Who’s at Risk

Risk Factors

Who’s at Risk to Develop Diabetes?

Diabetes is on the rise, particularly Type II with onset in adulthood. Many people are predisposed genetically to get diabetes, but lifestyle factors also play a role. The following have been shown to potentially contribute to the development of diabetes in certain people. Because these are controllable factors, it is a good idea to evaluate your lifestyle to identify possible problems and address them so you can avoid diabetes in the future.

Diet
Nutritional intake impacts the way your body processes food. Eating a healthy, balanced diet provides valuable nutrients that keep the body operating as it should. Fresh fruits and vegetables and food that is not processed are especially good. However, consuming a diet that is mainly high sugar items or that consists of fast food meals can trigger insulin release in the bloodstream that may lead to diabetic conditions. A high percentage of diabetics are overweight or obese. Getting weight under control is an important step toward preventing or controlling adult-onset diabetes.

Physical activity
A sedentary lifestyle may also play a part in the development of diabetes. The body needs exercise to use nutritional fuel efficiently for good health. This helps the body to effectively regulate the production of insulin to keep bodily systems in working order. Sustained aerobic activity that is doctor-approved is a great way to get moving. Walking, jogging, biking, or swimming are some of the more popular ways to get in shape and enjoy working out.

Stress.
High levels of stress takes a toll on a person’s health. While everyday stress is normal, extraordinary stress can undercut the immune system, making us more susceptible to disease. Relaxation techniques and therapy for serious problems can help to keep stress under control. Writing in a diary or journal several times a week has been shown to also reduce stress levels.

Medical Monitoring
If diabetes runs in your family or if you have one or more of the risk factors described above, it is a good idea to let your doctor know. He or she may prescribe tests to check your blood sugar and recommend lifestyle changes to improve your overall well-being.

Diabetes can be avoided or controlled with proper care. Assess your personal lifestyle to see if changes are needed. Discuss any risk factors with your doctor. A healthy way of life can help to prevent diseases like diabetes.