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Weight Loss & Diabetes

Weight loss and diabetes
Did you know that nine out of 10 people who are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight?  The American Diabetic Association estimates that 80% of the 15 million individuals who suffer from Type 2 diabetes are significantly overweight and that the obesity contributes greatly to the development of the disease.
It is no secret that a slow, intentional weight loss will decrease the risk of health problems and diabetes is included in that list.  This weight loss will also reduce the need for insulin, improve cardiovascular health and improve lipid profiles.  By achieving these goals you also reduce your risk factors for developing stroke, heart attack, retinal damage and kidney failure.  (1)
However, losing weight and keeping it off is as much of a challenge for those who have diabetes as it is for those who don't.  If it were not a challenge then the thousands of weight loss programs that are currently making billions of dollars every year would be out of business.  The weight loss industry has become a multibillion dollar industry due to the difficulty that people find in removing excess baggage.  As a diabetic it is important that you engage the help of other professionals to help you lose weight that you require in order to decrease your need for external insulin and medication.
Can you lose weight with diabetes? Find out how at!
Losing weight as a diabetic is accomplished the same way that weight loss is achieved under any other circumstance.  Weight gain or weight loss is simply a mathematical equation of how many calories are eaten versus how many are spent.  In other words, if an individual burns off 1500 calories per day but eats 2000 calories per day they will gain weight.  If the reverse is true they will lose weight.
Each pound of body weight is equal to 3500 calories.  If there is a negative caloric intake of 500 calories per day and individual should be able to lose 1 pound of body weight each week.
While weight loss of 1 pound a week is a realistic goal, too many times we want our results to happen today.  When an individual decides to lose weight they often want to lose 10 pounds this week.  If you really lost 10 pounds in one week you would have to have a negative calorie intake of 35,000 calories!  This is not possible.  To achieve this it would require that metabolism was increased through some external chemical response, such as chemotherapy or cancer, and you had stopped eating altogether.
The goal of any weight loss program is to achieve a gradual loss that can be maintained.  This results in a healthy body and mind and can also result in the elimination of medication required to control Type 2 diabetes. (2)
On the quest to lose weight individuals who suffer from diabetes will find that exercise is their friend.  The American diabetes Association recommends that individuals engaged in exercise for two reasons.  In the first place, exercise reduces the body's need for insulin while still controlling blood glucose levels.  In the second place, it increases metabolism and enables an individual to lose weight with greater ease. (3)
Another product that diabetics have at their disposal for weight loss is the drug, Byetta.  This medication and was originally designed to assist in the control type 2 diabetes but was found to have a side effect of weight loss.  It was approved by the FDA for treatment as an injectable medication.  It is not insulin but improves the control of blood glucose by mimicking the action of another hormone and helps the body to use insulin most effectively. (4)
Studies have also found that individuals who use Byetta have experienced weight loss.  The theory is that the drugs slows the movement of food from the stomach through the intestines which helps individuals to feel full or longer and results in an individual who eats less.  At this point the drug is approved only for those who have diabetes and not as a weight-loss drug.
While individuals who have diabetes may find it useful to use Byetta it should not be the only factor used to achieve weight loss. Weight control is incredibly important in the long term management of diabetes in the prevention of long-term health complications.
Individuals who are overweight and suffer from Type 2 diabetes find their overall health improves with weight loss and the management of their disease improves as well.  Unfortunately, researchers also found that those who lose weight, put it back on, take it off again and continue to go through a roller coaster ride of weight loss and weight gain actually do more harm to their overall long-term health than those who just remain several pounds overweight.
But, before giving up and deciding not to attempt weight loss it is important to recognize the significant health benefits that you achieve even through the loss of five or 10 pounds.  If five or 10 pounds is all that can be achieved initially it is enough that you do it, maintain the loss and attempt to lose more later.
Resources Used In This Post:
(1) Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health: Relation of Weight gain and Weigh Loss on Subsequent Diabetes Risk in Overweight Adults
(2) American Diabetes Association: Food and Fitness Weight Loss
(3) American Diabetes Association: Food and Fitness Physical Activity
(4) Byetta
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