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A relative of mine was diagnosed with Diabetes over a year ago. She's quite a large women and it has been thought within the family that the condition was because of her weight.

I wanted to know if anyone could shed some light on this or other things could have been a reason instead. We are tyring to persuade her to start losing weight but she thinks it isn't a problem and doesn't think that losing weight would help with her condition.

Your thoughts will definitely come in handy.
 

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Hello and Welcome. A thorny and often misunderstood issue with much finger pointing and guilt involved. :(

While it is true that losing weight (excess fat mass) will very likely help with her condition and long-term outcome (for many reasons not just to do with Diabetes) that is quite emphatically NOT to say that excess fat mass was the cause of her developing Type 2 Diabetes :)

You (and your relatives) can read more here at Jenny Ruhl's Blood Sugar 101 website: You Did NOT Eat Your Way to Diabetes!

The issue comes about because as humans we are adapted to see cause and effect all around us: so when faced with statistics like "80% of people with Type 2 were obese at the time of diagnosis" we put 2 and 2 together and make 7... obesity must cause Type 2!

BUT stop to consider that phrase "at the time of diagnosis" -- are we to assume that the day before diagnosis there was no Type 2 and the day after there magically was? Not the case at all... Type 2 slowly develops over many years prior to diagnosis... quite probably over the same time frame as the excess fat mass has been occurring as a symptom of the same underlying metabolic dis-order that ultimately is diagnosed as Type 2.

Now add that thought to the fact that not all obese develop Type 2 nor do all Type 2's present as obese at diagnosis.

The assumed cause and effect is WRONG.

If she is willing to read here on the forum there are many supportive folks in similar situations to her own who can advise on ways to both manage Blood Glucose and at the same time shed excess fat mass -- simply saying "just lose some weight" is not helpful.
 
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welcome Doratime :) further to what Frank has said there are quite a few precursors to diabetes such as family history, ethnicity, age, metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.), gestational diabetes or giving birth to a big baby, PCOS (hormone condition in women), use of some medications such as steroids. Weight in itself doesn't help with keeping BGLs stable, but it's not really the cause. It would probably be of benefit for your family member to lose weight for her wellbeing in general... not just for diabetes management. As a family just be as supportive as you can, but whatever you do don't blame the weight for the cause of diabetes as your relative could have one or more precursors that lead to developing the disease. It's a genetic thing really and not something we cause as such.... it can be triggered by certain factors (as mentioned above).
 

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There are tons of reasons for diabetes, being overweight may be one of them. I am a Type 2 diabetic and weigh 118 pounds. So mine was never about weight. When your pancreas decides to stop functioning, your bgs will go sky high. There is some discussion whether people who are Insulin Resistant tend to be more susceptible to weight gain. So it is like a circular firing squad. Even though weight loss won't cure your diabetes, eating fewer carbs at meals will put less stress on your pancreas to have to produce insulin. Does your relative test her bgs after meals. This is the most important part of being a diabetic. If she is higher than 120-140 after meals, damage could be going on inside her body that she doesn't know about. Diabetic damage could eventually cause blindness, amputation, neuropathy , kidney failure and heart disease. So it is not about the weight as it is more about her average bgs. Most of us find eating lower carb lowers our bgs to normal levels, hopefully avoiding problems.
 

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I will add my story: a couple years before dx, I told my internist I thought I was picking up belly fat, for the first time in my life. He just smiled and said, "you know what you need to do." I unfortunately continued cleaning my kids' plates, and trying to eat low-FAT vegetarian. And my weight went up.

I had some stressful events all at once, the next summer, and at my next physical my weight had gone up more (faster), and I felt lousy. Crappy short term memory noted too. I went in and complained of poor sleep, and had a sleep study run. NOTHING. At both of these visits my thyroid was in control and my fasting blood sugar was "normal." I was offered antidepressants, no thanks. I was sure that was not it.

By the next January, I had typical thirst, sugar craving, and frequent peeing. I knew what all that meant. And I was right -- but I also was in DKA by then, an indication of Type 1, which I later tested positive for ...

BUT I too read the Blood Sugar 101 website, and so strongly saw myself in Jenny's remarks that she convinced me to pursue a Type 1 diagnosis -- I think my eating and weight gain was, in fact, fueled all along by the blood sugar / insulin roller coaster, and my immune system was undermining my ability to produce insulin, at the same time.

Do not assume you understand causation without evidence, is all I am saying.
 
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