Diabetes is one of the most complicated Non Communicable diseases (NCD’s) that is currently prevalent in our society. One of the causes for Diabetes is obesity. Firstly let’s understand the two types of Diabetes - Type 1 and Type 2
Type 1 Diabetes
- This is hereditary in nature and is not as common as Type 2
- Type 1 Diabetes is common to those with slender and average body types
- Those who suffer from this have a genetic disorder that inhibits insulin creation inside their bodies
- They will require to inject Insulin
- This is a rare type of Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
- This is the most prevalent type of Diabetes
- It will start increasing as you pass from the younger ages to the middle ages. Type 2 Diabetes is considered normal.
- Obesity is the leading cause for Type 2 diabetes in a person
- 90% of Type 2 diabetes patients were found to be overweight when compared to what they should be based on their height and thus obese
One of the biggest health problems caused by Obesity is Type 2 Diabetes. That is not all, there are many other physical complications that come hand in hand with Obesity and Diabetes. Liver inflammation, High Cholesterol, High blood pressure, Heart diseases due to increased fats in our body, insomnia, bone and joint problems, Embellishment and fertility are just some of them.
Extreme Obesity generally leads to bone & joint problems, which further deters the obese persons from doing regular physical activities and exercises.
Changes in hormone levels can also impact female menstrual cycle and also result in Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) negatively affecting fertility
Irregularities in breathing systems will also lead to high stress in the lungs while high risk of breast cancer and other cancers are also unwanted results of obesity. In addition to the above mentioned physical ailments extreme obesity also impacts social behavior and could lead to depression.
There’s an easy way to calculate the level of obesity you are suffering from. It is called BMI (Body Mass Index). BMI will tell you the ideal weight you should target, calculated based on your height. Anyone is considered Obese if they are above the recommended BMI weight range.
Calculating your BMI is easy, all you need to do is divide your weight (measured in Kg’s) by your height (measured in meters)
Consider the following example:-
If your weight is 90 Kg and your height is 1.56 M (156 cm’s).
90 kg / ( 1.56M x 1.56M)
your BMI will be 37
Based on the BMI figure, you will be able to understand whether you are obese or not and if you are how much so.
In addition to the BMI index, you can also calculate whether your tummy is oversized using a simple measure.
First measure the circumference of your body around the naval. If you are Asian, the circumference ideally should be less than 80 cm. for a male this should not exceed 90 cm. if you are exceeding this you need to be aware that you are Obese. The BMI for a healthy individual should range within 18-22.
If your BMI score is between 23-32 you are categorized under the ‘stage 1 of obesity’ if it’s between 32 – 37.5 you are categorized under stage 2 of obesity. If you are higher than 37.5 you will be categorized under stage 3 of Obesity also known as extreme obesity. These figures are derived for Asians.
If you are suffering from Obesity, you need to get specialist advice to understand what are the contributing factors and also find out steps on how to overcome it. If you move from stage 1 obesity – to stage 3 and beyond, the faster you will become even more Obese. The only solution then would be to perform an internal surgery.
Therefore to avoid such a drastic situation, it is important to identify and take corrective measures at stage 1 of obesity.
If you are becoming Obese typically there will be more than 1 reason for such occurrence. In a majority of people, genetics, bad eating habits, lifestyle decisions all work together in making them more and more Obese.
Further, in approximately 10% of people hormone imbalances too have been seen to greatly contribute towards obesity.
Worldwide, women are more prone than men to become Obese. One of the main reasons for that is the weight gained during pregnancy. Most women do not take adequate steps to reduce their body weight after pregnancy. This is the number 1 reason for obesity in Asian women.
Dr. Thejan Kamil Wijerathna
Surgeon, Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Senior lecturer, Sri Jayawardhanapura University,