Weight management is crucial for overall health. However, having a healthy weight also helps manage chronic conditions effectively, especially type 2 diabetes. Weight loss can regulate blood glucose levels and prevent sudden spikes, as well as reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications, including high blood pressure and plaque buildup in the arteries.
Losing excess weight by just 5 to 10 percent has been proven to help lower the amount of diabetes medication patients need to control the condition. Weight loss is an essential part of diabetes management. Obese individuals run the risk of developing life-threatening conditions that result from unmanaged diabetes.
So, if you have obesity and diabetes it’s important that you address the problem as soon as possible. If you can’t lose weight despite your efforts, it’s time to visit a doc and talk to them about available options, like prescription medications, weight loss surgery, or endoscopic procedures. Here is a list of beneficial things weight loss can do if you have diabetes.
1. Reduces the risk of vascular damage
Obesity and insulin resistance are linked to vascular inflammation. As obesity progresses, fat-storing cells called adipocytes get enlarged and stressed, which can result in overall inflammation. This can contribute to atherosclerosis, a condition that’s characterized by the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
Regular physical activity and weight loss can reduce insulin resistance and contribute to a reduction in the amount of a certain molecule in blood that’s involved in inflammation.
2. Improves insulin sensitivity
Since insulin sensitivity tends to improve with weight loss, you’ll notice better results when your doctor does an A1C test. An A1C test reveals your average blood sugar levels over the previous two to three months.
According to several studies published in August 2016 in the journal Obesity Reviews, type 2 diabetes patients who participated in Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, and Optifast weight loss programs had reduced A1C levels after 6 or 12 months, depending on the plan.
3. Lowers the risk of sleep apnea
Diabetes also increases the risk of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition that presents as repeatedly interrupted breathing during sleep. Nearly 71 percent of people with type 2 diabetes have obstructive sleep apnea. Scientists have found that weight loss can boost obstructive sleep apnea.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a good night’s sleep might help you better control your blood glucose, while poor sleep contributes to insulin resistance.
4. Boosts mood and raises energy levels
When people lose extra pounds through a healthy diet and regular physical activity, their energy level increases and their mood improves. Weight loss and management contribute to improvements in self-confidence as well. In fact, weight loss can really help improve mental health, since people feel better about themselves and better about the choices they’re making.
5. Improves insulin resistance
Type 2 diabetes is when your body can’t properly respond to the insulin released by your pancreas, which elevates your blood sugar levels. This is known as insulin resistance, and it’s often connected with excess weight.
6. Lowers blood pressure and bad cholesterol
Heart issues and diabetes are connected. So, hypertension (high blood pressure) and high cholesterol levels are common problems among people with type 2 diabetes. If left ignored, high blood pressure causes damage to the artery walls, while high levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides contribute to the buildup of fat on the damaged artery walls and further serious complications.
However, weight loss can reduce your risk of complications, like cardiovascular disease and peripheral neuropathy. According to a study of 401 people with excess weight, those who lost 5 to 10 percent of their body weight significantly reduced their total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol. Those who lost more than 10 percent had even more improvement. High-risk patients also significantly reduced their fasting glucose levels.