Diabetes: One in ten could have diabetes, the sum of type 2 diabetes plus obesity or overweight. These types of patients have three times the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Between 11 and 12% of the population (about 4 million people) could have type 2 diabetes and obesity or overweight, according to the estimates of the experts gathered at the 1st Virtual Congress on Diabesity.
Separately, the two pathologies are a risk factor for complications in the case of diseases such as Covid-19, but suffering them together implies a worse prognosis and difficult management in the event of contagion.
1. What is Diabesity?
Obesity is not only an aesthetic problem. It is a disease that worsens the quality of life and causes numerous pathologies, including diabetes. The combination of both is known as diabesity, and suffering from it can lead to other complications.
Fatness is a disease that is not always considered as such, or its importance is not recognized. “It is not seen as a devastating disease, which increases the risk of mortality and leads to multiple complications, as well as an obvious deterioration in the quality of life.”
The health risks of being overweight since “there are studies that observe that people with severe forms of obesity can lose between 10 and 12 years of life.” Unfortunately, this disorder is not just an adult problem.
It is becoming more and more frequent in the child and youth population. Obese adolescents with type 2 diabetes are being seen, something unthinkable years ago.
2. The Risks of Suffering From Diabetes
For all this, it is essential to prevent obesity and, with it, the development of type 2 diabetes that can lead to other pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, myocardial infarctions, cerebrovascular diseases, cardiomyopathies, etc.
Persons with diabetes are three times more at risk for this type of disorder than those without diabetes.
Having diabetes increases the risk of hypertension, heart attack, stroke.
This is because diabetes is a metabolic disease directly related to cardiovascular disease, which becomes the leading cause of death for people with diabetes 2.
3. How to Prevent Diabetes
In these cases, together with treatment, diet and exercise are the fundamental pillars. However, these experts recognize the difficulty in managing to change the patient’s lifestyle and follow the treatment.
Regarding nutritional habits, Dr. Irene Breton explains, “you have to learn to eat better; it is not just an affair of eating less. We have to adapt the calories we eat to what we are going to spend and improve the nutritional quality of our diet, based on the Mediterranean Diet, but always setting individualized goals”.
When obesity is treated, associated diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, disappear.
Also essential is physical exercise, which will depend on age, level of training, and the existence of other pathologies. For most adults, 150 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, spread over at least 3 days/week, and strength exercises are recommended.
Experts emphasize that when obesity is treated, associated diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, disappear. Therefore, avoiding excess weight can prevent more than 50% of cases of type 2 diabetes.
4. When Drug Treatment is Needed
If the modifications in the lifestyle and the physical exercise the established objectives are not achieved, it is necessary to begin the pharmacological treatment. And it is essential to look for treatment alternatives adapted to the life of each patient.
Currently, experts assure that diabesity requires a complete vision of the patient that considers environmental factors to genetic factors, as we are heading towards a future marked by precision medicine, which will allow us to indicate the appropriate treatment in the patient right and at the right time.