Who’s at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a well-known and relatively common disease. You may wonder about your own risk of developing the disease and whether you possess any of the risk factors. And what can you do to prevent or delay diabetes as much as you can? Well, there are several things you should take note of.

Genetic Factors

Diabetes seems to be more pervasive in some ethnic groups than others, including:

  • Asian-Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Pacific Islanders
  • Hispanic/Latino
  • African-Americans

For example, scientists believe Asian-Americans may develop diabetes at a lower body mass index (weight to height ratio) than others. They may also develop diabetes even if they appear fit.

Your risk is also elevated if you have a family history of diabetes and if you are over age 45.

Lifestyle Factors

Certain lifestyle habits can increase your chance of developing diabetes. This mainly includes diet and exercise. People who overeat and who aren’t physically active are more prone to obesity, and obesity is another risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Contrary to popular belief, eating sugar does not result in diabetes. Rather, eating too many calories — no matter where those calories come from — can make you overweight, and being overweight increases your risk of diabetes.

Other Medical Conditions

If you have other medical conditions such as the following, you may also be at elevated risk for diabetes:

  • History of heart disease or stroke
  • Low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Depression
  • Acanthosis nigricans, a condition that involves having dark, thick skin around your neck or armpits

Diabetes Prevention

While you can’t control things like your genes, ethnic background, or age, there are numerous things you can control to prevent diabetes. Here are a few tips:

  • You don’t need to completely cut out your favorite foods; just reduce your portions.
  • Incorporate more movement into your day: walk everywhere, dance to music, and do active things with your friends.
  • Drink more water and less juice and soda.
  • Prioritize your mental health and let yourself relax once in a while.

I have diabetes. Now what?

But what should you do if you’ve been recently diagnosed with diabetes? Thankfully, it’s not the end of the world! In fact, diabetes is highly manageable. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Understand and keep track of your diabetes ABCs: A1C test, blood pressure, and cholesterol
  • Take your medication, such as JANUVIA® (sitagliptin)
  • Quit smoking if you do
  • Add more physical activity into your day
  • Keep track of your blood glucose levels 

Plenty of people with diabetes live long and productive lives, and with the right habits, you can too.

DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.