Insulin Resistance and Morbid Obesity

Obesity Associated With Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance refers to a person’s impaired ability to decrease blood glucose levels through insulin-secretion, often leading to complications like hyperinsulinemia. Insulin resistance is the basic precursor for type 2 diabetes.

Obesity is a Risk Factor Not a Cause of Insulin Resistance

Obesity has not been proven to cause insulin resistance, although it has a high prevalence in patients who are insulin resistant. In addition, morbid obesity (BMI 40+), is a core symptom of insulin resistance syndrome.

Insulin Resistance Syndrome

Insulin resistance is sometimes accompanied by a cluster of other conditions. One of these is obesity, especially central or abdominal obesity characterised by excessive abdominal visceral fat. The others include: hypertension, hyperinsulinemia, and raised blood fats like triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. All these additional conditions are also associated with increased incidence of coronary artery disease or cardiovascular disease (CVD). This cluster of symptoms make up the metabolic disorder known as “insulin resistance syndrome.” At present, the medical consensus is that central obesity is at the core of insulin resistance syndrome and is even more predictive than total body weight of a predisposition to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD).

Weight Loss and Insulin Resistance Syndrome

Weight reduction is one of the most effective treatments for symptoms of insulin resistance syndrome. A reduction of about 10 percent of body weight often has a major impact on blood pressure, blood fats and glucose levels.

Obesity Also Affects Type 2 Diabetes

Clinical studies indicate that the additional risk for type 2 diabetes is about twofold in the mildly obese (BMI 30+), fivefold in moderately obese (BMI 35+) and tenfold in morbidly obese persons (BMI 40+). The duration of the obesity condition is an additional risk factor for type 2 diabetes.


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