The Diabetes-Inflammation-Obesity Connection

Inflammation in laymen terms is swelling with redness and pain. A painful bruise or insect bite with surrounding area of redness and pain is Inflammation. Diabetes is a lack of or underutilization of Insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in our bodies by the pancreatic beta cells. Insulin helps in the sugar metabolism of our body. Scientists for past ten years have known increased levels of Inflammation in people with adult-onset Diabetes which is mostly from underutilization of Insulin also called Insulin resistance. In Diabetes the inflammation is internal. This is now being studied and researched extensively, as reducing inflammation through exercise, diet and medications can help in treating Diabetes. Diabetes is closely associated with Obesity. In abdominal obesity where there is the excess fat collection (adipocytes) around the waistline. Adipocytes produce bioactive proteins that can be easily measured and can reflect the inflammatory status of any person. Fat filled adipocytes have a higher concentration of cytokines, chemokines (inflammatory markers) which stimulate macrophages. These together lead to inflammation throughout various organs of the body and also induce insulin resistance. The liver is also affected by overweight/obesity. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) ranges from mild steatosis (fatty collection in the liver) all the way to liver cirrhosis. Lipid accumulation in liver cells also releases cytokines, chemokines. Inflammation from these has shown its role in pathogenesis and progression of NAFLD. Hepatic (Liver) Glucose production is not suppressed as these markers induce hepatic insulin resistance. This further worsens diabetes. Exercise like walking 35 – 40 mins a day helps in the prevention and control of diabetes, partly by weight loss and partly...