What Are the Factors that Increase a Person’s Risk of Having Type 2 Diabetes?

Several factors may raise an individual’s risk of acquiring Type 2 diabetes. According to numerous studies, the occurrence of this disease has become widespread in both young and old generations. This very alarming trend has been brought to the attention of many health care professionals, and governments are eager to find ways of how to battle Type 2 diabetes. The exact causes of Type 2 diabetes (also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus) are not known now, but learning about certain key factors that contribute to an individual’s risk of getting the disease may help prevent it from spreading further.

Insulin resistance syndrome is a common risk factor for this Type of diabetes mellitus. This condition is often described as impaired physiological response to the body’s insulin, which results in the active muscles not being able to get and utilize glucose, as they would normally do. Under such circumstances, insulin levels in the person’s blood stream become chronically higher, thus inhibiting the fat cells from letting the energy stored in them to be used and preventing the individual from losing weight. Normally, this disease is also linked to hypertension, overweight or obesity, glucose intolerance, and other risks. One big problem here, however, is that this disease can go unrecognized by the patient, which may soon develop into full-blown diabetes mellitus.

Family history or genetic history may also trigger the development of diabetes. If an individual has a close family member such as a parent, brother or sister who has diabetes, that person should consult a diabetes expert, as he or she could be at high risk of getting diabetes. Age is also a factor. People who are over 45 years old have a higher chance of getting this disease, and the risk increases with age. The occurrence of Type 2 diabetes is also higher among African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians.

Being overweight may be one of those factors that are commonly linked to diabetes. If the person has a body mass index (also known as BMI) of higher than 25, then he or she is considered overweight. However, most people are misled in believing that being overweight is equivalent to being diabetic. In fact, it is worth noting that some people who are overweight never develop Type 2 diabetes, while there are those who have normal body mass indexes who actually have Type 2 diabetes.

It is also a known fact that hypertension is associated with diabetes. An individual’s LDL cholesterol levels may actually trigger the disease. That is why most diabetes experts caution both patients and non-patients to eat a small amount of foods high in LDL cholesterol. People should also monitor their HDL or “good” cholesterol level, as people who have less than 35 milligrams per deciliter increase their risk of getting diabetes.

Women who previously have had gestational diabetes are also at risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. Being overweight during pregnancy or while delivering a baby may also be a factor. History of PCOS or polycystic ovary disease may likewise increase a woman’s likelihood of having Type 2 diabetes.

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