How to Lose Weight and Prevent Diabetes Before It’s Too Late
Weight loss expert and digestive health surgeon Bipan Chand, MD, has devoted his career to treating obese patients, many of whom are diabetic or at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. We asked Dr. Chand to explain why weight loss is important to preventing type 2 diabetes and to share the best strategies for losing weight.
In the United States, type 2 diabetes is predominantly related to obesity. So someone who is obese and is trying to control a prediabetic condition should focus on weight loss.
With excess fat, especially around the waist, the body has greater difficulty processing sugar and becomes resistant to insulin. As that happens, the level of sugar in the blood rises.
Someone whose blood sugar level is higher than normal (>100) but not too high is said to have prediabetes. That fasting blood sugar level is a snapshot of how your body is processing sugar at that one time. It’s a reasonable screening tool, but obesity is a more important factor.
An increasing Body Mass Index and growing waist size are better predictors of prediabetes. Insulin resistance and diabetes develop over years. Someone with a family history of diabetes and a high BMI for many years probably already has impaired pancreas function. So they may have had diabetes three to five years before it is diagnosed.
Each January, many people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. That is the wrong idea. You should not make a resolution. You should make a decision to review your health, work to improve it and commit to making long-term changes.
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