Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes? Here’s What You Need to Know

Diabetes is one of the top deadliest diseases in the United States. Type 2, which develops as the result of the body’s resistance to insulin, increases your risk for many other diseases and life-threatening health conditions.

The good news is, it can be prevented. And that stars with knowing if you’re at an increased risk. Here are a few key factors to be aware of.

You’re over the age of 45

As your age increases, so does your overall disease risk. Approaching the age of 50 means you have to be on the lookout for all kinds of changes that could point to heart disease, dementia, cancer, and even type 2 diabetes.

Researchers are still looking into why this chronic condition is more common in adults aged 45 to 65. It likely has to do with the simple fact that aging takes a major toll on the body. The longer you’re alive, the harder your body has to fight to stay alive. Things don’t work as well as they used to. It can start to feel as though you’re falling apart.

You have high blood pressure/low HDL cholesterol

High blood pressure

High blood pressure | Zinkevych/iStock/Getty Images

If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure — or you have a family history of it — your risk for a handful of diseases and conditions┬áhas increased. Doctors still don’t fully understand the relationship between Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, but they do know they’re especially dangerous when paired together.

Similarly, your cholesterol levels also contribute to your diabetes risk. Low HDL cholesterol — the good kind — or high triglyceride levels significantly increase your overall disease risk.

You have PCOS, heart disease, or a history of stroke

Having certain medical conditions or histories increases your risk of developing additional health problems. People with polycystic ovarian syndrome, heart disease, and a history of stroke could also develop type 2 diabetes.

This also works the other way around: You’re more likely to experience heart problems or a stroke if you live with diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar levels negatively impact your blood vessels and endanger your heart and brain.

You’re depressed

Depression

Depression | Marjan_Apostolovic/iStock/Getty Images

Researchers have found a link between depression and diabetes, but they’re still trying to figure out how exactly they’re connected.

Unfortunately, people living with depression also face a higher risk of other medical conditions besides diabetes. You’re more likely to experience heart disease, stroke, and even dementia if you have depression.

You’re overweight and/or physically inactive

If your doctor has suggested strategies for getting your weight under control, it’s likely because they’re concerned about your long-term health. Weight grain affects your heart, your digestive system, and even your brain. It increases your risk of cancer, diabetes, and so much more.

In addition, avoiding physical activity makes you sick, even if you don’t realize it as it’s happening. And it’s not just about weight. According to the World Health Organization, regular exercise also lowers your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. It can also lead to improved overall mental and physical health.

You can lower your risk for diabetes and other potentially deadly health conditions by following the same basic principles in the best ways that work for you. Eat a balanced diet. Stay active by doing activities you enjoy. Make sleep a priority, manage your stress as best you can, and yes — reward yourself (in moderation) for living a healthy life.

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