signs that you, not your doctor, will experience. So you are the critical factor in keeping yourself healthy at the earliest stage of any medical condition. Then it is your job to communicate the how and what with your doctor. Your physician can then confirm any suspiscions you have with clinical lab tests.
Check in next week and read all about the tell tale signs, clinical references and lab tests that can help you stay well.