Recent statistics show that more than 95% of people suffering from diabetes have type 2 diabetes, while 5% have type 1 diabetes. Type 2 happens when your pancreas either doesn’t create enough insulin to stabilize your blood glucose levels, or if your body is resistant to the insulin that is produced.
There are numerous causes of type 2 diabetes and it is important to be aware of them, because you can have diabetes for years before being officially diagnosed if you don’t show any of the early symptoms.
It is common to have diabetes if a member of your family has it. The closer the relationship is, genetically speaking, the higher the risk. As an example, if your parent has diabetes, you have a 33% chance of contracting it yourself.
Diet can play a main role. If you eat a lot of highly processed foods, fast food and other foods that contain loads of sugar and fats, you will greatly increase your risk of contracting diabetes.
The same rule applies for drinks; if you drink a lot of sodas, juices and alcohol, you are loading your body with too much sugar, and that can trigger diabetes. However, if you drink plenty of water and other drinks with few or no calories or sugar, then you will reduce your risk.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you are only increasing your risks even further. Sitting at a desk all day long, and then sitting on the sofa in front of the TV all evening will greatly increase your risk of getting diabetes.
If you are carrying excess weight, your organs have to work a lot harder. This puts an added stress on your pancreas, making it produce even more insulin, and that can push you over the edge.
Age is another factor. The older you get, the greater the risk. This is due to the fact that as you age, you tend to exercise less, eat more and lead a sedentary lifestyle.
You may have had gestational diabetes whilst being pregnant. This usually disappears after giving birth, but can increase your likelihood of contracting type 2 diabetes down the track. Your body will be working much harder to care for you and your baby while you are pregnant, and that gives other risk factors time to manifest. It is important to get regular health checks after you have given birth, to avoid facing type 2 diabetes.
If you have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, you may face diabetes. Stress or anxiety can also trigger it, especially if you live in a chronically stressful environment at work and/or at home.
If you suffer from other serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, cancer or other issues, your immune system will be compromised, and that makes it easier for diabetes to also take hold. The reverse is also true. If you have diabetes, you are more susceptible to other medical problems.
The bottom line is that diabetes is an insidious disease that can be contracted in many ways; you need to lead a healthy lifestyle and do everything you can to avoid the possible causes in the first place. It is much easier to do that, rather than having to live with type 2 diabetes once it is diagnosed.