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The Link Between Diabetes and Obesity

Type 2 diabetes tends to run in families, but that doesn’t mean you’re genetically destined to develop the disease. Or, if you already have it, you can still find ways to manage your blood sugar and avoid the complications you’ve seen your relatives endure. 

When your doctors first diagnosed you with diabetes, they may have put you on medications that lowered your blood glucose levels. Health care specialists are 15 times more likely to prescribe anti-diabetes medications than anti-obesity medications, though the link between obesity and diabetes is well established. 

If you’re overweight or obese, changing your lifestyle and losing weight is just as important to your health as taking anti-diabetes medications. 

Dr. Kimberly Bolling, a caring and expert internist in Bowie, Maryland, knows how important good nutrition and a healthy weight are for controlling your Type 2 diabetes. Or, if you’ve been told that you’re at risk for diabetes or are pre-diabetic, losing weight can help you avoid the disease altogether.   

The wrong foods raise blood glucose … and weight

Eating foods that are high in sugar — especially processed foods and foods or beverages that contain high-fructose corn syrup — makes it hard for your body to produce enough insulin to fuel your cells. Instead, the dietary sugar stays in your bloodstream, where it harms your vessels and organs and can lead to serious complications, including peripheral neuropathy.

Also, when your cells can’t burn all the sugar and simple carbohydrates you take in, it’s stored as fat. By overtaxing your pancreas with the extra sugar, your metabolism can’t function properly. So the sugar makes your diabetes worse and packs on the pounds, too.

The right foods lower blood glucose … and weight

While you may think of your diabetes in terms of what you can’t eat (e.g., sugar, polyunsaturated fats, fried foods, processed foods, and white flour), the list of what you can eat and should eat to control your blood sugar and start shedding pounds is actually much longer. 

By adding many more fresh vegetables and fruits to your diet, then making them palatable with healthy fats such as grass-fed butter or ghee and extra-virgin olive oil, you’ll never feel deprived.

Eating a diet rich in vegetables and quality fats helps you metabolize insulin better. In fact, about 15-30% of a healthy body is made of fat. When your cell walls are made of fat, they’re better able to metabolize insulin and keep your blood sugar levels stable.

If you’re eating mostly vegetables, some low-glycemic fruits, healthy fats and quality proteins — including poultry, fish, and some red meat — you may actually be eating more food than you’re used to, but still losing weight.  By avoiding calorie-dense, nutrient-poor processed foods and snacks, you give your body what it needs so it can function better.

You don’t have to lose weight alone

If you have diabetes and are overweight or obese, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the lifestyle changes you’ve had to make. You may have had to stop eating your favorite foods. 

Maybe you’ve started exercising for the first time in your life, and you haven’t found a routine you like. And then, of course, you now have to take medications and see your doctor regularly to keep your blood glucose levels under control.

When you work with Dr. Bolling, though, you’re never alone. You can consider her a member of your health care team. 

Dr. Bolling helps you by designing a weight loss program that shifts you into eating healthier foods without making you feel like you’re missing out. She helps you find exercises and activities that you enjoy so you can increase your cardiovascular health, build muscle strength and balance, and shed those extra pounds. 

If you have a healthy heart, she may also prescribe weight loss medications that are compatible with your diabetes medications to help you burn fat faster.

To start losing weight and get your metabolism and your diabetes under control, call our office today. You can also request an appointment with our online scheduler.

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