Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Healing More Slowly

When you're overweight, you live in fear of diabetes because everyone says you're supposed to develop it if you're fat. As I've mentioned before, I don't have diabetes (despite my weight). I attribute this mainly to genetic luck. I've also read that people who carry more weight in their behind (pear-shaped people) have a lower chance of developing diabetes than people who carry their weight in their midsection or up top (apple-shaped people). My fat can may have been saving me.

That being said, I do watch myself for any indications of diabetes as it is sensible to do so. That is, I look for cotton mouth, frequent thirst, slow healing, etc. When I was eating a lot, I never had any problems healing relatively quickly. The strange thing is that, now that I'm losing weight, I've noticed that I heal more slowly. That is not to say that I heal too slowly (not taking a week or more), but just slower than before.

The reason for this is fairly obvious. When I was eating more, my body had bountiful nutritional resources to draw from to repair damage. Now, it's attending to other issues with less "material" to work with. In particular, your skin and any scratches, cuts or abrasions tend to heal more slowly when you're losing weight as attending to your skin is a low priority for you body. I notice this mainly with pimples (which I scratch, even though I shouldn't) or insect bites (ditto).

At first, this tendency had me fretting a little, but it's not like these things don't clear up. It's interesting to note that there are some extremely minor negative effects from not eating as much as you want. This experience is the tip of the iceberg of why not eating much at all (or severe calorie reduction) may not necessarily be a good idea.