Is Type 2 Diabetes sneaking up on you?
Is your lifestyle or your heritage putting you at risk for Type 2 Diabetes?
If you’re overweight or have a diet high in refined carbohydrates like white bread or white rice, you could be a candidate for Type 2 Diabetes. Additional risk factors include your age, race, gender and family history.
Type 2 Diabetes is preventable. That’s the key message to take away – it’s preventable. Unlike many other diseases, you get to have some say in whether you develop Type 2 Diabetes and, if you do develop it, how it progresses.
There are 3.4 million Canadians with Diabetes and 90 percent of them have the preventable Type 2. It’s estimated that each year, 60,000 new cases of diabetes will be diagnosed – and 54,000 of them will be Type 2. Are you a statistic?
The weight risk
Being overweight is the most common cause of Type 2 Diabetes, particularly when most of the weight sits in the abdomen. That extra weight puts a strain on your body and contributes to lots of other health problems in addition to Type 2 Diabetes.
The good news?
This is the one risk factor you have some control over. You can review your diet with a nutrition counselor or dietitian, develop a healthy fat loss program that includes both physical therapies and an increased activity level. Innovative therapies like Lipo Laser can help with spot fat reduction to help you feel motivated to keep to an integrated lifestyle change program.
The age and gender risk
There’s nothing you can do about getting older but if you are 40 years old or more, you should be paying particular attention to your activity level and diet (the things you generally can control). Unfortunately, Type 2 Diabetes is no longer just an older person disease; children and teenagers are being diagnosed now too.
After the age of 45 more men than women develop Type 2 Diabetes. Research in Hamilton, Ontario, discovered women’s muscles are more efficient at blocking the protein that interferes with the signal between muscles and insulin. According to an article on the CBC website, Dr. M. Constantine Samaan, the lead author of the study, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and pediatric endocrinologist at the McMaster Children’s Hospital, believes this discovery finally explains why women are less likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes.
But, ladies, that doesn’t let you off the hook. There are about 1.5 million women with Type 2 Diabetes in Canada and more every day.
Race and family history risk
If you are of African or Mexican decent, your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes is higher than the general population. The increased risk is also true for Pacific Islanders and North American Indigenous peoples. Research has suggested some of this risk is because these groups have a higher incidence of obesity.
If anyone in your immediate family – father, mother, sister, brother – has Diabetes, your risk is higher than the general population. If your grandmother, grandfather, aunt or uncle has been diagnosed, talk to your doctor about your risk.
Good health choices go a long way and research has demonstrated it takes an integrated plan to be able to reverse, avoid or even control a Type 2 Diabetes diagnoses. Just changing your diet, while a great step, is generally not enough.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, talk to Our Clinic about our Diabetes Support Program to learn if an individualized, integrated program is right for you.
If you’re at risk, Our Clinic has therapies and services to help you understand and manage that risk.