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Does Obesity cause Diabetes, or does Diabetes cause Obesity?

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by benniesmum, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. benniesmum

    benniesmum · Well-Known Member

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    It may seem like a silly questions, but having done research into Diabetes and the mechanics of glucose production and use, it raised a very real question for me.

    Afterall, if your muscles aren't able to take up energy in the form of glucose from your blood, doens't that make you tired? If you're tired, aren't you more inclined to eat more to raise your energy levels? It looks like a vicious circle to me, but what sets it off?

    As a much slimmer type 2 diabetic of 2 years who exercises regularly, I do get pretty fed up with people's comments like 'you don't look fat enough to be diabetic' or 'have you stopped being diabetic now you're fitter/thinner/eating less?' etc. I've kept a food diary for the last 2 years and know just how little I actually eat compared to my non-diabetic buddies. I also know I have much less in the way of energy reserves too. But on the otherhand I WAS pretty fat when I was diagnosed.

    So did I get diabetes becuase I ate too much? Or was it the diabetes that made me fat?
     
  2. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Does Obesity cause Diabetes, or does Diabetes cause Obes

    I wish I knew the answer to this. Until some PROPER research is done, I doubt we'll ever find out.

    More and more Types of Diabetes are being discovered (LADA, MODY, T1.5...) but the treatment seems to be the same for each. That is, treat the symptoms, not the cause.

    It IS infuriating. If we got a room full of 50 T2's, and did a whole bunch of tests, I doubt that each one would have the same disorder. At the moment, it's just a case of "High blood sugar? You're Diabetic."

    And that's how it's gonna be until it's financially beneficial to properly diagnose each and every one of us.
     
  3. anniep

    anniep · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Does Obesity cause Diabetes, or does Diabetes cause Obes

    Aah the old chicken and the egg debate..................
     
  4. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Does Obesity cause Diabetes, or does Diabetes cause Obes

    As far as I understand it from a lot of reading round, there's a real nasty in this - once you get insulin resistance, your muscle cells are resistant to the insulin, but your fat cells aren't. So all that spare glucose gets stored as fat instead of being used as energy.

    So it seems it's a Catch-22 situation - obesity probably does lead to insulin resistance, but insulin resistance increases obesity!

    I've noticed that my weight loss this time round on a very low-carb diet is much slower than it was in my pre-diabetic days, and I'm putting that down to insulin resistance. I hope that as the weight comes off and the exercise increases, the insulin resistance will decrease.

    In some individuals Metformin increases weight loss because of lowering insulin resistance. Not in everyone, unfortunately - not me at the moment :roll: .

    Once again I agree with Patch. This is becoming a habit :lol: . I suspect that a number of metabolic conditions are classified as 'diabetes' because the symptoms are the same. Very simplistically - one condition produces too much insulin; another produces no insulin at all. How can they be the same disease? (That's a genuine question, by the way. My doctor always starts talking about something else when I ask!)

    Everyone is an individual and should be treated as such, not just lumped together under a general heading. So it's up to each individual to learn as much as possible and take control, with the help of our HCPs - I trust!.

    Viv
     
  5. benniesmum

    benniesmum · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Does Obesity cause Diabetes, or does Diabetes cause Obes

    I read today about a US study into exercise and Diabetes. They're looking into why exercise feels harder for Diabetics (type 2 I think).

    I can't help thinking it comes back to the problem we have with insulin resistance making it difficult for muscles to generate energy from blood sugar. I've been training for a half marathon for several months now, and am finding what I used to do pre-diabetic days no longer works. Part of that is growing older, I'm sure, but I'm coming round to the view that it is my pesky insulin resistant muscles that are struggling to get enough energy. Even though I run/spin 3 times a week, improvement in stamina is extraordinarily slow. And I realy push myself.
     
  6. Sid Bonkers

    Sid Bonkers Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Does Obesity cause Diabetes, or does Diabetes cause Obes

    Being overweight DOES NOT CAUSE DIABETES, millions are overweight but only a very small percentage of those people are diabetic. Being overweight can be a contributory factor but that does not mean it causes it.

    Being an undiagnosed diabetic can cause you to put on weight, but if like me you were overweight for years prior to diagnosis it probably made no difference. In my own case I actually lost around 10 to 12 lb's prior to diagnosis so it can work both ways.

    If any one dares to comment to me face to face that diabetes is caused by being fat they get told that "no, only ignorant people think that" that seems to shut them up :lol:
     
  7. jumbleannie1VDJQ

    jumbleannie1VDJQ · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Does Obesity cause Diabetes, or does Diabetes cause Obes

    Well said Sid. I have insulin resistance, but have never been fat, 9st 12 at heaviest, and 8st 10 at present. What's more we have no family history of diabetes so that theory is out too. There are only three factors that I can think of that could have contributed, as my diagnosis followed soon after. 1. I stopped taking HRT. 2. I had picked up some horrid bug while travelling in India,(kept me visiting the loo off and on for months :oops: ), and finally stress as I was having all sorts of problems at the time. Being overweight had absolutely nothing to do with it as my BMI has always been ok.
     
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