Being overweight or obese is one of the main risks, the distribution of fat. Storing fat primarily in the abdomen rather than in the hips and thighs indicates an increased risk. Normally, the body uses a hormone called insulin to help glucose from the bloodstream enter cells so that it can be used as energy. However, you can develop a condition called insulin resistance when your muscle, fat, and liver cells don't respond well to the action of insulin.
This makes it harder for glucose, or sugar, to enter cells. A certain type of fat, called visceral fat, may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. You can't see it, but it's the fat that surrounds the internal organs, such as the liver and intestines, deep in the midsection. Although visceral fat accounts for only about 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. A medication you're taking to treat another medical condition may predispose you to developing type 2 diabetes. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also gestational diabetes.
Other medicines can also increase your blood sugar levels, so it may be worth talking to a medical professional if you start taking a new medication, especially if you have other risk factors for type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, genetics and lifestyle contribute to the body becoming insulin resistant. In fact, the link between type 2 diabetes and family history is stronger than the link between type 1 diabetes and family history, according to the American Diabetes Association. 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. Type 2 diabetes is generally considered a lifestyle disease, meaning that the likelihood of developing the condition increases based on several lifestyle factors, but family history and genetics also play an important role.
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.