Who is at Risk?

  • Weight. Those who are overweight are at a serious risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Studies show that having a lot of belly fat (which surrounds the abdominal organs) is linked to insulin resistance and therefore increases the risk of Diabetes. [2] Those with excess fats are proven to have a loss of insulin sensitivity, meaning that they require a greater amount of insulin injected in order to keep blood glucose stable. Statistics show that losing 5-6% of your body fat can cut your chances of developing prediabetes in half.

  • Family History. Another risk factor may be if you have family history of diabetes. The likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes can definitely be influenced by genetics. Research shows that when at least one parent has Type 2 diabetes, then the risk for inheritance of the disease is 15%, but if both parents have it, then the risk for inheritance is 75% [9]. If you have a close relative with diabetes it is important that you get checked with a simple blood test by your doctor.

 

  • Physical activity. The less active you are, the greater the risk of developing diabetes. Being inactive is generally associated with being overweight, which can put you at risk for developing pre-diabetes. This is due to the fact that glucose is not being actively used as energy and the cells aren’t sensitive enough to insulin. Staying active can help to avoid insulin resistance.

 

  • Age. The risk of diabetes is shown to  increase with age. In the past, Type 2 diabetes in particular has been seen more as a risk factor for individuals 40 years of age and older, but has now been found to be diagnosed in more and more young children. Also, according to some researchers the pancreas produces less insulin as we age.

 

  • High Blood Pressure. Generally the standard healthy blood pressure is measured to be around 120/80. High blood pressure is measured as 140/90 or higher. When an individual has high blood pressure, the heart has to work harder to pump the blood. Having high blood pressure is a symptom of prediabetes and a major risk factor for various diabetes complications, such as heart disease, kidney damage or stroke.

  • Abnormal Cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Cholesterol is a type of blood fat that makes up the membrane of all cells. When there is too much of the bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body, then it can build up in the blood vessels and potentially form blockages. Triglycerides are another type of blood lipid along with cholesterol. Individuals with high cholesterol and triglyceride levels are at risk for developing more serious problems such as heart disease or PAD. Overall, Diabetes works to lower the good cholesterol our body needs and increase the bad cholesterol.