Risk Factors and Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes: Risk Factors
Certain individuals are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others. Known risk factors and health conditions contributing to the development of diabetes include the following:
- Lack of exercise;
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS);
- Insulin resistance;
- Low individual birth weight;
- Metabolic syndrome;
- Endothelial dysfunction;
- Retinal artery narrowing;
- C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker;
- Impaired fasting glucose or high blood sugar readings;
- History of gestational diabetes;
- High LDL cholesterol level;
- Acanthosis nigricans on the areas of the neck or armpits; and/or
- Older than 45 years of age.[1,2]
As noted above, various ethnicities are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, including those with a Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, African American, and Hispanic/Latino background.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
Personal prevention can aid in delaying the onset of this disease, even lowering an individual’s risk. While there is no absolute guarantee that a person can prevent the development of this disease, particularly those with a strong family history, there is no need to sit back and allow it, and other associated health complications, to set in without a fight. It is important to note that with personal prevention, some individuals have actually been able to prevent diabetes altogether.
All at-risk persons have the opportunity to take a proactive approach to their health by following the tips below:
- Exercise daily.
- Lose weight.
- Monitor carbohydrates.
- Limit sugar and fat intake.
- Increase healthy proteins into a diabetic diet, including skinless chicken breast and nuts.
- Eat whole wheat products and fresh produce.
- Avoid eating three large meals per day; instead, eat six small meals.
Incorporate an antidiabetic medication into a healthy lifestyle.