Type 2 diabetes can develop from a combination of risk factors that range from diet to overall lifestyle choices. While some factors can be controlled and maintained, others such as family history, or age can not be changed. This article will highlight 5 risk factors that can contribute and lead to type 2 diabetes.
Starting with weight, people who are overweight are susceptible to type 2 diabetes for multiple reasons. The more fatty tissue a person has contributes to the more resistant one’s cells become to insulin. This can cause glucose to stay in the blood longer, raising blood sugar levels, causing the pancreas to produce more insulin to overcompensate the weak response of the cells. If left unmanaged this can likely develop into type 2 diabetes.
In addition to weight, inactivity can also be defined as a risk factor that can lead to type 2 diabetes. Physical activity can improve both cardiovascular and mental health, as well as reduce insulin resistance. Combined with a balanced diet, exercise is one of the most beneficial forms of diabetes management. Therefore, lack of physical activity can become a major risk factor for both people with type 2 and prediabetes.
Categorized as a risk factor that cannot be controlled, family history can also contribute to type 2 diabetes. A person is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if their parents or siblings have already been diagnosed with type 2. This however can be used in one’s favor due to family medical history being a perfect diagnostic tool. If diabetes does run in the family, one can make conscious lifestyle choices to prevent themselves from being diagnosed.
Age can also contribute as a risk factor towards type 2 diabetes. As a person gets older it can become more and more difficult to metabolize carbohydrates. This can result in increased blood sugar levels. In addition, with age, a person’s body can develop more insulin resistance due to muscle, liver, and cells losing sensitivity towards insulin.
Finally, mental health problems such as anxiety and depression can worsen symptoms for someone living with type 2 diabetes. Feeling anxious and or stressed can result in difficulty when managing one’s diagnosis. Not eating properly or lack of physical activity due to simply not feeling right can cause blood levels to rise and put someone more at risk for the fatal effects of diabetes.