Obesity and Diabetes - Oasis Weight Loss Center


Originally published: 09-03-13

The most common reason people become patients of our weight management practice is to look better (both in and out of clothes).  The most common medical reason people come to us might surprise you.  It is not heart disease, high blood pressure or cholesterol trouble.  It is, by far, an abnormality of blood sugar, either “borderline” or full-blown type 2 diabetes.

These folks are very wise.  They know that blood sugar is extremely responsive to the foods we eat and to our body weight.  Even a small improvement in the way we eat and a small weight loss will often result in a significant drop in blood sugar.

Diabetes and “borderline” diabetes are my favorite weight-related medical conditions to treat, because they respond the most dramatically to the healthful lifestyle program we prescribe to our patients.  Within the first week of starting with us, our patients with blood sugar abnormalities experience a significant improvement in their sugars and are soon able to reduce their diabetes medications, especially insulin for those who are using it.  In time, some or even all of these meds can be discontinued.  When a diabetic is able to stop taking all diabetes meds, most doctors call this “diet-controlled” diabetes.  I call it a cure.

The prevalence of diabetes in this country has been rising for years, mirroring the steady increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity.  The connection between diabetes and obesity is so close, some researchers and clinicians use the term “diabesity” to describe this disease state.  Even though genetics play a role in the development of diabetes, the vast majority of diabetes in this country is triggered and worsened by overweight and obesity.

We all know how devastating the complications of diabetes can be and, therefore, how important it is for folks with this disease to optimally control their blood sugars.  The very best way to achieve this goal is lifestyle modification and the loss of excess weight.  Even a very modest weight loss can produce a significant improvement in blood sugar.

The converse is also true.  An unhealthful lifestyle and elevated body weight can cause a significant increase in blood sugar.  So powerful are the effects of lifestyle and body weight on blood sugar that diabetes medications may be rendered ineffective in the setting of unhealthful habits and excess weight.  This then requires the use of higher doses of medication and/or the use of additional meds, whose dosing may also need to be escalated.  Eventually, insulin injections may become necessary, and these have to be taken up to four times a day.

Clearly, if you have been diagnosed with an elevated blood sugar or full diabetes, you must take immediate steps to optimize your lifestyle and body weight.  Get with a healthcare professional who can design a specific food and exercise plan for you, one that is tailored to your daily schedule, your lifestyle preferences, and your physical and emotional needs. Make this plan your new way of life, and you will literally save your life!

Dean Sloan, MD

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