There are two types of diabetes; Type 1 diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in the early years of life, in children and young adults. Those who suffer from Type 1 diabetes are unable to produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is required to convert the food we eat into the energy our bodies use. The second is type 2 diabetes, which is more commonly diagnosed in adults. In this form of diabetes, the pancreas can produce enough insulin but the body develops a resistance to it.
Although both types of diabetes overlap in their clinical manifestation, they are both different kinds of diseases with different causes and different treatments. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the lesser-known factors that can increase your risk in developing type 2 diabetes.
Genetics, as well as a complex mix of environmental and lifestyle factors, can be attributed to the development of type 2 diabetes. If someone closely related to you has the disease your risk of developing diabetes is higher. In fact, your risk of developing the disease can be two to three times higher if someone in your immediate family has diabetes.
Adolescent girls have been shown to be more at risk of developing diabetes than adolescent boys. This has been linked to possible insulin resistance that can affect those with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a common hormonal problem in women.
Your Smoking Habits
Not only does smoking increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, recent studies have identified a strong link between smoking and developing diabetes. For more information on quitting smoking click here.
Your Fat Distribution
Those with excess abdominal fat have a higher risk of developing diabetes than those with excess fat in the thighs or buttocks. Besides eating a healthy and balanced diet, and regularly exercising there is very little you can do about where your fat is deposited in your body. So, maintaining a healthy weight is important.
Those who consume sugar laden drinks and processed meats can be at a greater risk of developing the disease. On the other hand, if your diet is rich in whole grains, olive oil, vegetables and fruits, your risk of developing diabetes is reduced.
Your Coffee Consumption
Great news for coffee drinkers – there is evidence of a reduced risk of developing diabetes associated with coffee drinkers.
Your Activity Levels
Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle increase their risk of developing diabetes. To reduce your chance of developing diabetes, you need to get moving. Minimise the amount of time spent watching television and get outdoors and get active. A brisk 30-minute walk 3 to 4 times a week will help reduce your risk of developing the disease.
Some women can develop an impaired sugar metabolism during pregnancy. This is known as gestational diabetes and disappears after the birth of the baby. Some studies have shown that later in life these women can have an increased risk in developing type 2 diabetes. There is also evidence linking children whose mothers had gestational diabetes, with having an increased risk in developing diabetes later in life too.
If you’re concerned about your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, call Newtown Medical Centre today and make an appointment with one of our Doctors. We also have a credentialed Diabetes Educator who can help those suffering from diabetes with self-management education, insulin and non-insulin injectable initiation, nutrition and dietary advice as well as diabetes care plans and reviews. To make an appointment phone (03) 5221 5044.