How Belly Fat Is Linked to Diabetes?

Prof. Dr. M. Zaman Shaikh

1 min read

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According to researchers, there is a link between abdominal fat and type 2 diabetes. Endocrinologists say that people who are genetically predisposed to having a higher waist-to-hip percent adjusted for body mass index are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease later in life.

While it is a known fact that having excess fat is bad for the body, the way it is distributed can largely determine how it will impact an individual.

Body mass index:

Body mass index or BMI measures body fat according to height and weight and is a commonly used indicator to determine if a person is overweight or obese. Obesity can be a risk factor for different diseases, including type 2 diabetes.

However, BMI tells nothing about body fat distribution. While some people carry abdominal adiposity or fat on their thighs and hips, others carry more of it around their visceral organs. Although a link has been established between abdominal fat and type 2 diabetes, it is not known if this is reflective of a causal relationship.

Other greater risks:

  • Further research has revealed that belly fat poses a greater risk when inflamed. Previous studies have found that local inflammation in the adipose tissue can lead to cardiometabolic abnormalities like insulin resistance.
  • Researchers have not been able to find the mechanism that is responsible for the connection, and are currently studying whether the inflammation is a consequence or cause of insulin resistance.
  • The fat inside the abdomen can be really bad for the health as it is linked to the overreaction of the stress response mechanisms of the body. That’s why it can lead to higher blood sugar levels, a higher blood pressure, and risk of heart diseases.
  • According to Harvard Medical School, the fat that is closest to the organs emits metabolic products into the part of the body that transports blood to the liver.
  • This means that fatty acids are poured into the pancreas, liver, heart, and other organs by the fat cells. These organs are not meant to store fat and when fat is deposited into them, it leads to dysfunction. This leads to a myriad of problems including improper control of insulin and cholesterol. In the long run, this increases the risk of chronic disease.
  • As for the link between type 2 diabetes and visceral fat, fatty tissues in the liver prevents the organ from responding to insulin in a timely manner.
  • This means that the liver is unable to store glucose for future use. Because of the liver’s inability to process it, the blood sugar is dumped into the bloodstream instead. This can be very damaging for various organs of the body.

If you are concerned about your weight, you can talk to a dietitian to get a diet plan that suits you best. You can find and book an appointment with top endocrinologist in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad through oladoc.com.

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Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Prof. Dr. M. Zaman Shaikh - Author Prof. Dr. M. Zaman Shaikh is among the Best Diabetologists in Karachi. Prof. Dr. M. Zaman Shaikh is an Endocrinologist and diabetes specialist, based in Karachi. He helps patients in diabetes management, osteoporosis management, steroid hormone problems, and general men's health issues.