Issa Medical Concierge / Primary Medical Physician

The Link Between Diabetes and Obesity

Apr 12, 2023
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Carrying extra pounds puts you at risk for diabetes. Compounding the issue, diabetes makes it difficult to lose weight. The two are linked, but making lifestyle changes can help. Here’s what you need to know.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 11% of the population — more than 37 million Americans — have diabetes. A staggering 96 million have prediabetes and are on their way to a full-fledged health condition. 

At Primary Medical Physicians LLC, we take these statistics seriously because the numbers in Florida are just as shocking. Over 13% of Floridians — about 2,350,300 people — have diabetes. We want to lower that number, starting with our patients in and around Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Davie. 

Diabetes is a complex chronic condition with several risk factors. Here, our experts highlight the link between obesity and diabetes.

Diabetes 101

Diabetes is a stealthy condition that sneaks up on you when your blood sugar gets too high. It can happen when your pancreas stops making insulin or when your body ignores the insulin it makes. 

Although there are several kinds of diabetes, type 1 and type 2 are the main types. 

People with type 1 diabetes struggle to produce insulin — the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do to change it, and you’ll likely need insulin injections for life.

People with type 2 diabetes still produce insulin, but their bodies become resistant to it. Although obesity is one of the most significant risk factors for type 2 diabetes, you can reduce your risk, prevent it, and manage its symptoms by making lifestyle changes.


Obesity and diabetes are so closely connected that some have dubbed the combo “diabesity.”

Unfortunately, these health conditions have a symbiotic relationship, and each feeds the other. 

Here's the science behind it: Your pancreas creates a hormone called insulin responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. Normally, insulin moves glucose out of your blood and delivers it into your muscles for energy or to the liver for storage. 

However, when you have diabesity, your cells become resistant to insulin, making it harder for glucose to enter. To top it off, the fatty liver of a person who struggles with weight leaves little room to store any excess glucose. 

With nowhere to go, glucose lingers in your bloodstream. Your pancreas works overtime, attempting to transport the excess glucose from your system but fails due to the resistance caused by fat. 

Unfortunately, your overworked pancreas eventually wears out and produces less insulin, leading to the onset and progression of diabetes. The situation can worsen quickly if you don’t address the root cause of fat resistance. Reversing the resistance is crucial in maintaining normal insulin levels and preventing further complications.

How losing weight affects diabetes

Now, the good news. 

A 5-10% drop in body weight makes a significant difference in managing type 2 diabetes. Let's say you currently weigh 200 pounds — shedding just 10 pounds could significantly improve your overall health. 

As you lose weight, you reap many rewards, including:

  • More efficient use of insulin
  • Reduced need for medications
  • Lower risk for related health issues, such as heart disease, nerve damage, and vision impairment

Our weight loss experts can help you safely shed pounds in a sustainable program personalized for you. We monitor your progress and health and adjust your diet and exercise plan as needed to optimize your momentum and keep you motivated and energetic. 

Meanwhile, we also help you manage your diabetes symptoms to keep your heart, eyes, and nerves functioning properly. 

If you have diabesity, we can help. Contact us at any of our three locations or book online to find out how to break the link between diabetes and obesity.