Many overweight & obese people have darkening behind neck , darkening in armpits and other parts of body with creases and folds like elbows, knees, knuckles, etc. which is commonly mistaken as smudge of dirt or uncleanliness or lack of hygiene. Some people think that it is due to repeated friction caused by necklace or chains etc. In fact it is a sign of Diabetes which is already developed or going to develop.
This darkening is due to excessive cell growth & differentiation of fibro blasts caused by excess of insulin in the body especially in obese individuals and type 2 diabetes patients.
In Obese individuals and Type 2 diabetes patients excess amount of fat especially abdominal fat ( Tummy fat ) causes resistance to action of insulin secreted by pancreas and hamper its action. in return body produces more and more insulin from pancreas to keep blood sugar under control. This excess amount of insulin secreted by body promotes this skin cell growth and which leads to acanthosis nigricans.
After producing excess amount of insulin pancreas start exhausting and which leads to developing diabetes.
At this stage diabetes can be prevented by simple lifestyle modification & moderate weight loss.
Keeping in mind that complications caused by diabetes on damaging retina, kidney, nerves , heart , vascular system etc and money burden caused by treatment, it is important to STOP DIABETES here.
Lifestyle Modification includes:
- Replacing refined carbohydrates with whole grains foods.
- Increase intake of fresh fruits,vegetables and other foods high in fibre content.
- Decrease saturated fat intake like avoiding chips,biscuits,pastries, Samosas, Vada pav etc.
- Increase intake of grilled & steamed food instead of frying and roasting.
- Reducing Amount of meal at a time ( Portion size ) cuts down calorie intake.
- Atleast daily 30 min moderate exercise including brisk walking, cycling etc.
- Gradual Weight loss to keep BMI in range of 18- 23 ( for Indians )
- Stress management with yoga, meditation etc
If you show this sign, Get your blood sugar test done and consult diabetologist immediately.