Type II Diabetes: Understanding Your Risk Factors
Type-II diabetes mellitus is a disease of insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to help sugar move into your cells to act as fuel for your body; those with diabetes cannot use this hormone properly. Without insulin, sugar remains in the bloodstream and can result in serious damage to almost all of the body’s tissues and organs.
Are you at risk for developing type-II diabetes? The following factors have been associated with a higher risk for developing this condition:
- A blood pressure that is at or above 140/90 (hypertension)
- Abnormal levels of cholesterol in the blood; HDL level below 35 mg/dL (low levels of ‘good’ cholesterol) or triglyceride level above 250 mg/dL
- A sedentary or underactive lifestyle (exercising fewer than three times per week)
- For women, having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or having been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy
- Having a sibling or parent that has already been diagnosed with diabetes
- History of cardiovascular disease
- Being overweight and/or more advanced in years
- Having a family background that is American Indian, Alaska Native, African American, Hispanic/Latino, Pacific Islander, or Asian American
For each factor that applies to you, your risk for developing diabetes increases. Fortunately, there is much you can do to decrease your risk of suffering from this chronic disease. Make an effort to exercise regularly, reduce your intake of fatty, high-calorie foods, and lose that excess weight. Speak with your doctor about lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels if they are high. Taking these simple steps can also lower your risk of other serious health problems, such as heart attack and stroke.
Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center of Las Vegas, Nevada offers diabetes classes to help those with diabetes better manage their disease. Learn more about class locations and times by contacting us at (702) 233-5300.