While we’re not entirely sure what causes a person to develop type 1 diabetes, there are a number of “markers” for identifying what could lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Knowing these risks can help you to be more aware and take charge of your health in ways that may prevent you developing the disease:
- Age is an important risk factor. The chance of developing type 2 diabetes increases as you get older, particularly after age 45.
- Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are more likely to develop diabetes at some point in their lives.
- Being overweight or obese is a major risk factor—particularly if you carry extra weight around the waist. The best way to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes is to lose the excess weight.
- Family history.
- Inactive lifestyle.
- High levels of fat in the blood (particularly high triglycerides and/or low HDL cholesterol).
- Having had gestational and/or pre-diabetes.
These risk factors also put you at risk for pre-diabetes, a dangerous condition in which blood-glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be formally classified as full-blown diabetes. Pre-diabetes can damage your health. And those with pre-diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes within a decade unless they adopt a healthier lifestyle, including weight loss and more physical activity.
Having these risk factors doesn’t mean you’ll definitely develop diabetes. However, you should monitor closely your health and speak with your doctor about possible ways to lower your risk.
For more information:
- Click here for more on diabetes management.
- Click here for more on diabetes and blood pressure.
- Click here for more on diabetes and diet.
- Click here for more on diabetes and exercise.
- Click here for Joslin Diabetes Center videos.
- Click here to learn about Celtics’ star Ray Allen’s $3 for 3’s fundraiser for the Joslin Diabetes Center’s High Hopes Fund.
- Click here to learn more about Joslin Diabetes Center.