Understanding Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin, a hormone that helps keep your blood sugar level from becoming too high or too low.
When the body is resistant or does not respond well to insulin, it creates complications that affect your health such as a lack of energy, feeling fatigued, or storing fat around your stomach.
Why Do You Get It?
Factors that increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes include:
- Family history. If your parents or siblings have diabetes, you may also have it as it tends to be hereditary.
- Weight. Those with larger amounts of fat in their abdomen are more at risk. Although it’s important to note that you don’t have to be overweight to get diabetes; however, as the body becomes resistant to the cells that produce insulin, complications with weight tend to ensue.
- Age. The risk of Type 2 diabetes increases with age. Those 45 years and older are more at risk because with age, we tend to lose muscle mass and gain weight more rapidly.
- Race. Groups with larger rates include blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, and American Indians. It has not been determined as to why certain races have higher populations of Type 2 diabetes.
- Activity level. The less active you are, the greater your risk becomes. Physical activity helps your body convert glucose into energy and makes your cells more receptive to insulin.
How Can You Prevent or Treat It?
Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle can lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Even if you’ve developed the disease from your genes, there are ways to reduce or prevent complications. While no one plan works for everyone, our doctor can recommend what works best for you!
A few methods of prevention and treatment include:
- A balanced diet. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet is important. You’ll
also want to avoid high calorie, high-fat foods, as well as those with refined sugar.
- Regular exercise. At least 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity is recommended. This may include
walking, swimming, riding a bike, or even spreading out three 10-minute activities into your routine like short
walks and stair climbing.
- A healthy weight. Losing seven percent of your body weight can help reduce your risk of diabetes. The goal is
to maintain a healthy weight, which means maintaining a balanced diet and exercise plan, both of which will
support an ideal weight.