What Lifestyle Choices Increase the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes?

Being overweight or obese is one of the main risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. This is because fat stored in the abdomen, rather than in the hips and thighs, indicates an increased risk. The body uses a hormone called insulin to help glucose from the bloodstream enter cells so that it can be used as energy. However, when muscle, fat, and liver cells don't respond well to the action of insulin, a condition called insulin resistance can occur.

A certain type of fat, called visceral fat, may also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. This type of fat surrounds the internal organs, such as the liver and intestines, deep in the midsection. Although it only accounts for 10 percent of total body fat, it has the highest associated risk of metabolic problems, such as insulin resistance. Individuals can assess their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by completing the Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test (AUSDRISK).

If you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesn't use insulin well and can't maintain normal blood sugar levels. Certain medications can also increase your blood sugar levels and predispose you to developing type 2 diabetes. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Genetics and lifestyle both contribute to the body becoming insulin resistant in type 2 diabetes.

In fact, the link between type 2 diabetes and family history is stronger than the link between type 1 diabetes and family history. If you have type 2 diabetes, you should check your blood sugar level at home regularly and stay in close communication with your healthcare provider. Early evidence shows that some people with type 2 diabetes who are overweight and have been recently diagnosed can reverse type 2 diabetes if they are able to achieve significant weight loss. Researchers know that you can inherit a risk of type 2 diabetes, but it is difficult to determine which genes carry the risk.

People with type 2 diabetes who are obese can better control their blood sugar level by losing only 5 to 10% of their body weight. Eating a nutrient-rich diet and getting regular physical activity will improve your health on many fronts, including decreasing the likelihood that you will develop type 2 diabetes. Through the program, you can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 58% (71% if you are 60 or older). For example, you may have a genetic mutation that makes you susceptible to type 2, but if you take good care of your body, you may not develop diabetes.

In type 2, the pancreas doesn't make enough insulin, and the insulin it produces doesn't always work as it should.

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