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Obesity and Weight Management

Why Hyperglycemia Occur in Obese Person

11/30/2011

Question:

why does hyperglycemia occur in obese person

Answer:

Thanks for your question.  The simple answer is that obesity is linked with diabetes, so more obese individuals have high blood sugar & diabetes than their normal or underweight counterparts.  

Obesity individuals are often insulin-resistant.  Insulin, which is hormone made by the pancreas, is needed to bring glucose (from digested food) into the cells of the body to be used for energy.

However, when someone is obese, they have more fat cells in their body, which do not respond to insulin.  Insulin therefore cannot be used effectively and glucose stays elevated in the blood. So although the person may have normal insulin production, their cells are "resistant" to it.

With insulin resistance, the pancreas will keep trying to pump out more and more insulin to be used to lower blood sugar.  Over time, the pancreas cannot keep up with this production and blood sugar stays elevated in the blood.

The best defense to prevent as well as treat diabetes are healthy diet and exercise.  Even a 10% weight reduction (20 lbs in a 200 lb person) will improve insulin resistance by reducing fat stores. Aerobic exercise acts like insulin because excess blood sugar/glucose gets shunted to the muscles to be used for energy, rather than being stored as fat.

I hope this information was helpful.  See the attached link for more information.




Related Resources:

National Diabetes Clearinghouse

For more information:

Go to the Obesity and Weight Management health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati