What is a Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factor?

Type 2 diabetes can strike anyone. Researchers still don't know why some people develop the disease and others don't. However, they do know that there are some type 2 diabetes risk factors that can increase your chances of developing the disease.

When people think about diabetes, their first thoughts are about sugar levels and daily insulin shots.

Although sugar is a factor in type 2 diabetes, insulin shots are usually only required for type 1 or juvenile diabetes.

Juvenile, or type 1 diabetes, is a disease you are born with. So-called "adult onset diabetes", or type 2 diabetes, is developed over the years.

Type 2 diabetes is called adult onset diabetes because it usually takes many years to develop. Most people diagnosed with this disease are well over 40.

However, the disease is increasingly being diagnosed in younger people. Experts believe this is due to the increase in childhood obesity.

Obesity, poor diet and type 2 diabetes are strongly linked

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

The disease starts to develop when your body builds up a resistance to insulin. Gradually, it becomes more difficult for the blood to carry sugar to your muscles and other organs.

This results in a sugar build-up in the blood and pancreas. As a natural defense mechanism, the body produces more insulin in order to overcome this resistance.

This often results in drastic spikes and drops of sugar levels in the blood. Eventually, the insulin-producing cells lose the battle, and die off – resulting in type 2 diabetes.

How You Can Develop Type 2 Diabetes

There are many factors that contribute to your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, including:

  • Obesity
  • Family history
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Age
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • Heavy smoking
  • Heavy drinking

Type 2 diabetes is almost always avoidable. And even after you are diagnosed, the condition can be controlled, sometimes even reversed. Get tested for risk factors today.

There is nothing you can do about your age or family health history, but just having these risk factors does not mean you will develop the disease.

By eliminating the type 2 diabetes risk factors that are within your control, you may lower the power of the factors that aren't.

Family Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors

Just because many of your relatives have developed type 2 diabetes doesn't necessarily mean you will, too. One of the reasons is lifestyle choices. You don't have to follow the choices made by your parents or other relatives.

If members of your family tend to be obese, lead a sedentary lifestyle and eat more cake than fruits, doesn't mean that you have to follow these examples. If they all drink and smoke heavily, doesn't mean that you should, too.

You can try to change your family, but chances are you won't get very far. All you can do is change yourself.

Poor eating habits and low levels of exercise can lead to type 2 diabetes

Choose to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Choose to eat four or five small, well-balanced meals a day instead of three large ones. The amount of food you eat in one sitting will not guarantee that you will not be hungry in between meals. All it means is that you have trained your stomach to expect large amounts of food.

But that's not the worst part. The worst part is the snacks you choose.

The less sugar that reaches your organs, the more you will crave sweets. Your organs are telling you that they need sugar, so you try to satisfy them by eating cakes and chocolate bars.

But the sugar still isn't reaching the organs. All you are accomplishing is gaining weight and increasing your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

By training your stomach to be satisfied with a small amount of food at a time, and only eating fruits and vegetables between meals, you will be able to make your stomach smaller.

More food will be turned into the nutrients your body needs, and less will be stored as fat. You will also be able to digest your food easier, making your whole body slimmer and healthier.

Many people have overcome, or at least gained control of type 2 diabetes just by changing their diet and exercise habits. Quitting smoking and reducing the amount of alcohol you drink will help as well.

Take control of the type 2 diabetes risk factors in your life before it's too late.

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