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A Large Waist is a Risk Factor for Diabetes

January 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Featured

a large waist with measuring tape

Having a large waist is one of the biggest risk factors for developing diabetes. People who carry fat around their waist are also called “pear” shaped. Unlike “apple” shaped people who carry their fat throughout their body, pear shaped people carry their fat in the middle of the body, deep in the belly. This deep belly fat is linked to a number of problems including, insulin resistance, reduced insulin production, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular damage, nerve damage, and diabetes. The risk of developing diabetes increases with waistlines over 35 inches for women and over 40 inches for men.

Fat deep in the belly puts extra stress on the organs it surrounds. Just one gram of excess fat around the pancreas is all it takes to overburden the organ. As the pancreas ramps up its insulin production to counteract the excess fat and sugar, beta cells are damaged. If not treated, the beta cells can become so damaged they are no longer able to make insulin leading to a lifelong dependence on insulin injections to manage blood glucose levels. Having excess fat around the liver will cause the organ to release excess glucose. This can lead to elevated blood glucose levels and eventually type 2 diabetes if not treated. Fat will also strain the liver and not allow it to remove toxins as well as it should, potentially leading to other problems.

One gram of fat does not seem like it would impact the body so significantly, but it does. Fortunately, if the excess fat around the belly is reduced, most damage to the organs and cardiovascular system can be reversed. In most cases, type 2 diabetes can even be cured! If you have a “spare tire” around your waist and are worried about developing diabetes, or already have, you should talk to your doctor about a weight loss plan. There are several options you should consider including bariatric surgery, extremely low caloric diets, and more moderate diet and exercise regimens.


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