Monday, April 04, 2011
MMH Spotlight: Unlocking the Diabetes and Obesity Link
- According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 25.8 million or 8.3 percent of the U.S. population have diabetes with an estimated 79 million people with pre-diabetes.
- The link between obesity and diabetes is quite strong – over 60 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes are obese.
- Researchers agree, the more you suffer from obesity, the greater your chances of diabetes.
- Marietta Memorial Hospital’s Diabetes Education Center (DEC) believes that patient education is an integral component in the medical care for people with diabetes.
Diabetes and Obesity = Diabesity
One of the most talked about consequences of obesity today is the development of diabetes. In fact researchers have coined a new term for this association: diabesity. According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 25.8 million or 8.3 percent of the U.S. population have diabetes with an estimated 79 million people with pre-diabetes.
Understanding Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
The two main forms of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes because the body loses the ability to produce insulin, leaving the individual reliant on regular injections of insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. This form of diabetes typically develops early in life, but it may also occur secondary to uncontrolled or advanced Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes, which is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes, is strongly associated with obesity, inactive and consuming a poor diet. This form of diabetes was previously associated with aging, but we are seeing it occur in many youth and children today because of their greater propensity toward obesity, lack of activity and poor eating habits.
The link between obesity and diabetes is quite strong – over 60 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes are obese. The reason for this is that obesity leads to the development of a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone that is released from the pancreas in response to elevated blood sugar. When we eat, our food is broken down and digested, and the sugar that is absorbed from our meal causes our blood sugar level to rise. Insulin works to bring sugar (glucose) into the cell where it is used for energy, thus lowering our blood sugar.
With insulin resistance, the body fails to respond properly to the insulin it already produces. As a result, blood sugar levels stay elevated and the body produces even more insulin in attempt to bring the sugar levels down. Yet, because the body is resistant to insulin, it is not able to lower blood sugar; therefore, it remains high. It is this inability to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels that is characteristic of Type 2 diabetes.
Researchers agree, the more you suffer from obesity, the greater your chances of diabetes. This information should be taken as an incentive – to make the move today to work on developing a leaner, healthier body.
MMH’s Diabetes Education Center Services for You
Marietta Memorial Hospital’s Diabetes Education Center (DEC) believes that patient education is an integral component in the medical care for people with diabetes. The DEC’s program partners with the patient’s physician to provide the knowledge and skill necessary to achieve and maintain optimal health.
An Individualized Plan
In treating diabetes, an individualized education plan is essential as every patient has different needs. During the initial visit, knowledge and physical assessments are taken. Self-management education is then offered through group classes and one-on-one counseling sessions with DEC’s nurse certified diabetes educators and registered dietitian, who is also a certified diabetes educator.
How to Use the Diabetes Education Center
To access the services of the DEC, a referral by the patient’s physician is required. Throughout the educational process, educators will provide the referring physician with patient progress reports. Appointments are required for all sessions. For more information call (740) 568-1702.
The Memorial Health System is a not-for-profit health system governed by a volunteer board of community members that are committed to providing comprehensive services that meet the needs of our region. We are comprised of a network of two hospitals, outpatient service sites, assisted and long-term care facilities and a retirement community. We work in innovative ways to meet the healthcare challenges of today, while preparing for health needs of our communities in the future.