top of page
  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

What are the Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes?


Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects how your body uses sugar (glucose) as a fuel. It causes high blood sugar levels that can damage your organs and increase your risk of complications. Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age, but it is more common in older adults and people who are overweight or obese.

There are many factors that can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Some of them are related to your genes, while others are related to your lifestyle and health conditions. Knowing your risk factors can help you take steps to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes

.

Genetic and ethnic factors

Some people are born with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes because of their family history or their ethnicity. You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Have a parent, sibling, or child with type 2 diabetes.

  • Have a genetic condition that affects how your body responds to insulin, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY).


Weight and body fat distribution

Being overweight or obese is one of the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Excess weight makes your body more resistant to insulin, which means your cells cannot use sugar properly. The more weight you carry, the higher your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

However, not all fat is the same. Where you store fat in your body also affects your risk of type 2 diabetes. People who have more fat around their abdomen (central obesity) are at higher risk than people who have more fat around their hips and thighs (peripheral obesity). This is because abdominal fat releases hormones and chemicals that interfere with insulin action and increase inflammation.


Physical activity and sedentary behavior

Being physically active can help you prevent or manage type 2 diabetes by improving your insulin sensitivity, lowering your blood sugar levels, and maintaining a healthy weight. Physical activity can also reduce your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and stress levels, which are all beneficial for your heart health.

On the other hand, being sedentary (sitting or lying down for long periods of time) can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by reducing your muscle mass, slowing down your metabolism, and impairing your blood circulation. Sedentary behavior can also contribute to weight gain, depression, and other health problems.


Other health conditions

Certain medical conditions can increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. These medical conditions can include:

  • High blood pressure: High blood pressure can damage your blood vessels and make it harder for insulin to reach your cells.

  • Prediabetes: Prediabetes is a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. If left untreated, prediabetes can progress to type 2 diabetes within five years.

  • Gestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It usually goes away after delivery, but it increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

  • Depression: Depression can affect your mood, appetite, sleep, and energy levels. It can also make it harder for you to cope with stress and follow a healthy lifestyle. Depression can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by affecting your hormones, immune system, and inflammation.


How to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes

The good news is that you can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by making some changes in your lifestyle and health habits. Here are some tips to help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes:

  • Lose weight if you are overweight or obese. Aim for a modest weight loss of 5% to 10% of your initial weight over six months. You can achieve this by reducing your calorie intake and increasing your physical activity.

  • Eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, saturated fat, and trans fat. Choose foods that have a low glycemic index (GI), which means they do not raise your blood sugar levels too quickly or too much.

  • Be physically active for at least 150 minutes per week. You can do moderate-intensity activities such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing. You can also do vigorous-intensity activities such as running, jumping rope, or playing sports. Try to include some strength training exercises at least twice a week to build and maintain your muscle mass.

  • Limit your sedentary time by breaking up long periods of sitting or lying down with short bouts of movement. For example, you can stand up and stretch every 30 minutes, walk around during commercial breaks, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. You can also use a standing desk, a fitness tracker, or an app to remind you to move more throughout the day.

  • Manage your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other health conditions. Follow your doctor’s advice on how to treat and control any medical conditions that can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Take your medications as prescribed and monitor your blood sugar levels regularly if you have prediabetes or gestational diabetes.

  • Quit smoking if you are a smoker. Smoking can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other complications. Quitting smoking can improve your health and lower your risk of many diseases.

  • Reduce your stress levels and seek help for depression if needed. Stress and depression can affect your hormones, immune system, and inflammation, which can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, or talking to a friend. If you have symptoms of depression, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional about treatment options.


Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition that can affect your quality of life and increase your risk of complications. However, you can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by knowing your risk factors and making some lifestyle changes. By taking care of yourself and your health, you can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and enjoy a longer and happier life.


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456

Recent Posts

See All

Understanding Muscle Pains: A Guide for Patients

Muscle pain, also known as myalgia, is a common condition that affects individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Whether it’s a result of overexertion, stress, or underlying medical conditions, underst

Comentarios


bottom of page