What Are the Risk Factors to Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes is a dietary and lifestyle disease. Diabetes can attack anyone from any walk of life. The number of people getting diabetes is dramatically increasing. National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020 revealed that 34.2 million people have diabetes (10.5% of the US population), 26.9 million people were diagnosed, including 26.8 million adults, and 7.3 million people were undiagnosed (21.4% are undiagnosed).

Diabetes is a serious health condition in which glucose levels accumulate in your bloodstream. The hormone insulin helps move the sugar from your blood into your cells, where it’s consumed for energy. Increased stress, no physical activity, and obesity increase the risk of diabetes.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a disorder that can cause hyperglycemia (high glucose level). A person having Type 2 diabetes either doesn’t make enough insulin, or cells in the body don’t respond typically to the insulin.

Type 2 diabetes, also known as type 2 diabetes mellitus and adult-onset diabetes, is the most common type of diabetes. It usually starts in middle-aged and older people. In type 2 diabetes, your body’s cells aren’t able to respond to insulin (a hormone that controls the amount of sugar into cells) as well as they should. In the later stages of this condition, your body may not produce enough insulin.

Type 2 diabetes can cause chronically high blood glucose levels, causing severe complications like heart disease, heart attack, stroke, depression, etc.

What causes diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes can occur due to genetics and lifestyle factors. A healthy person’s pancreas (an organ behind your stomach) releases insulin to help the body store and use glucose from the food it eats. Type 2 diabetes happens when the insulin pancreas releases are not enough, or the body can’t recognize the insulin and use it properly. Your body does not respond to insulin in the manner it should be.

What are the diabetes symptoms, and how to prevent diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes symptoms often develop slowly. Many people can be living with type 2 diabetes for years without knowing it. The common symptoms of Type 2 diabetes may include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Frequent infections
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Darkened skin(in the neck & armpit)

In type 2 diabetes, these symptoms tend to develop more slowly. Sometimes, people get these signs for months or years, making it difficult for them to know that they have this underlying illness.

Want to know more about how to prevent type 2 diabetes? If so, get in touch with us! At Wellness 1st Integrative Medical Center in Gilbert, Arizona, our internal medicine and health specialists help you to prevent Type 2 diabetes. It is a serious medical condition, but you can avoid getting it by-

  • Reducing sugar and refined carbs from your diet
  • Doing work out regularly (at least 30 minutes a day)
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Eating fiber-rich food
  • Losing weight (if you’re obese)
  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoiding sedentary behaviors
  • Managing your blood pressure
  • Following a very low carb diet

What are the risk factors involved in type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes has many risk factors associated with it. You are more likely to have type 2 diabetes in the following cases-

  • Ineffective use of insulin makes the body resistant to insulin, also known as insulin resistance, which further causes blood sugar levels to increase.
  • Being obese or overweight increases your risk to get Type 2 diabetes. This condition runs in families. Family members have common genes that increase their chances of getting type 2 diabetes and being overweight.
  • Pre-diabetes is a milder form of diabetes. If you are pre-diabetic, there’s a strong chance you’ll get type 2 diabetes.
  • The risk increases if the person has a history of heart disease and follows a sedentary lifestyle. People who do physical exercise less than 3 times a week may get diabetes.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome may become the reason for diabetes in women.
  • High alcohol intake increases the risk.
  • If you have high blood pressure, there are chances that you might develop diabetes.
  • When high blood triglyceride (fat) levels are too high (more than 150 milligrams per deciliter mg/dL), it can cause diabetes.
  • Low “good” cholesterol level (less than 40 mg/dL) may increase the risk of developing diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes or women who gave birth to a baby weighing over 9 pounds may become diabetic.
  • If you belong to an ethnicity that is at higher risk like Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Pacific Islander are more likely to get type 2 diabetes.
  • Older age is another risk factor for type 2 diabetes. After the age of 45, the risk of type 2 diabetes starts to increase and rises significantly after age 65.
  • Some specific drugs are prescribed to help organ transplants succeed, but many of them, like Tacrolimus (Prograf, Astagraf) or steroids, can cause diabetes or make it even worse with time.

What are the complications involved in Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes can affect major organs like the heart, nerve, blood vessels, eyes, and kidneys. It becomes the reason for Cardiovascular issues such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, chest pain, stroke, high cholesterol, blood pressure, atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries). Kidney failure, the need for a kidney transplant, and dialysis can be the result of this type of diabetes. It also causes skin diseases like bacterial and fungal infection, hearing impairment, slow healing of serious injuries, and increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Controlling diabetes and managing your blood sugar can decrease your risk for these complications.

Medication for Type 2 Diabetes

Your doctor may prescribe you anti-diabetic medicines or insulin to keep blood sugar levels under control. Metformin (Glumetza, Fortamet, and others) is generally the first medication prescribed for type 2 diabetes. It works by minimizing glucose production in the liver and boosting your body’s sensitivity to insulin so that your body can use insulin more effectively. The increase of type 2 diabetes and its side effects can be prevented if diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

A proper diet and healthy lifestyle habits, with medication, can help to manage type 2 diabetes. Include fiber-rich food and healthy carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat, oatmeal, vegetables, fruits, beans, and lentils in your diet.

Protein provides energy and keeps blood sugar stable. Protein-rich food helps to control sugar cravings and makes you feel full after eating. Protein-packed foods include beans, eggs, legumes, seafood, peas, dairy, tofu, and lean meats and poultry.

Eat at regular intervals, but don’t do overeating. Keep a watch on your weight and keep your heart healthy by doing about half an hour of aerobic activity daily.

What food to avoid in diabetes?

Certain foods can increase your blood sugar and insulin levels and may increase your risk of disease. Avoiding some food such as sugar-sweetened beverages, artificial trans fats, fruit-flavored yogurt, white bread, rice and pasta, sweetened breakfast cereals, flavored coffee drinks, agave nectar honey, dried fruit, and maple syrup can help to reduce the chances of diabetes.

If you have diabetes, you don’t need to give up all fruit altogether. You can stick to low sugar fruits such as a small apple, fresh berries to get health benefits and keep your blood sugar in the range.

Early diagnosis can help to stop the progression of type 2 diabetes. So, if you feel that you are having any of the diabetes symptoms (mentioned above), you can visit Wellness 1st. We can provide expert medical care personalized for you. To know more, schedule an appointment online or over the phone now.