Diabesity – The Hidden Epidemic

Diabesity – What is it?

Diabesity is becoming more known in the recent years.  This condition is when Diabetes and Obesity coexist with one another.  Sometimes it is referred to as obesity-dependent diabetes.  The scale of health problems range from mild insulin resistance and overweight, to obesity and diabetes. 

Studies show that the health impact of Diabesity is substantial and may include long-term diabetic complications, a reduction in health-related functioning, reduction of quality of life and other possible long-term complications.  There is also an association between chronic stress, depression and sleeping troubles to both diabetes and obesity.

Severe obesity represents a major risk factor for the development of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM).  The majority of people with T2DM are obese.  However, only a relatively small fraction of obese individuals develop T2DM.  Nevertheless, despite recent advances in understanding body weight regulation and insulin action, the risk factors that determine which obese, non-diabetic individuals will eventually develop diabetes still remains unknown.

Diabesity seems to be mainly caused by environmental and lifestyle factors.  The good news is that this means it may be preventable and corrected in most cases.  

Who, how, what??

When we eat carbohydrates (grains, starches, sugar), our body turns them into glucose (or blood sugar).  Glucose is a source of energy, and our body must decide how much of it to burn straight away, and how much to store for later use (as glycogen).  The hormone insulin is released soon after we eat a carbohydrate-containing meal, and its job is to help the glucose enter our cells, where it may be used for energy.  What happens when we become resistant to insulin?

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is when your cells slowly become resistant or numb to the effects of insulin, and you need more and more of it to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.  This usually occurs when your diet is full of empty calories and a large amount of quickly absorbed sugars and liquid calories such as sodas, soft drinks, sports drinks or vitamin waters.  Don’t forget the added effect of those refined carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes! 

As insulin resistance worsens, your body starts to lose muscle, gain fat, and become inflamed.  High levels of insulin tell your body to gain weight around the belly, which causes you to become more apple-shaped over time.  Insulin, which is the fat storage hormone, also drives more inflammation and oxidative stress, along with a number of downstream effects such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low HDL, high triglycerides, poor sex drive, infertility, thickening of the blood, and an increased chance of mental health problems, among others.

Do you find it impossible to beat the bulge? Is your life plagued with sugar cravings and low moods? Are you on a rollercoaster of mood swings, mental and physical exhaustion?

Obesity increases insulin resistance, and increased insulin resistance contributes to obesity.  This vicious cycle often makes it difficult to lose weight.  When the pancreas can no longer secrete enough insulin to compensate for the insulin resistance, we may even develop Type 2 Diabetes.

“You are what you eat” is only partially true.  You are also what you absorb!  Separating the nutrients from the food you eat, from the waste products that leave your body, involves numerous functions.  Among these functions are digestion, assimilation, nutrient distribution, tissue uptake, and the use of nutrients at specific cellular sites.

How do we stop the rollercoaster?

Optimal health is more than the ability of the body to operate adequately in a particular moment.  It also means the ability of the body to withstand the challenges of everyday life.

Functional medicine is a truly Naturopathic approach of treating the causes, not just the risk factors.  We treat the whole system, not just the symptoms, and create health, not just treating the disease.  There are a number of important factors in achieving wellness including:

  • Improving nutrition;
  • Regulating hormones;
  • Reducing inflammation;
  • Optimising digestion;
  • Maximising detoxification;
  • Increasing energy metabolism; and
  • Calming the mind – reducing stress.

Underlying all balance is nutrition.  We will aim to help your body thrive despite the challenges of living, not just survive.  Achieving better health is possible and we are here to help you in any way. 

Call us today on 07 4153 4112 to make an appointment.


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Disclaimer:  The advice on this website is of a general nature only and Nurtura Health expressly disclaims all liability arising out of the improper use of the information provided.  Nurtura Health actively discourages any self-diagnosis or self-medication.  Please consult your health practitioner regarding these important health issues.  All rights reserved.