How Obesity causes High Glucose Levels and Diabetes

There is a very distinct connection between high levels of blood glucose and obesity. According to recent studies, overwight people are up to 80 times more likely to develop diabetes type 2 aslo known as adult-onset diabetes because of insulin resistance developed over time

How does obesity cause diabetes?

The exact mechanism is still being studied but some findings are already available.

Obesity causes high glucose levels and then type 2 diabetes by developing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that your body cells are no longer able to absorb glucose from your blood even if your pancreas produces sufficient insulin. This happens when insulin receptors become impaired and you cells do not get a signal to start sugar uptake. In this condition, body cells get no energy and a person feels feeble and exhausted, even after having meals and with high sugar levels in blood flow.

How does insulin resistance develop in overweight people?

Obesity means that a person has too much fat stored in her bay. The fat is also referred to as adipose tissue and the fat cells as adipocytes. At least 2 ways are suggested by researchers:

  1. According to studies, abdominal adipose tissue cell membranes called endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are stressed by excess nutrients they are unable to process. The stress makes adipocytes release chemicals also known as cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that trigger inflamatory processes and also impair the work of insulin receptors. In people with excess fat this process becomes chronic. Chronic inflammation also damages blood vessels and the heart. For this reason, excess weight due to to abdominal fat is the most danferous obesity type.

  2. Excess abdominal fat changes the body’s metabolism as a result of which adipocytes release fat molecules into the blood, which also impairs the reaction of body cells to insulin. The result is the so-called metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that includes high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides (fat in your blood), low levels of HDL (high density lipids or the “good” cholesterol), and too much fat around the waist.

Does exercise help obese people with high glucose levels?

Exercising and losing weight helps cease the metabolic syndrome, lower blood glucose, reduce the severity or even reverse insulin resistance and even reverse T2D. The reason is that muscle contraction stimulates glucose transport activity even in insulin-resistant muscles as low lowers glucose levels naturally. But for a long-lasting effect the exercise should be systematic and involve lifestyle changes. Losing a few pounds and then switching back to the old hypodynamic lifestyle and diet does not help.

Historical and Genetic Factors

Lifestyle is not the only factor contributing to developing diabetes, historical and ethnic differences also play a role. Theare not too many studies and full-fledged researches covering all ethnic groups is difficult to run due to massive migrations, travel and merging of entnic groups.

To be as brief as possible, glucose was not so accessible to our ancestors in the remote past as it is to us. This means that in the process of natural selection their bodies were not tuned up for fighting high blood glucose. Their purpose was quite the contrary: to store glucose for a better chance of surviving food shortages. It is only over a few past decades that glucose became so available but our bodies have been accomodating to totally different conditions for millions of years. More than that, the process of natual selection has virtually stopped over the past decades: families have less babies than before, 1 to 3, while infant and child mortality went down to the lowest levels do to availability of medical aid and / or life supporting therapies.

Some nationalities develop diabetes faster than others. For example, eskimos historically accomodated to survive on fatty fish, meat and animal fats, or sometimes even raw blood, are not ajusted to process rapid rises of blood glucose with sugar and refined foods. As a result, many eskimos (Yup’ik Eskimos, in particular) now suffer from elevated blood sugar and metabolic syndrom. Before that, there was a low incidence of cardiovascular diseases or diabetes among them, even despite their diet high in fats. By the way, this was the reason why reserachers suggested for the first tine that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish help fight obesity-related diseases.

So, picture the situation when your and your friend are eating the same diet and doing the same activities but you are overweight or even obese and your friend is not. This most likely means that with your body your would have a better chance to survive hungry times and give birth to healthy, full-term children.

Leptin

Leptin, also known as a fat-burning hormone, is a relatively recent discovery. This hormone regulates appetite and feeding behavior. It is released by your fat cells when your body has stored enough fat which makes a person less hungry. Genetic leptin-resistance might be another cause of excess weight and diabetes.

Glucose Health Basics: