Diabetes is a very common health condition, affecting 29.1 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is also the seventh leading cause of death in the US.
About five million Nigerians are suffering from diabetes, sources from Endocrine and Metabolism Society of Nigeria (EMSON) stated recently.
The sources from EMSON further expressed fears that the figure could rise to 10 million if the situation was not properly managed.
There are different variations of the condition, including gestational, type 1, and type 2, which is the most common. Here is how controllable and uncontrollable factors can increase the chances for developing diabetes. If someone in a family has diabetes, it is extra important to practice healthy habits in order to lower the chances.
Family history is one factor that automatically increases your risk for being diagnosed – more specifically, having a parent or sibling who has it, as mentioned by WebMD. If someone in your family has diabetes, it is extra important to practice healthy habits in order to lower your chances.
As one get older, so does the chance of developing diabetes. Statistics show that in 2012, most people who were newly diagnosed fell between the ages of 45 and 64. But just because younger people do not have as high a risk, does not mean that it is not possible to be diagnosed. During that same year, there were 371,000 new cases in people between the ages of 20 and 44. With statistics like these, it is not surprising that experts constantly advised to watch the blood sugar levels.
Being overweight stresses the inside of cells, which can result in insulin resistance. This raises blood sugar levels in the body and makes you more susceptible to diabetes. Luckily, this is one factor you have some control over, so it’s important to maintain a healthy weight to lower your chances.
A few studies have examined the relationship between diabetes and a few unhealthy foods that are known to cause weight gain.
This includes foods with a high glycemic index (GI) which raise blood sugar levels in the body. One study found that consuming white bread and potatoes greatly increases diabetes risk for women. Results from another study show that eating lots of white rice can also increase chances.
Consuming sugar-sweetened beverages regularly can also cause harm. This includes options like soda, energy drinks, and fruit drinks. Results from a meta-analysis show that compared to those who had less than one serving of these beverages a month, those who consumed one to two servings a day had a 26 per cent higher chance of developing diabetes.
With that being said, stay away from these options and other unhealthy foods that can cause weight gain, and opt for foods that can help lower the risk instead.
Being active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle in general, so it is not surprising that the less active you are, the greater your chances of developing diabetes, per Mayo Clinic. But it is not just lack of exercise that can increase risk. So can sedentary habits, like spending too much time watching television.
According to Pitt Public Health, a study found that for every hour spent a day watching television, the risk for diabetes increased by 3.4 per cent. While that may not seem like a lot on its own, think of how easy it is to lose track of time while sitting on the couch with the eyes glued to the screen.
Certain health conditions
Unfortunately, having certain health conditions can make you more likely to develop diabetes. Mayo Clinic says that this includes high blood pressure, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and irregular triglyceride and cholesterol levels. When it comes to triglycerides (a type of fat that is carried in the blood) the article mentions that having high levels can increase risk. Additionally, so can having low levels of the good HDL cholesterol. If you have any of these or other existing health conditions, it is best to speak with the doctor to learn more about the chances of being diagnosed and what can be done to lower your risk.
Poor sleeping habits
Sleep plays a crucial role in your overall health. Not only can the amount of sleep you get each night affect your memory and heart health, but it also influences your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. According to a meta-analysis, getting more or less than seven hours of shuteye each night has a significant impact on risk for the condition. The study found that even one additional or lost hour is enough to raise your chances. So make sure you aim for that magic number of seven hours of sleep each night.