Learn about Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors

The more you know about Type 2 diabetes, the more you will be able to take steps to prevent or delay it. If you are new to the topic, one of the first things to know is what can raise the chance of you getting the disease, called risk factors.

Some risk factors are things you can’t change, such as your age, race or family history of diabetes. But some are in your control. For example, you can take steps to control other risk factors linked to diabetes:

  • Weight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High cholesterol/blood pressure
  • Pre-diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome

Smoking is also a risk factor. And some research suggests that not getting enough sleep may impair insulin use.

You can work to improve your health by focusing on these things. Start by making a self-care plan to change what you can. 

First, plan to keep all your doctor visits for routine diabetes care. 

Next, check your weight. You can work to keep a weight that is healthy for you. Children, pregnant women, and people recovering from illness should be sure to get enough calories for health. If you need to lose weight, plan ways to make better choices about your diet, like eating out less and adding more fruit to your diet.

Then, add exercise to your routine. Exercise can help improve blood sugar control. The American Diabetes Association suggests you check with your doctor first and start slowly.  

Other steps to better health: 

  • If you are on medicine, take it as your doctor ordered
  • Check your blood sugar as your doctor has ordered
  • Learn more about diabetes and how it affects your overall health
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