The condition known affects millions of men and women in the US. Although in the past it was commonly referred to as adult-onset diabetes, the condition has become more common for children too in recent years. Type 2 diabetes alters the way a person’s body metabolizes sugar (glucose), a crucial source of energy. The condition can either reduce the amount of insulin created by the body (affecting the body’s ability to maintain normal glucose levels) or make the body resist insulins ability to help regulate the movement of sugar into the cells.
While there may not be a cure for type 2 diabetes, limiting certain risk factors and being aware of the warning signs can help reduce a person’s risk of developing this condition. We recommend being aware of the following factors and working to prevent them:
- Being overweight is the most common risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
- Additionally, where you store excess weight can also play a role. People who mainly excess fat in their abdominal area can have a greater risk of type 2 diabetes. Men with a waist circumference above 40 inches or women with a waist circumference greater than 35 inches may be at a higher risk of developing this condition.
- A sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to type 2 diabetes risk. Being physically active can help control your weight while also using glucose as energy and making the cells more sensitive to insulin.
- Some risk factors may be exclusive to women. For instance, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may increase the risk of developing diabetes.
- A family history of type 2 diabetes (especially if a parent or sibling experiences the condition) can also be an indicator of increased diabetes risk.
- People of certain ethnic backgrounds, specifically African Americans, Latino Americans, American Indians, and Asian-American people, are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than Caucasian adults.
- Age is another risk factor to keep in mind. Starting at age 45, the risk of type 2 diabetes may increase every year. This may be connected to less exercise later in life leading to a loss of muscle mass and excess weight.
- Some skin conditions can also be indicators of diabetes. Specifically, areas of darkened skin around the armpits and neck may be indication of insulin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes can be treated and managed with medications and lifestyle adjustments, however, here at Family Practice Center we believe strongly in taking a proactive approach to health and preventing conditions like type 2 diabetes before they develop. For more information on diabetes or to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers, please contact Family Practice Center. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, photos, and more.