Type 2 Diabetes is a disease of middle age and beyond. This means you are not born with it, unlike the type I, implying further there must be some factors that make you prone to developing this condition.
The general belief within the community is that being overweight or consuming many sugary items leads to diabetes. You may have heard a word of warning and cautionary advice from your health practitioner and loved ones too. These ideas are true to some extent but not necessarily. So why would you be vulnerable to diabetes (it is not common cold)?
To answer this question, here is a look at some of the risk factors pertaining to type 2 diabetes, some of which can be changed while others are beyond one’s control, some of them might surprise you. We will start with the common ones.
Genetic makeup and family history
The Most important one of which you might not be even aware is a family history. Sadly, it is one of those aspects of diabetes, which you cannot change, but it puts you on the list of high-risk cases by design.
The risk of diabetes increases with advancing age though many cases of type 2 diabetes are being observed in children as obesity becomes a global endemic. With age, your pancreas has worked hard enough and your body cells becoming resistant to the effects of insulin. If you have not led a physically active life while you were young, chances are you might still not walk an extra mile to ignite the calories collected from the weekend dinner. The results become clinically evident in ascending years.
Ascending figures on the weighing scale are free summons to diabetes. The reason is very clear; excess caloric inputs put an unnecessary but obligatory strain on the pancreas, which loses their ability to produce insulin efficiently. Furthermore, the increased amount of fat gives rise to insulin resistance, a condition in which the body cells become less responsive to insulin calls with a resultant increase in blood sugar levels.
A BMI of more than 35
Your BMI reading is directly linked to labels as underweight, normal, overweight, obese, and morbidly obese. A BMI reading of 35 or more identifies a serious intervention to avoid the diabetic dilemma.
Lack of voluntary physical activity puts you on the steps that take you higher on the scale figures, high BMI, insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels.
The pattern of fat distribution is primarily under the genetic code, with more fat around your waist and belly; your chances at developing diabetes are increased owing to insulin resistance and Leptin resistance, a hormone responsible for hunger control.
Race and Ethnicity
The statistical data gathered from around the world have suggested some ethnic groups and race specifics, tagged with a high-risk status for diabetes. These are African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
Giving birth to large baby
If you suffered from gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby weighing nine pounds, your chances of developing diabetes later in life are increased. So, a red flag there.
Prediabetes is a condition when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not clinically significant to be diagnosed with diabetes. Fortunately, prediabetes can be reversed with lifestyle changes as healthy eating protocols and adopting some kind of physical activity.
An overweight friend’s circle
“You are known by the company you keep”, well it is a saying that holds true for diabetes if not otherwise. Humans are social animals and are influenced by their environment as well as people around them. One is naturally prone to adopting the mental attitudes of peers without any conscious effort.
Hypothyroidism is another metabolic disease in which the metabolic rate of your body takes a plunge downwards. With all the processes working at a slow pace, you are automatically engaged to weight gain.
Polycystic ovarian disease
PCOS is another hormonal disorder with parallel insulin resistance that requires lifestyle changes in order to avoid diabetes.
History of stroke
A history of stroke is tagged with high LDL levels, low HDL levels with an overall disturbed lipid profile. It increases your chances of developing diabetes in many ways.
The skin of neck, armpits and other folds of your body take up a dark, thickened and velvety appearance in a skin condition called Acanthosis nigricans, which is somehow related to an increased risk of developing diabetes at some stage of life.
Allergies develop in response to some kind of malfunctioning with the immune system of the body, gluten intolerance being one of them.
Chronic sleep debt
Numerous pieces of research have linked poor sleeping habits and disturbed sleeping patterns to high blood sugar levels.
The lifestyle behaviors and learned attitudes in childhood may put you in the high-risk group for developing diabetes in later life. These include eating preferences, outdoor activities, sleeping patterns, reward mechanisms, etc.
The kind of havoc stress plays with the hormonal and biochemical profile of our body is too complex to be detailed here. However, chronic stress and fatigue syndrome drain the hormones in the body including insulin.
If you are currently taking any prescribed medicine for any heart condition, they predispose you to diabetes, particularly in the presence of other risk factors. Some of these are thiazide diuretics, beta-blockers, and statins. Some anti-psychotic drugs, steroids, immunosuppressant, and protease inhibitors are also included in the list. Make sure your doctor is aware of your medical history.