You’ve probably heard from your primary physician that losing weight is good for people with diabetes. But you may be wondering what the real health benefits are. Can it alleviate sleep apnea or help you regulate blood sugar levels better? Can it help prevent diabetic foot problems like ulcers or neuropathy?
General Benefits of Weight Loss In Diabetics
Here are a few of the many benefits you’ll experience by shedding a few of those extra pounds:
- Better blood sugar control
- Improved quality of life
- Fewer hospitalizations
- Reduced risk of kidney problems
- Lower risk of depression
- Less likely to develop eye issues
A recent study found that there was no reduction in the risk of stroke or heart disease. However, patients get “a pretty big bang for their buck” when they lose weight, says Gary Foster of the Center for Obesity Research & Education.
How Weight Loss Affects Diabetic Foot Problems
According to the American Diabetes Association, good diabetes management is important in preventing diabetic foot ulcers. High blood glucose levels make it hard to fight infection, plus the more weight you place on the ulcer, the deeper the infection tends to go. Once you have neuropathy, it may not be safe to exercise, so it’s good to consult a physician. Regular movement and keeping your blood glucose levels controlled can delay or prevent the onset of neuropathy, says the ADA.
The Bottom Line:
We all have that magic number we’d like to reach one day. Goal-setting is, in fact, a very powerful part of the process to enact measurable change in life. However, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the mathematics of it all, without realizing that weight isn’t everything. For instance, consider that fat weighs more than lean muscle mass. If you are gaining a lot of muscle, you may not see the dramatic fluctuation in the scale needle, but you are getting healthier. So, rather than obsess about weight, it’s best that you focus on leading the healthiest lifestyle you can. That includes regular exercise, eating right, and taking care of your hygiene with products like the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer.