Pretty much anyone can get type 2 diabetes these days. With 29 million Americans suffering from this disease and numbers still rising, you have to start asking: Are you putting yourself at risk for diabetes? Thanks to years of research, scientists and health professionals now know it is not just a single thing causing diabetes, but several problems occurring together over time. The trouble is 1 in 4 people don’t even know they have diabetes.
But those at a higher risk for the disease are those who:
- Are over 45
- Are obese or overweight
- Have had Gestational Diabetes or delivered a baby over 9 lbs
- Have a first degree relative with type 2 diabetes
- Diagnosed pre diabetes
- Don’t exercise
- Have low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides
- Have high blood pressure
- Are members of certain racial or ethnic groups including:
- African Americans
- Native Americans
- Asian Americans/Pacific Islander
- Have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Some of these risk factors like age and race are completely out of our control. Others are factors we can modify. Those are the ones we should be focusing on. Keeping other conditions under control such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol can help your body maintain balance and focus energy on controlling blood sugar. Diet and exercise play a huge role here. According to the American Diabetes Association, even losing 10-15 pounds can reduce your risk and lower your blood sugar.
So what should you do if you have a lot of these risk factors? Check out my other article 6 Early Signs of Diabetes, and see where you are at. Talk to your doctor. Go get tested. A simple blood sugar test can tell you where you are at and if you need to make some changes. The good news is even if you are at a pre diabetic state and have many risk factors, it is not the end all be all. Onset of type II diabetes can be delayed if not prevented entirely in certain patients. It’s never too late to start eating right and exercising.