One of the major risk factors of overweight is the development of metabolic syndrome. Medical researchers estimate that at least 100 million people in India alone have metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome have at least three of the following disorders:
They are overweight or obese, and fat is located mainly in the abdominal area.
They have high blood pressure.
The level of triglycerides (a form of fat) in their blood is too high.
Bad cholesterol levels in the blood are high, and good cholesterol levels are too low.
They have insulin resistance.
All of the disorders of metabolic syndrome are indications that the metabolism is overworked and not functioning well. No one knows with certainty what causes metabolic syndrome, but abdominal fat is strongly correlated with it. Scientists also know that a weight reduction can reduce or reverse these disorders.
Cholesterol and triglycerides are lipids, or fats, metabolized from foods and carried throughout the body in the bloodstream. Lipids are necessary for many organ functions, but when too much circulates in the blood, the vessels can become inflamed and clogged. This situation can increase the risk for arteriosclerosis – a narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels. If blood vessels become inflexible or are blocked by fatty deposits, heart disease and stroke can result, as blood flow is cut off to parts of the heart or brain. Reducing weight can reduce the lipids in the blood and significantly lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and arteriosclerosis.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease. People with this disease have high levels of glucose in their blood. This is caused by the failure of the overworked pancreas to produce enough insulin, cells that are highly resistant to insulin, or both. Enough glucose is not getting inside cells, so the cells are damaged and malnourished.
They can even “starve” to death if type 2 diabetes goes untreated. High blood glucose levels also are damaging to almost every organ in the body. Kidneys, which are overworked as they try to clean the excess glucose from the blood, can fail completely. Eyes are damaged and vision is lost. Nerve damage occurs, especially in the feet and legs. Sores and cuts are slow to heal. As people with diabetes lose feeling in their feet, they may be unaware of foot sores. Feet can become so damaged that they have to be amputated to save the person's life. People with type 2 diabetes also die of heart disease up to four times more often than people without diabetes.
Fortunately, type 2 diabetes is treatable. People with the disease strive to lose weight, eat carefully controlled diets, and usually take one or more medications to increase their insulin levels or decrease their insulin resistance. However, the struggle to control diabetes and avoid its complications is lifelong and not always successful. Most scientists believe that prevention is preferable to treatment, especially because type 2 diabetes has become a global epidemic and is affecting people at younger ages. Many experts believe that the obesity epidemic is the primary reason for the diabetes epidemic in India. However, most overweight people do not have diabetes, and not all people with diabetes are overweight.
Finally you must remember: overweight and metabolic syndrome are difficult conditions to treat!
Insulin resistance can lead to severe physical damage, too. The pancreas makes insulin, the hormone that enables the body's cells to use glucose. Insulin can be thought of as the key that unlocks the cell and allows the glucose inside. Glucose cannot get into the cells without it. Under normal circumstances, when more glucose circulates in the blood, the pancreas makes more insulin. This allows glucose to enter cells, and lowers the glucose levels in the blood. When someone has insulin resistance, their cells don't respond to insulin as well. When glucose in the blood rises, the pancreas still makes insulin, but glucose doesn't go into cells as easily as it used to. The glucose levels in the blood remain high. As time passes, the overworked pancreas may begin to fail, as the cells that produce insulin begin to die. Type 2 diabetes is often the eventual outcome.
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