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Understanding Diabesity, The Real Reason for Bad Cholesterol

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You’ve heard of diabetes. You’ve heard of obesity. But have you ever heard of diabesity? If not, you may want to lean in. 

As the leading cause of chronic illness in the 21st century, diabesity is the most significant health challenge facing the nation today. From cancer to digestive disorders to heart disease, diabesity is to blame. In fact, it could even be the reason for your poor cholesterol levels.

However, it’s not all gloom and doom. Here’s the silver lining: diabesity is entirely reversible. 

What is diabesity?

Close to 35 million Americans are living with diabetes. Another 88 million have pre-diabetes. This chronic condition impacts how the body turns food into energy and contributes to multiple health disorders, including those of the heart, skin, brain, and eyes. 

What’s more, nearly 43 percent of US adults are considered obese with a body mass index over 30. Three out of four Americans are either overweight or obese. 

As diabetes and obesity have reached epidemic proportions, health professionals have coined a new term: diabesity. Diabesity refers to the coexistence of diabetes and obesity within a single person. Also called obesity-dependent diabetes, individuals who are both obese and diabetic are at high risk for additional health conditions, including heart disease, kidney failure, and cancer. 

Diabesity is not an official medical diagnosis. Instead, it’s a term used to describe a constellation of health imbalances. While some individuals with diabesity may have mild blood sugar imbalances, others have severe cases of type 2 diabetes. Signs of diabesity may include: 

  • Excess weight, especially around the midsection
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • High blood sugar (fasting glucose above 100 mg/dL)
  • Unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • Excess inflammation in the body

What are the symptoms of diabesity?

The early stages of diabesity are often silent. For example, individuals may not be aware that they have elevated blood glucose levels. Similarly, they may notice that their clothing is a bit tighter.

An aware individual may notice some of the following subtle symptoms of diabesity: 

  • Excess tiredness, especially after eating
  • Frequent sugar cravings 
  • Waking up at night to urinate or urinating more frequently
  • Increased thirst 
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Unintended weight loss 
  • Digestive discomfort
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Declining eyesight
  • Frequent infections or illness 

Relationship between diabetes and obesity

Obesity and diabetes go hand-in-hand. Scientists have spent years playing the chicken-or-the-egg game. While some believe that weight gain contributes to insulin resistance, others argue that insulin resistance causes weight gain. In all likelihood, it’s a combination of both. 

Regardless of the cause, research suggests that being overweight and having type 2 diabetes are intricately linked. Approximately 30 percent of those carrying extra weight have diabetes, and 85 percent of type 2 diabetics are overweight. 

In type 2 diabetes, two interrelated issues are at play. Either the pancreas is not making enough insulin hormone, or the cells respond poorly to insulin. Both problems result in and are caused by too much sugar circulating in the blood. 

Insulin is the vehicle that transports sugar into cells. When a person consumes high amounts of carbohydrates, the pancreas must work hard to produce more insulin. Additionally, the pancreas needs to pump out even more insulin to reach all the cells of an obese individual. Over time, an overworked pancreas gets tired, and insulin production falls. With less circulating insulin, blood sugar levels stay elevated.

As a result of this stress, cells trigger an inflammatory response and release a protein called cytokines. Cytokines block the insulin receptor signals, causing the cells to become resistant to insulin. As a result, the body cannot convert sugar into energy, and blood glucose levels rise even further. Insulin resistance is the first sign of impending diabetes. 

Diabesity and cholesterol 

Individuals with high cholesterol are often given a prescription and told to lower their fat consumption. However, science has shown that dietary cholesterol intake minimally impacts blood cholesterol levels. Instead, carbohydrates are to blame. 

Simple sugars are easy to digest and are quickly processed by the body. Glucose in the blood prompts the pancreas to release insulin. However, if there is not enough insulin or the cells are resistant, the body must do something with the excess sugar. Here’s where the liver comes to the rescue. 

False Promise of Statin Report

The liver is responsible for converting extra glucose into triglycerides. However, triglycerides can’t travel through the blood alone. Instead, they are wrapped in very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL). Over time, these VLDLs become dangerous small and dense LDLs. Multiple studies have linked diabetes with an elevated level of VLDLs, the cholesterol carriers that lead to heart attacks and strokes. 

For this reason, elevated triglycerides are often the first sign of insulin resistance. High triglycerides, especially with otherwise normal cholesterol levels, points to a sugar problem rather than a fat issue. 

Inflammation is the real problem

Our bodies are innately intelligent. Continuous damage to our cells due to obesity and chronically high blood glucose causes the body to fight back through inflammation. While short-term inflammation is healthy and life-saving, chronic inflammation damages tissues and creates additional health problems. 

It’s essential to recognize that inflammation is a two-way street. While diabetes can cause inflammation, the reverse is also true. For example, studies have found that inflammation can get in the way of insulin-signaling pathways and contribute to the development of diabetes. 

Diabesity, then, is a combination of inflammation, weight gain, and sugar imbalances, which create a vicious cycle that keeps individuals stuck in an unhealthy pattern of illness. 

Many problems: one solution

Besides inflammation, what do high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and obesity all have in common? In most cases, they can be completely reversed by lifestyle changes alone! That’s right — you can cure yourself of these health issues without the nasty side effects of medications. 

The first step in reversing diabesity involves dietary changes. Studies have found that adopting an ancestral diet can prevent and even reverse diabesity. While food can trigger inflammation, it’s also the most powerful healing tool. 

Foods on the ancestral 100 Year Heart Diet are rich in phytochemicals and potent anti-inflammatories. In addition, the 100 Year Heart Diet eliminates unhealthy processed sugars and replaces them with vitamin-rich complex carbohydrates. 

Multiple other lifestyle habits can help reverse diabesity, including: 

  • Regular exercise (preferably outside)
  • Stress reduction 
  • Removal of toxins from the home
  • Quality sleep
  • Exposure to the sun

It’s also important to understand your starting point. Seek out a medical professional who understands the importance of the abovementioned lifestyle. 

The right provider will order the most helpful blood work. For example, most doctors rely on fasting blood sugar levels to determine diabetes risk. However, this is a poor indicator of diabesity. Instead, you will want a one and two-hour insulin response test.

Additionally, a full advanced cholesterol panel including apolipoproteins and inflammation markers will provide valuable insight into your diabesity risk. The team at Natural Heart Doctor can support you in this effort. 

Diabesity: an early warning sign

Many people walk through life feeling mediocre, at best. A visit to the doctor reveals a “clean bill of health,” yet something deep down tells us that we are not well. 

Unfortunately, most physicians don’t address health until illness develops. Our current healthcare system is too damaged to pick up on the imbalances that occur early on in the course of illness. However, by the time symptoms appear, the damage is often already done.

Thankfully, diabesity is reversible, and your 100 Year Heart is possible. Even after diagnosis, you have an opportunity to stop the disease in its tracks before it progresses to a life-threatening condition. It all starts with you! 

Next steps

If you are concerned about your diabetes risk or want more information on diabesity, work with one of our expert practitioners who can give you tools to regain great health and reverse diabesity.

Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well

Medical Review: Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD 2022


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About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

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About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

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Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

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Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

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Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

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Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.