Diabetics, who can be classified as Type-1 or Type-2, have high levels of sugar in their blood. For Type-2 diabetics, weight gain can be very bad for them. It is believed that this kind of diabetes is driven by rising rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyles.
On the other hand, Type-1 diabetes, previous known as juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune disease, in which the body mistakenly destroys cells in the pancreas that make insulin.
The function of insulin is to convert sugar, or glucose, into energy. The excess sugar in the blood will damage organs including the eyes, kidneys and heart for both types of diabetes. Diabetics are at high risk of developing heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.
A recent study by the researchers at the University of Pittsburgh indicated that people who gained weight over time were less likely to die than others studied, while those classified as underweight were facing greatest risk for death. Even obese or overweight Type-1 diabetics were less likely to die.
The researchers tracked 655 patients with Type-1 diabetes for 20 years and found that those people who gained the most weight over time seemed to have lower mortality than those who gained less weight or lost weight. According to the researchers’ interpretation, Type-1 diabetics are often underweight. If they were able to gain weight, it means that they may also able to control their disease better. The findings were presented at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Francisco during June 2008.
When statistically accounted for waist circumference (a risk factor for death), the researchers also discovered that overweight or obese patients were less likely to die when compared with patients with a normal weight.
Perhaps, based on the findings, the concerns on growing rates of obesity will have to be looked differently for Type-1 diabetics than for the general population. However, people should not take the results of this study as excuse for them to go out, eat, and put on weight.
This is very interesting. I have been type 1 diabetic for 20 years and I do notice changes in my weight based on my blood sugar control. I know, as someone who has struggled with their weight all their life, it is sometimes tempting to allow the blood sugar to be out of control for a while in order to lose weight, but the effects are too devastating to do that. I think I'd rather be overweight than blind or missing a leg or on dialysis.
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