March 22 has been established by the ADA – The American Diabetes Association – as National Diabetes day.
The numbers behind type 2 diabetes in the US are nothing short of astonishing. More than 29 million Americans have diabetes – nearly 10% of the population. And the scariest part is that 1 in 4 of these people don’t know that they have the disease, putting them at risk of deadly complications.
The numbers behind prediabetes – those who are at risk of developing type 2 Diabetes – are even more astounding. Nearly 86 million Americans aged 20 or older have prediabetes, and are at risk of developing the disease.
In an effort to raise awareness about diabetes, its preponderance among Americans, and methods by which you can reduce your risk, the ADA has put together a comprehensive and informative platform with plenty of information about diabetes, risk factors, and ways you can mitigate your risk of diabetes.
If you’re curious about common risk factors and how to reduce your chances of developing diabetes, read on. We’ll discuss several common risk factors for diabetes, and how you can reduce your risk of developing this terrible disease.
Risk Factors For Diabetes
- Weight – Being overweight is one of the single biggest risk factors for developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. When your body develops more fatty tissue, its ability to process insulin is lessened, and it becomes more resistant to the effects of insulin.
- Inactivity – Inactivity is another big risk factor for developing diabetes. Simple being skinny doesn’t mean that you aren’t at risk for diabetes – if you’re inactive, you’re still at risk. Physical activity allows your body to use up its glucose energy stores, control its weight more effectively, and makes the cells in your body more sensitive to insulin.
- Family History Of Type 2 Diabetes – Even if you’re in great health, there are genetic risk factors for type 2 diabetes. If your sibling, a parent, or another relative has developed type 2 diabetes, you may have a higher risk yourself – though taking the appropriate precautionary measures will greatly reduce your risk of contracting prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
- Race – Scientists don’t quite know why yet, but it seems that people of several races are more susceptible to diabetes. Hispanics, American Indians, and Asian-Americans have been known to have a higher risk of developing the disease.
- High Blood Pressure – A blood pressure of over 140/90 is linked to a higher susceptibility of developing type 2 diabetes. Currently, the specific link between the two is unknown, but it’s thought to be a combination of obesity, diets high in fats and sodium, and prolonged inactivity.