Type 2 diabetes is an inflammatory disease, and being overweight or obese has been associated with inflammation. High blood fats and heart and blood vessel diseases have also been associated with obesity and with Type 2 diabetes.
There are inflammation markers which can be measured by a blood test. These blood tests measure how much inflammation is in your body. Knowing these markers gives you a good idea of the kind of damage taking part in your body.
When inflammation is high in your body, there is usually a lot of damage to innocent cells and tissues. Inflammation markers are often high if you have:
- heart disease,
- arthritis, and many autoimmune disorders.
In one particular study whose results were published in the journal Endokrynology of Poland in 2011, researchers looked at lifestyle changes and weight loss in children and adolescents in relation to types of inflammation associated with Type 2 diabetes.
- 50 obese children and adolescents were included in the study.
- for 6 months the participants were treated with a low-calorie diet and increased physical activity.
After 6 months the average weight loss was approximately 11.5 pounds or 5.3 kg and showed:
- a lesser BMI or body mass index,
- a lower percentage of body fat,
- a smaller waist size,
- lower blood pressure,
- improved insulin resistance,
- lower blood sugar levels, and
- lower molecules and cells associated with inflammation.
One of the molecules that decreased with weight loss, interleukin-6 or IL-6, has been associated with Sonus Complete insulin resistance, the cause of Type 2 diabetes. Levels of IL-6 two to three times higher than normal have been demonstrated in Type 2 diabetes.
C-reactive protein, or CRP, another molecule whose level went down with the lifestyle changes, shows elevations in patients with poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes. It has also been associated with heart and blood vessel disease, a complication of diabetes.
The number of white blood cells, which take part in inflammation, also decreased when lifestyle changes were made and fat decreased. High white blood cell counts have also been associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes.
Children and adolescents with obesity, especially those with a family history of Type 2 diabetes or heart disease, need fewer calories and more physical activity to lower their inflammatory cells and molecules.
- packing a child’s lunch with carrot and celery sticks can help to provide fiber and fill up the child’s stomach without adding a lot of calories.
- spreading a celery stick with one tablespoon of peanut butter will make it more palatable and add some protein with about 90 calories.
- snacks such as fruits and vegetables should be readily available when children come home from school.
- try making big salads with lots of interesting vegetables for dinner.
- getting children into sports or dance classes can help increase their activity levels and keep them away from the television and refrigerator.