Love, sex and diabesity
By Ayesha Singh
10th February 2013 12:00 AM
Anirudh Sharma had no prior history of diabetes, but he did have a history of abusing his body with erratic sleeping hours, lack of exercise, being a borderline alcoholic and a junk food addict. His body stood by him for 29 years and then gave way. He was first hit with obesity. Weighing over 125 kilos, diabetes soon surfaced, followed by a decreased interest in sex. With more than one billion people affected by diabesity, a common term for obesity and diabetes, it is a major reason of decreased libido, sexual drive and infertility among men in all age groups.
Considered the largest epidemic the world is grappling with at the moment, Diabesity is largely caused by a sedentary unhealthy lifestyle. It makes one vulnerable to kidney malfunctioning, high blood pressure, heart stroke, cancer, impotency and other issues. “In 2006, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the results of a study showing men who gained weight had a potential for increasing risk of infertility by 10 per cent. Another study published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility found a link between obesity and lower sperm count in men between the ages 20 and 30,” says Dr. Atul NC Peters, Director of Institute of Bariatric, Metabolic and Minimal Access Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.
The crux of the problem lies in our lifestyles and environmental toxins. When the diet consists of processed food, sugar, fats and carbohydrates in huge quantities like bread, rice, pasta, then our cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. The higher is our insulin levels, the more worried we should be, because high insulin levels lead to enormous appetite and weight gain. Once you have put on the extra kilos, mostly around your belly, it causes depression and decreased libido. “Most obese men may be less attractive to their partners and may harbour a low self esteem. Increase in the temperature of the testicles due to friction created by thighs rubbing each other may also contribute to infertility in obese men. Fortunately, the effects of diabesity can be reversed by certain lifestyle changes. A healthy diet, lifestyle modification, regular weight training is all that takes to be on the right track. For people whose Body Mass Index or BMI is more than 32.5, and are grappling with health troubles like diabetes, hypertension and infertility, Bariatric Surgery, a weight loss surgery, could offer a permanent solution,” says Peters who emphasises that there was still time for damage control.
Even if one started today, he could successfully deal with diabesity on a holistic level.
Watch what you eat. The problem starts with unhealthy eating habits.
Give yourself at least 20 minutes a day for physical exercise.
Make realistic goals, if you are planning on losing weight. Being thin doesn’t necessarily mean being fit.
Consult a specialist, if you are detected with diabetes.
Consider metabolic surgery, if you have BMI above 32.5 and poor diabetic control.
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