Type 2 Diabetes Causes and Risk Factors

Type 2 Diabetes Causes

Type 2 diabetes has been declared an epidemic by the medical community. Each year, more and more people are being given a diagnosis of diabetes than ever before. This is for many reasons, but perhaps mostly because Type 2 diabetes causes and risk factors are becoming more prevalent. It is estimated that 95% of new cases of a diagnosis of diabetes are Type 2, also known as adult onset diabetes. There is no single way to prevent the condition, however lifestyle changes including those to diet and exercise can help.

A change in the way that the body uses insulin is at the root of Type 2 diabetes causes. Interestingly enough, there is no definitive answer on just what it is that prompts this change. Environmental and genetic factors are both thought to play a major role, however. When the process between insulin production and blood sugar levels is impaired, excess amounts of sugar build up in the bloodstream, forming the basis of Type 2 diabetes causes.

What contributes to this phenomenon is not clear cut. Some potential risk factors are completely out of the control of the people they affect, such as family history and race. Those with a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, that have the condition, are at greater risk. Similarly, those with an ethnic background of Hispanic, Asian American or Indian American are also at greater risk. There is no explanation of why this is, however persons of these races are more likely than others to develop the condition. These are potential Type 2 diabetes causes for which there is no easy way to get around. Age is another risk factor worth considering, as individuals who are 45 years old or older have a greater risk for developing the condition. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are also thought to have an increased risk of the disease.

There are some potential Type 2 diabetes causes however that are greatly within control. For instance, being overweight is one of the biggest risk factors for developing the condition. This does not mean that people who are not overweight do not develop the condition. It simply means that being overweight is a risk factor. Similarly, persons who have excess fat at the abdomen are also at greater risk, as are those that are regularly inactive.

Another major risk factor that should be considered is the presence of pre diabetes. This borderline condition is characterized by elevated blood sugar levels that are above normal, but not necessarily in the range of Type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels. When pre diabetes is present and lifestyle changes are not implemented such as increasing activity level and making dietary changes, the condition often progresses into Type 2 diabetes. It is incredibly important the people with the early signs of diabetes including mild symptoms and slightly elevated blood sugar levels make lifestyle changes to prevent the onset of the true form of the condition. A state of pre diabetes is one of the most common Type 2 diabetes causes.

One of the biggest myths is that eating sugar causes diabetes. This is both true and untrue in different ways. Healthy diets include many natural sugars including those from fruits, vegetables and dairy. Diets that include natural sugars like these are not likely to contribute to the formation of diabetes. The problem is that the average American diet includes far fewer natural sugars and an abundance of refined sugars. Many foods contain sugar without consumers even knowing it. Therefore not only are they ingesting much more sugar, they are doing so without even knowing it. Sugar alone is not considered among Type 2 diabetes causes, but what happens when too much sugar is ingested – weight gain – is. So therefore, eating too much sugar when it contributes to weight gain can absolutely create a risk factor for developing the condition. This is also why people with the condition often end up on a Type 2 diabetes diet, in order to not only promote healthy weight loss but also limit the amount of ingested carbohydrates to prevent unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels.

Whether or not risk factors are present, it is imperative to be on the lookout for the symptoms and signs of Type 2 diabetes. These can include an increase in urination frequency and a feeling of being thirsty. Identifying these early even in the absence of Type 2 diabetes causes is very important. Like most other conditions, the earlier that diabetes is detected, the more successfully it can be managed. There is no cure for diabetes; however it can be very well managed if identified early.

If left undiagnosed and untreated, diabetes complications can arise. These can include diabetic neuropathy and diabetic coma. Diabetic neuropathy refers to a condition in which the nerve fibers of the body, typically in the lower extremities, become damaged. This leads to pain and discomfort and can even lead to paralysis. A diabetic coma occurs when blood sugar levels go far too high or far too low and a person become unconscious as a result. These complications are serious and can be life threatening. They further the argument that even in the absence of known Type 2 diabetes causes and risk factors, symptoms related to the disease should be evaluated promptly.

Successfully preventing the development of diabetes is partially within control. While factors like race, family history and existing disease may not be within control, diet and activity level certainly are. Reducing the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes causes like inactivity and being overweight can significantly reduce the risk of developing the condition, even when battling pre existing genetic factors.


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