Things That Put Me at Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
I have type 2 diabetes which somehow, in the back of my head, I never imagined I would ever get. But, I knew decades ago that I had a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. With new healthcare technology and research, we can learn more about type 2 diabetes risk factors in today's world. Numerous factors have put me at risk of developing diabetes.
My family's history of diabetes
One risk factor that increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes is having a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes. If you have a family history of diabetes, maybe fate has decided it for you. I'm not sure we can 'fight' against genetics. I was doomed at birth. I had 18 Aunts and Uncles, and over half of them died from complications of diabetes, including my mother.1
Dealing with high blood pressure
I am a living witness of someone who had high blood pressure and developed type 2 diabetes. If you are someone suffering from high blood pressure, consider taking precautions to lower your blood pressure because it could help reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
My lessons from smoking and alcohol consumption
Let's welcome the well-known culprit, a risk factor for many different diseases worldwide, which is smoking. Smoking was a habit I picked up at a very young age. I haven't smoked in over 20 years now.
Another one of my choices earlier in life was drinking alcohol. This is just some advice that I learned, but if I had known 30 years ago what I know now, I would have a life of fewer pains and fewer diseases if I refrained from drinking. Alcohol took me down a road that I didn't need to travel.
Connection between PCOS and diabetes
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is when cysts develop in the ovaries, causing hormonal and other imbalances. A concerning complication of PCOS is insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. My mother had developed this, but of course, I didn't have a clue what this was. If you are concerned about PCOS, talk to your doctor and get checked for this.2
Losing weight helped me manage diabetes
There was a period in my life when all I wanted to do was sleep. Who doesn't love laying around on the couch all day long, chilling? We all do to some extent. I learned that my lack of exercise and a bit of extra weight were also risk factors for diabetes.
I wasn't what I would consider overweight, in my view. According to the scale, I was carrying an extra 40 pounds, which I have since left behind due to my diagnosis. Just know that weight is going to attract type 2 diabetes-like a magnet. If you have a lifestyle of nonexistent physical activity, then type 2 diabetes can be your unwanted guest in the upcoming years. Find some ways that work for you to get up and move your body each day.1
My experiences with diabetes risk factors
Nobody knows for sure if or how we will develop type 2 diabetes. But, we can use the tools and knowledge about the risk factors to help lower our risks.
This was my journey, and I know that if I had stayed away from some of these risk factors, I probably could have adopted a healthier lifestyle before it was a little too late. These things might have increased my chances of not getting it and staying off medications. So, keep taking good care of yourself because if you don't, who will? Take control of your actions. We don't get any do-overs.
Did you know that diabetes is a risk factor for developing chronic kidney disease?