Risks Associated with Type 2 Diabetes

Also known as adult-onset or non-dependent diabetes, type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way your body is able to metabolize glucose (sugar), which is our most important source of fuel. is a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells. Having type 2 diabetes means that your body either resists the effects of or it doesn’t produce enough to maintain a normal glucose level.


Risk Factors

Although it is not fully understood why some people develop type 2 diabetes, there are certain factors that have been proven to increase your risk. These include:

  • Being overweight: Even though you don’t have to be overweight to have type 2 diabetes, this is one of the biggest risk factors for developing the condition. Your cells will become more resistant to with the more fatty tissue you have.
  • Fat distribution: When body fat is stored primarily in your abdomen, instead of in your hips and thighs, this will also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Age: Even though the occurrence of type 2 diabetes is increasing among children, adolescents and young adults, your risk for type 2 diabetes will increase as you get older. After the age of 45, your risk is at the highest, and this is assumed to be true because as people get older they tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass, and gain weight.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome: This is a common condition among women that is characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, and obesity. It will also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Race: Certain races, such as African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asian Americans are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than Caucasians.
  • Gestational diabetes: If you had gestational diabetes while you were pregnant or if you gave birth to a baby that weighed more than nine pounds, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes will be increased.
  • Prediabetes: This is a condition that causes your blood sugar levels to be higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. However, if prediabetes is left untreated, it will eventually progress to type 2 diabetes.
  • Inactivity: Being regularly active helps you control your weight, uses glucose as energy, and makes your cells more susceptible to . Therefore, the less active you are, the more your risk of type 2 diabetes will increase.
  • Family history: If you have a parent or sibling who has had type 2 diabetes, your risk for the disease will also increase.


If you are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, there are some things you can do to lower your risk. These include:

  • Eating healthier: Try eating foods that are lower in fat and calories and higher in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Exercise: Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Lose weight: Losing just 7% of your body weight can significantly reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes if you are overweight.

Featured Image: depositphotos/AndreyPopov

Posted on May 5, 2023