A risk factor is defined as any cause, aspect or circumstance that may increase your chances of developing a particular disease. Regarding type 2 diabetes, it is just one of the many illnesses nowadays with an extensive list of factors to watch out for, including lifestyle choices.
Type 2 diabetes develops when our blood sugar remains constantly elevated and above the normal level. Glucose, which is the form of sugar mostly present in our blood, stays in the blood and cannot efficiently get into your cells, which is where the body needs it. Sugar is essential for energy production, which is a process occurring on the cell.
Such a regular excess of glucose in the cardiovascular system has a negative effect on many body functions, and it can lead to numerous diseases over time. High blood sugar is caused when body cells do not react well anymore to insulin, which is the hormone helping cells absorb this glucose. This hormone is secreted by the pancreas, but once we develop insulin resistance, which subsequently becomes type 2 diabetes, this is when high blood sugar levels become chronic.
Type 2 diabetes can begin at any time in our life. In a nutshell, the main factors that put us at risk are as follows:
Impaired tolerance for glucose
when our body cannot tolerate glucose too well, then we are entering the pre-diabetes state. This condition is milder than diabetes but indicates a potential danger for our health in the future. If you have had pre-diabetes before, there is a high risk of developing full-blown type 2 diabetes later.
It is known that when a person has a parent or a sibling suffering from diabetes, they are at higher risk to get this metabolic condition as well.
Obesity or being overweight
One of the top causes of diabetes is to be obese or overweight. This is why doctors urge their patients to maintain a healthy weight. Stay healthy by living an active lifestyle and eating a balanced diet.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at risk of diabetes due to the fact that their bodies grow less sensitive to insulin. Furthermore, their hormone imbalances contribute to sudden weight gains, which is also another risk factor for diabetes.
According to medical research, Pacific Islanders, Asians, Africans and North Americans have an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, especially if they adapt to a western-style diet, compared to other ethnicities. This is a genetic factor.
If a woman develops gestational diabetes – a form of insulin resistance during pregnancy, then she is at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes later on in her life.
People above 45 with weight problems are at a high risk of getting this medical condition. If you are 45 and over, and show signs of insulin resistance, talk to your physician about a simple screening test as soon as possible.
Lifestyle choices play a large role in developing diabetes or not. If you live a sedentary lifestyle and fall under the risk factors mentioned above, then you must work harder to stave off the risk of this disease. Maintain a healthy weight, get active and eat healthy.
Here are a few more tips to help you prevent type 2 diabetes and stay robust.
● Limit your alcohol intake – Too much alcohol can cause high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and weight gains. If you must drink alcohol, make sure to stay within a reasonable limit.
● Stop smoking – Smoking causes your triglyceride levels to go higher. Smokers are also known to develop diabetes more easily compared to non-smokers.
● Get rid of processed foods – Processed foods contain excess sugar, carbohydrates, salt and preservatives which are ingredients that contribute to weight gain, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. Avoid processed food and start eating whole foods instead.
● Sleep right – Getting enough sleep will prevent stress and weight gain. This can also stop you from making bad food choices. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep to feel energized and refreshed in the morning.
In many instances, type 2 diabetes can be prevented when intervention occurs early enough. Therefore it is vital to know where you stand. Type 2 diabetes is mostly a lifestyle disease, which is getting more and more common as our lifestyles have changed in the past few decades.
Talk to your local holistic doctor if you need to take blood sugar medication to keep it under control.