How is being overweight cause you to be more prone to diabetes?

By Melode Latest Reply 2012-08-01 01:18:06 -0500
Started 2012-05-01 18:11:45 -0500

I do not understand why there is a connection between weight and diabetes? I read on my websites that diabetes has nothing related to weight yet many people tell me that my weight caused my diabetes.

24 replies

mystikfairy61 2012-08-01 00:32:56 -0500 Report

My hubby and I were both diagnosed in April. I am overweight and he is only about 5 or so pounds above his ideal. When we were diagnosed his BG was 445 and his HgbA1C was >14, my BG was 382 and my HgbA1C was 9.5%. So just goes to show that weight may be a precursor to diabetes but that is not always the case.

CJ55 2012-08-01 01:18:06 -0500 Report

i agree as well. Yes, I am overweight, but the other people in my family are pretty much at their goal weight, give or take 10 pounds, and they all have T2 as well. I am very insulin resistant. May I ask what the meal plan was??? Thanks. :-)

great dane
great dane 2012-06-03 14:17:38 -0500 Report

I think it may be as simple as the bigger the body, the more insulin it requires and if you are having trouble producing enough, it becomes a problem. Just my thoughts.

jayabee52 2012-06-03 18:48:16 -0500 Report

I believe it has more to do with insulin resistance, They have stated that the "apple" shaped body is more likely to develop ir than those who have a "pear" shaped body.

Nana_anna 2012-05-31 23:05:32 -0500 Report

In my family we have a large amount of over weights, and most of us being a diabetic. So it could be hereditary, but I have to say that diabetes is linked to weight. I have been at 200 lbs and still be a diabetic. There are some so skinny with it also. It will happen no matter what, sugar isn't the only thing that effects your blood sugar. To much foods we don't need, and portion control effects the spikes. For me anyway.

Mark Hully
Mark Hully 2012-05-31 15:58:53 -0500 Report

My doctor told me that there is a link and that was it. He didn't bother giving any details. He just brushed it aside like it was no problem when the fact is it is a big problem. It is really unfortunate that there is such negative perceptions towards diabetes. It is not fair that when "fat" people have diabetes ,people think they deserve it.

bar59567 2012-05-30 17:07:55 -0500 Report

This weight thing I don't understand either. I weighed 180 when I got type 2 diabetes and I owed a preschool of 110 children. I was extremely active. I have two sisters one weighs 300 ilbs and the other one is 200 lbs. I asked my Dr. why I have it and they don't and she told me that their gene for diabetes is protected and mine isn't. I just don't get it??

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2012-05-29 11:28:12 -0500 Report

How about this question? How many Type II diabetics are 25 pounds or more overweight and how many are not? You know, I think I will post this.

JSJB 2012-05-30 03:39:53 -0500 Report

I'm not a Type I'm still a Pre but I lost 40 lbs and for my height and age I am in my weight range of 190 to 200 lbs. Post it Jim

Controlled 2012-05-28 18:59:15 -0500 Report

You've received well-reasoned and well-written responses. There is a well-worn expression that "correlation does not mean causation" and we all like to distinguish body weight from a diagnosis of diabetes. The truth of the matter is, exceptions notwithstanding, take a look at our pictures and ourselves. The majority of people with Type 2 are overweight. Losing weight can only help all of us (even if we don't have this diagnosis).

jayabee52 2012-05-30 11:43:10 -0500 Report

to support what you're saying, controlled, I lost 65 lbs since Feb 2011 (and fight to keep it off) and my insulin resistance is lowered and I am more sentsitive to the insulin my pancreas produces. That means I no longer need to take insulin injections.

Controlled 2012-05-30 13:49:17 -0500 Report

I recall. In fact, you shared your "meal plan" with me. I lost quite a bit of weight too. Unfortunately, Lyrica for neuropathy put some of it back on. I've adjusted my meals again and due to the fact that Lyrica works so well for me, I attend exercise classes four days a week. We all know, this condition is exhausting. There are variables we can control and others that we can't.

Hopester 2012-05-10 23:13:51 -0500 Report

Hi Melode… I know two women who had the gastric bypass done. Both were excessively overweight and diabetic. One said, "as soon as the put the bypass in place, and tested my BG levels, the diabetes was gone." The other said she was no longer diabetic since the surgery. I relate this to your question b/c of the "disappearance" of D when the bypass surgery was completed. I am amazed by this. As for my personal experience, as a T-2 D when I lost 20 lbs last summer, my BG went to normal range and stayed there (using Metformin), then last winter (I get the blahs in winter months) I gained 15 lbs back and sure enough, #'s went up, but not enough to be scarey. Enough they concern me, but not scarey high. I've lost 3 lbs in two weeks, but have no test strips just now. My point is here somewhere… oh yeah, I didn't become D b/c cause of my weight. I was Dx'd a hundred years ago as Hypoglycemic and warned it could lead to D…and I shined it and ate what I wanted to eat. Didn't work. For me… weight is not the key factor. I know many overweight, and even obese men and women who are so NOT diabetic. Seems to me it's what we eat. I love starch foods and have to keep them minimal or up goes my BG. Eating more protein than carbs in my meals seems to help more than anything else. Go figure. One thing is sure, though… you'll find lots of good people and information that helps here. Stay with us!

jigsaw 2012-05-08 19:19:50 -0500 Report

I pretty much agree with the responses here, so I'll attempt to add some info. Being overweight increases insulin resistance and vice versa. That is why the heavier a person is, the harder it is to control bg, assuming you already have diabetes. If you have a tendency towards diabetes, excess weight can weaken the metabolic system and related organs enough to bring out the tendency that is lurking. Similar to if you have a family history of heart failure, excess weight can wreak havoc on ones heart and weaken it prematurely. The more insulin resistance that is present, the more insulin the pancreas produces in an attempt to compensate. This is often the case especially in the early stages of diabetes. Excess insulin also has an inflammatory effect, when present constantly in the body. By losing weight, an overweight person decreases their insulin resistance. It is then possible to decrease or eliminate the need for medications with some individuals.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-05-08 19:00:07 -0500 Report

When overweight, the person usually isn't getting enough exercise which slows the body down and then you add the unhealthy food to that and the body just can't work at it's healthiest rate. This allows for the body to start to break down and not fight as hard as it should be able to. Diabetes isn't the only health issue that can show up.

John Lassider
John Lassider 2012-05-08 18:38:52 -0500 Report

Hi Melode. Essentially being overweight does not mean you will get diabetes. The reason for a link that is said to exist is because as you overeat there is a need for the pancreas to overwork and one day it may be too overworked so you cannot produce insulin. I found a similar answer from HealthTap:

John Lassider
John Lassider 2012-05-31 15:48:39 -0500 Report

Just to add a personal response. I think that regardless of the connection, I know people that are skinny with diabetes and people that are hefiter with diabetes. The point is looks do not matter and what matters the most is how you respond to the situation you are in.

GabbyPA 2012-05-02 14:27:53 -0500 Report

There is more research being done on the connection of insulin resistance and our belly fat. The cells in our belly fat are different and they are the ones that tend to cause problems. Much like Nick said, we overwork our body by over eating in more ways than you can imagine. We don't help it with exercise and we start to have a spiral downward. Not just for diabetes, but many other health issues.

The weight doesn't "cause" it, but it can be a contributing factor in getting it. A member here said she had a "recipe" that caused her diabetes to show up. Some of us are baking a cake, others are cooking pot roast, but the thing is that there are many contributing factors to ending up with this disease.

There are plenty of overweight and even obese people who don't have diabetes. Just as there are people in tip top health who have it as well. It is not picky about who it takes. I have lost 60 pounds and still struggle with numbers.

So don't feel guilty about it when people say diabetes is a fat person's disease or that your weight caused it. That isn't true and they are misinformed.

Wound Lady
Wound Lady 2012-05-02 14:52:48 -0500 Report

I have family that have diabetes. Some are very thin and some are a little over weight. Really think that people like to think the statement that its caused by over weight is true. NOT NOT.

Nick1962 2012-05-02 10:19:07 -0500 Report

Being overweight (at least in my case) meant my pancreas was working hard to control my blood glucose. I would over eat, and it had to regulate the stream of stored sugars my overweight body had on board. Being overweight is a tax on all your body systems, and some of those systems are weaker than others. I have a good strong heart, but Mr. Pancreas decided it was time to tell me either I stop pushing him so hard, or he’s leaving. You can still be at ideal weight and get diabetes if you have a poor diet, or like a few here, can be in great shape with a good diet, but have a real loser of a pancreas.

Caroltoo 2012-05-01 19:32:32 -0500 Report

Simply put, the many people who tell you it's caused by your weight are wrong. As you develop insulin resistance, it causes you to gain weight and it also causes diabetes. It's the fact that they go hand-in-hand, that makes people think that weight causes diabetes. They can see the weight, but they can't see the insulin resistance that causes it.

jayabee52 2012-05-01 18:37:28 -0500 Report

Howdy there Melode!

Those who tell you that your weight caused your Diabetes Mellitus (DM) are operating under a misconception.

Weight can be a CONTRIBUTING factor in development of DM but there are those who have developed type 2 DM while being close to an ideal weight. Many people are overweight when they develop DM but there are those who are grossly obese who do not develop DM in their lifetime.

A lot depends on one's genetics. If one has certain genetic triggers one develops DM. If they do not have those triggers they do not develop it.

I pray this helps you sort out that issue of DM and weight.

EDIT: There is a discusion "Goodbye to Gulit" in which you might be interested. read it here ~

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