Type 2 diabetes causes are largely known. The risk factors for the disease, also known as “adult onset” or “non-insulin-dependent” diabetes, are common; most readers likely know many who are dangerously close to becoming diabetic.
Type 2 Diabetes Facts
The disease is one in which blood sugar levels remain dangerously high for long periods of time. Type 2 diabetes is usually the result of the body not making enough insulin or improperly using its insulin to convert blood glucose to energy.
While there is a strong hereditary component to the disease, it is largely attributed to dietary and lifestyle choices. Adopting new practices in these areas can significantly impact the likelihood of becoming a type 2 diabetic and can dramatically lower the risk of complications for those already diagnosed with the disease.
Type 2 Diabetes Causes
A comprehensive list of type 2 diabetes causes and risk factors can be found below. This list was compiled from two books: Diabetes Type 2 Complete Food Management Program by Sherri Shafer and The Type 2 Diabetes Sourcebook by David Drum and Terry Zierenberg.
- family history: Those who have relatives with the disease are more likely to develop it.
- obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index over 27
- age: The disease is more common in people over the age of 45.
- ethnicity: According to the CDC, Native Americans are two times more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than non-Hispanic whites. African Americans are 1.6 times more likely and Hispanics, 1.5 times more likely.
- apple-shaped obesity (fat accumulation around the middle)
- Men with waists over 40 inches are at increased risk.
- Women with waists over 35 inches are at increased risk.
- high blood pressure
- high triglycerides
- high cholesterol
- low HDL cholesterol
- lack of physical activity
- impaired glucose tolerance or insulin resistance: Blood sugar levels remain higher than normal, even between meals.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- history of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
- history of delivering a baby over nine pounds
- hip to waist ratio over 0.8 for women and one for men
Those who read this list and find they meet several of the risk factors listed above should monitor changes in health closely and keep an eye out for early warning signs that type 2 diabetes may be developing. Dietary changes can also be made early on to help prevent negative health consequences down the road. Remember, type 2 diabetes causes are well known. It’s up to individuals to minimize the risks in their own lives by taking proactive steps today.