Diabetes Is A Growing Problem For Young, Slim Women

Taken from here.


Type 2 diabetes is typically pegged as a problem for two kinds of people: The middle-aged or older, and the obese. But a slew of newly diagnosed patients defy both of those stereotypes: They’re young, slim women who, surprisingly, also eat a healthy diet; things that most of us learn prevents diseases like diabetes. But in fact, recent reports say that 15% of people with type 2 diabetes aren’t overweight. Why? They’re “skinny-fat,” stressed and may have a genetic predisposition for diabetes, according to doctors.

“Skinny-fat”? The term hardly sounds clinical; it sounds more like bitchy body-snarking than a diabetes risk factor. But it’s just an easy way of referring to people whose bodies store fat in their abdominal organs (a.k.a. visceral fat), instead of under their skin (a.k.a. love handles, bat wings, and saddle bags). MSNBC explains:

Molecular imaging expert Jimmy Bell, M.D., studies a condition he calls TOFI–thin outside, fat inside. Nearly undetectable from a person’s appearance, TOFI happens when fat that would normally build up under your skin (hello, thunder thighs!) gloms onto your abdominal organs instead. This visceral fat is way worse than any muffin-top chub–it can cause inflammatory substances to affect your liver and pancreas, and lower your insulin sensitivity, putting you at risk for type 2. “With TOFI, you might look slim,” says Bell, “but your insides are behaving as if you are obese.”

So what makes you “TOFI” (or skinny-fat, if you prefer)? The biggest culprits are stress, and managing your weight through diet alone. Workouts are the only way to shed visceral fat, and workouts are one of the best ways to regulate blood sugar. So skipping workouts in favor of a low-calorie diet can still deliver taxing highs and lows in your blood sugar, that cause the body to release cortisol, which triggers your body to store fat. And cortisol also happens to be the same hormone that floods your body when you’re stressed; it gives you the jolt of energy you need to handle the emergency (or overwhelming pile of not-quite-emergencies) at hand, but it causes a spike in blood sugar and messes with fat storage.

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