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Diabetes & Obesity

The phrases 'obesity' & 'diabetes' are often referred together. According to International Diabetes Foundation, both are regarded as the biggest health challenges of the present century.

It is very clear that there exists a certain relationship between both disorders. However, the molecules associated with both of them were unclear till now.

Recent studies conducted by a team of doctors in King's College, London have found that absence of a certain protein named T-bet can be employed to uncouple diabetes from obesity.

The team performed the test on a genetically engineered mouse in which the protein was absent. They observed an increase in the insulin sensitivity despite of the fact that the mouse was obese. T bet is a protein that regulates the immune cell function. It was observed that the mouse had relatively lesser amount of immune cells in the abdominal fat. By transferring the immune cells devoid of T-bet protein to a younger mouse, more insulin sensitivity was achieved. Studies are conducted to identify similar proteins that related immune system to the metabolism so that it can be applied to humans. (Courtesy: Times of India dated 17-04-2013).

Almost 80%-90% of cases diagnosed with diabetes are obese. An excessive weight can cause can put the body in lots of strain. Such a stressful condition makes it difficult to maintain the glucose levels. The insulin resistance is in a way increased by obesity. If an obese person is not affected with diabetes, prolonged insulin resistance can increase the chance of acquiring diabetes.

Intake of insulin for diabetes can also increase weight of the person. As you intake more glucose to maintain its level, larger amount of glucose is absorbed by the cells. The amount of glucose absorbed is greater than the amount excreted. This result in more glucose stored up in the body. Glucose is stored as fat. Excessive fat accumulation is nothing but obesity.

Therefore, proper weight gain is essential once you have been diagnosed with diabetes. If the weight is not properly controlled, excessive weight can compound the problem of maintaining adequate levels of glucose. Cutting down the diet is quite simple once you start insulin. This shall aid in maintaining a proper weight.

Prevention of the 2 disorders can also be brought by observing some common methods. For an obese person, even a weight loss of 5%-10% can improve the health status considerably. Performing moderate exercises and maintaining a low carbohydrate, high fiber diet is essential.