Diabetes has gripped the world with its far-reaching consequences on the health of an individual. Since no cure is yet available for the disease, considerable research has been done to find out why some sections of the population are more predisposed towards developing the disease.
Researchers have postulated that there are certain risk factors present in individuals, which give rise to type -2 diabetes. Knowing what the risk factors are, gaining awareness and taking necessary measures to prevent them from causing the disease can go a long way in keeping people diabetes free. Here are some of the risk factors for type-2 diabetes.
Common Risk Factors for Type-2 Diabetes
Your weight is perhaps one of the biggest risk factors for developing the disease. People who are overweight or obese are at greatest risk. Eating a diet that is high on starch, sugars and refined carbs leads to the deposit of ugly fat in the body. Fatty tissues and cells increase insulin resistance in the body and make the body prone to developing diabetes.
That is why type-2 diabetes is an acquired disease. When you are overweight, take no part in exercise and consume fatty and sugary food, the pancreas has to work harder to get rid of the excess sugar in the body. This makes it easier for the body to cease its production of insulin leading to insulin dependent, type 2 diabetes.
The way your fat is distributed in your body will determine your risk for developing type-2 diabetes. People who store more fat around their tummies and mid sections show a greater predisposition to the disease then people who store fat on their hips and legs.
Excess weight along with no exercise is a killer combination putting you at risk for not only diabetes but also coronary heart disease. On the other hand, if you exercise for an hour every day, you burn the excess glucose produced in the body thus reducing the stress on the pancreas to produce more insulin. It also keeps your weight in check thus keeping insulin resistance at bay. An active lifestyle is highly recommended for keeping diabetes away.
Genes and Family History
Strong links have now been established for diabetes being an inherited and a family disease. If your immediate family like brothers, sisters, parents, uncles and aunts have the disease, you are at greater risk for acquiring type-2 diabetes. Of course, it does not mean that you automatically develop diabetes. By being aware of the genetic link, you can decrease the probability of developing the disease by following good eating and lifestyle habits.
Certain races in the world like Indian Americans, blacks and Asians are more at risk for developing the disease than Caucasians. Perhaps this is the reason why India has become the diabetes capital of the world. This has largely to do with our faulty eating habits, increased western influences and lack of physical exercise.
As you age and grow older, your risk for developing the disease multiplies. People above the age of 45 are more at risk of developing the disease. This trend is fast changing with more and more children succumbing to juvenile diabetes due to their high consumption of fatty and junk foods. In addition, the insulin response of the body declines as you age which makes it easier for people to fall prey to diabetes.
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar readings are high but not high enough to be classified as type-2 diabetes. If left untreated or unmanaged, however, the condition can progress to full-blown type -2 diabetes.
Pre-diabetes serves as a warning sign to people to change their eating and lifestyle habits. Fortunately, with exercise and moderate eating habits, the condition can be brought under control. People who have pre-diabetes do not necessarily have to take insulin.
If you have suffered from gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, your chances of developing type-2 diabetes later on are much higher. Your risk also increases if you produced a heavy baby weighing more than 9 pounds. That is why pregnant women have to be watchful and on the lookout for symptoms of gestational diabetes.
A close link has been established between hypertension and tye-2 diabetes. Hypertension is also an immediate fall out of excess weight gain, stress and faulty eating habits. Thus, having hypertension automatically puts you in the category of being a potential candidate for type-2 diabetes. Hypertensives are therefore advised to follow good lifestyle habits and practices to keep their weight and blood pressure under control.
Abnormal Lipid Profile
A lipid profile in which your LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol is high, is never a good sign. It indicates excess deposits of fatty substances in the body, which puts you at risk for diabetes and heart disease. People should therefore exercise and eat sensibly to elevate their HDL cholesterols and lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is a metabolic disorder in women, which occurs due to faulty thyroid function and affects the reproductive system causing the formation of multiple cysts on the ovaries.
This in turn affects the way insulin works and is produced in the body thus putting women at risk for developing type-2 diabetes.
Impaired Glucose Tolerance Test
A frequently seen history of impaired fasting blood glucose done over a period of few months can put you at risk for developing type-2 diabetes. This is a sure shot sign that you could develop diabetes in the near future unless your bring it to your doctor’s notice and take constructive steps to keep the blood sugar levels under strict control.
The above risk factors do not necessarily mean that you will develop the disease but serve as alarm bells or warning signs of the hidden dangers of diabetes. It has been seen that people with no known risk factor can also develop the disease. Luckily, the disease can be easily managed and kept under control with diet and a healthy lifestyle.
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