By: Sheila Kun RN, BSN, MS, CPN, FCCP
Factors that may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes include:
- Being overweight or obese is a main risk.
- Fat distribution. Storing fat mainly in your abdomen — rather than your hips and thighs — indicates a greater risk. Your risk of type 2 diabetes rises if you’re a man with a waist circumference above 40 inches (101.6 centimeters) or a woman with a measurement above 35 inches (88.9 centimeters).
- The less active you are, the greater your risk. Physical activity helps control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
- Family history. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases if your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.
- Race and ethnicity. Although it’s unclear why, people of certain races and ethnicities — including Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian people, and Pacific Islanders — are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than white people are.
- Blood lipid levels. An increased risk is associated with low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the “good” cholesterol — and high levels of triglycerides.
- The risk of type 2 diabetes increases as you get older, especially after age 45.
- Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Left untreated, prediabetes often progresses to type 2 diabetes.
- Pregnancy-related risks. Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases if you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant or if you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms).
- Polycystic ovary syndrome. Having polycystic ovary syndrome — a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity — increases the risk of diabetes
- Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits and neck. This condition often indicates insulin resistance.
Living in California, we have a high Hispanic population. We will therefore explore why Hispanics are more prone to diabetes.
Your homework from the Care Ministry this week: examine the risk factors and see how that apply to you.
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