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Diabetes

Diabetes 101: Obesity and Its Relation to Insulin Resistance (Part 3 of 4)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008 by: E.L. West
Tags: diabetes, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) In the previous article, the causes of insulin resistance were examined. This part will deal with how obesity and insulin resistance are connected, if they are. One very obvious sign that someone might use to determine if they are insulin resistant, outside of the previously mentioned blood tests in part 1, is simply looking in the mirror and examining the size and protrusion of their midsection. The more obese the midsection has become, the greater the degree of insulin resistance.

Jack Challam of naturalnews.com quoted Dr. Fred Pescatore as saying, "You can diagnose the telltale sign –- a pot belly –- all by yourself, standing in front of a mirror. The bigger your belly, the worse off you are." Coupled with lack of exercise, poor dietary habits and unfavorable genes, another issue that further complicates the insulin resistance condition is excessive weight.

Dr. Robert Powers stated, "...clinical obesity is associated with about 65-70% of those individuals being insulin resistant. First off, not all of them! But 65-70%." With such a large percentage of patients being obese and insulin resistant, one would be tempted to think that insulin resistance in some way plays a causatory role in the development of obesity; however, the opposite is true. Obesity instead worsens an already bad situation, making matters more problematic for an obese individual who is heavily insulin resistant than for a lean individual who is slightly insulin resistant -- a somewhat insulin resistant patient becomes more insulin resistant with weight gain and other factors, often times resulting in type II diabetes. Dr. Powers continued, stating "...you can have it both ways. Insulin resistance in and of itself is abnormal, but lean and obese individuals can have it... insulin resistance will affect obese individuals by negatively affecting other cellular functions..."

Additionally, Barbara Kahn et al wrote, "Large epidemiologic studies reveal that the risk for diabetes, and presumably insulin resistance, rises as body fat content (measured by body mass index [BMI]) increases from the very lean to the very obese, implying that the 'dose' of body fat has an effect on insulin sensitivity across a broad range." And lastly, Dr. Rao Goutham of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center echoed a similar stance when he wrote, "Obesity is a component of the syndrome [insulin resistance], but it promotes insulin resistance rather than resulting from it." In summary, insulin resistance becomes very complex when combined with obesity, the problem growing worse and worse as the scale goes up and the waist line expands. However, insulin resistance is not the direct result of obesity, but overweight and obese persons exacerbate their condition solely by carrying the excess weight.

Sources:

1. Brooker, Rob, Eric Widmaier, Linda Grahm, Peter Stiling. Biology. New York: McGraw-
Hill, 2008. 1061-73.

2. Challem, Jack. (http://www.naturalnews.com/022638.html)

3. Glaser, Benjamin. Pub Med. (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerend...)

4. Goutham, Rao. "Insulin Resistance Syndrome." American Family Physician. 63.6 (2001).
19 Mar. 2008.

5. Insulin Resistance and Pre-Diabetes. (http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/insuli...)

6. Kahn, Barbara B., Flier, Jeffrey S. (http://www.jci.org/106/4/473?content_type=fu...)

7. Kitabchi, Abbas E., et al. (http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/con...)

8. Number (in Millions) of Persons with Diagnosed Diabetes, United States, 1980-2005. (http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/prev/...) .

9. Pessin, Jeffery E.; Saltiel, Alan R. (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerend...)

10.Powers, Robert W. Telephone interview. 28 Feb. 2008.

11. Rosedale, Ron. Lecture. Health Institutes Boulder Fest Seminar. Aug. 1999

12. Shulman, Gerald I. (www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi...)

13. Wardlaw, Gordon, Anne M. Smith. Customized Contemporary Nutrition. Updated 6th ed.
New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007. 126-30.

14. Wilcox, Gilesa. "Insulin and Insulin Resistance." PubMed. 26.2 (2005). 19 Mar. 2008.
(http://articlrender.fcgi.htm)

About the author

Emily West is a freelance writer that focuses on topics of natural health and sustainable food production systems. She also maintains a blog, The Wordsmith, at www.journeyoutofrabbithole.wordpress.com
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