With type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin, or it resists insulin. Symptoms can include increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue and blurred vision. In some cases, there may be no symptoms. With type 2 diabetes, there are a number of risk factors to be considered:
- Family history. A review carried out by Diabetes NSW of a range of international studies shows that family history is an important predictor of type 2 diabetes. It’s estimated that people with one parent with diabetes has double the risk, while both parents increases the risk up to six times. If you have a brother or sister with type 2 diabetes the risk increases more than four times. The closer the relative, the greater the risk and the more relatives with type 2 diabetes then the greater the odds for other family members.
- Lifestyle. Traditionally, science has supported the fact that overweight adults are almost twice as likely to have type 2 diabetes, and obese adults are nearly four times as likely to have type 2 diabetes.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that occurs in 12-18% of women between late adolescence and menopause. It’s one of the most common hormonal related problems in women, with between 65-80% of women with PCOS affected by insulin resistance. Treatment can vary, however diagnosis of PCOS often requires lifestyle changes. These generally include following a low fat, high fibre, low glycemic index, healthy eating plan, giving up smoking and doing regular physical activity which can help with weight management and improve insulin sensitivity.
Despite these risk factors, strong evidence shows that type 2 diabetes can be prevented in up to 58% of cases in the high risk (pre-diabetes) population by eating well and exercising. A weight loss of as little as 5% can improve insulin levels, acne, ovulation, fertility, reduce excessive hair growth and improve mental health. These lifestyle changes can also assist with managing other risk factors including high blood lipids, blood pressure and hormone levels. In many women the male hormone levels reduce therefore reducing future risks.
With this in mind, it's important to recognise, you can prevent type 2 diabetes by eating well and exercising. If you know anyone who you think might be headed toward developing Type 2 Diabetes and would benefit from training with us, we would love an introduction to help them prevent it! Refer them here.