One in three American adults has prediabetes and that means they’re at risk for Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a metabolic condition that causes your blood sugar level to rise, and it affects an estimated 100 million Americans.
When you have diabetes, chronic high blood sugar can damage nerves and tissues throughout your body. Nerve damage and other issues can lead to severe complications, from slow-healing wounds to vision changes.
Diabetes develops as a result of many factors, from your age and family history to your lifestyle habits. Having risk factors for diabetes doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll get the condition, but it does mean you should take extra care to preserve your health.
At Ethos Medical Group, our doctors provide top-quality internal medicine care to residents of Orange, California. From general medicine to diabetes management, we partner with you to help you maintain your best health.
Diabetes is extremely common, and early diagnosis can make a big difference. Take the time to understand your risk factors and learn what you can do to prevent or slow the onset of this chronic disease.
Diabetes risk factors you can control
Several of the most common risk factors of Type 2 diabetes are elements of your lifestyle that you can change. This means that if you have one of these risk factors, lifestyle adjustments can improve your health and potentially lower your risk of diabetes.
Living a sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for diabetes. If you exercise less than three days a week, your risk of diabetes could be higher.
Striving to get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week can improve cardiovascular health and lower your risk of diabetes. Getting regular exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Being overweight or obese is a common contributing factor to Type 2 diabetes. Talk to our health care team to find out if your weight could be compromising your health.
If you are overweight or obese, losing as little as 5% of your body weight could significantly reduce your risk of diabetes.
High blood pressure and high cholesterol
High blood pressure stresses your cardiovascular system, but it’s also linked to the development of diabetes. Likewise, abnormal cholesterol levels, including low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides may make diabetes more likely.
Eating a healthy diet and getting regular physical activity can help you keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control and stave off prediabetes and diabetes.
Diabetes risk factors you can’t control
Your lifestyle habits significantly affect your risk of developing diabetes, and you can make healthy changes to help prevent or delay a diagnosis. However, there are many risk factors that you can’t change.
Your risk of Type 2 diabetes increases as you get older. People over the age of 45 have a greater chance of developing diabetes than younger people.
Personal medical history
Certain elements of your health, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, can be addressed to lower your risk of diabetes. But other aspects of your health history that increase your risk of diabetes can’t be changed.
Medical conditions like depression, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), heart disease, or a history of stroke may increase your risk of diabetes. Women who have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy could be more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
If you have a family member with diabetes, you could be at greater risk of developing it, too. Genetics plays a role in the likelihood that you’ll get diabetes, so having a mother, father, or sibling with the condition increases your risk.
Your race and ethnic background influence your risk of diabetes. People of Caucasian background have a lower risk, and diabetes is more common in people who are:
- Hispanic or Latino
- American Indian
- Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
While you can’t change things like your age or family history, it’s important to be familiar with the diabetes risk factors that affect you. Understanding your risk is the first step to doing your part to live your healthiest possible life.
Our team is committed to providing comprehensive primary care, regardless of your risk of diabetes. We can recommend lifestyle modifications and other methods of lowering your risk. If you have a diabetes diagnosis, we offer management services to help you keep your blood sugar controlled.
Get a personalized consultation to learn more about your risk of developing diabetes. Call Ethos Medical Group at 714-395-5043 or book an appointment online.