The 7 factors that increase your risk of life-threatening type 2 diabetes revealed

DIABETES is an illness that impacts close to four million people in the UK, with 90 per cent having type 2.

Type 2 diabetes can occur when the body struggles to regulate blood sugar levels.

This is because the insulin your pancreas makes doesn’t work properly, or because your pancreas can’t make enough insulin. 

In turn, your blood sugar levels keep rising, making them difficult to control, which means more insulin is then released.

It's a serious condition and can lead to complications, causing damage to your feet, eyes and crucially, your heart.

It was today revealed that there could be a link between Covid and type 2 diabetes.

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Scientists in the UK and US raised the alarm early in the pandemic, after spotting a spike in cases of the potentially life-threatening condition.

Since then studies have linked the virus to both Type 1 and 2 diabetes.

There are some things that can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, some of which you have no control of.

1. Gender

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Dr Wendy Denning said that if you are male and overweight, then you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes,

She explained that this is due to where the fat is stored.

"Men are biologically more susceptible and need to gain far less weight than women to develop diabetes.

"Fat distribution may explain the men’s tendency to develop diabetes at lower BMI levels".

Dr Wendy, who works with diabetes supplement CuraLin said that typically, women store more fat subcutaneously (under the skin) in areas such as the hips and thighs, while men tend to store more of their fat in the abdomen.

"Therefore, women may need to accumulate a greater total amount of fat before they begin to develop harmful deposits in the abdominal area", she said.

2. Ethnicity

Ethnicity can also play a role in diabetes, experts say.

You're more at risk of developing the condition if you're of African Caribbean, Black African, or South Asian (Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi) or Chinese descent, Diabetes UK states.

3. Diet

Diet is key when it comes to diabetes and the NHS just last month launched a plan so that thousands of Brits with the condition could access a diet plan that may help them 'reverse it'.

Nutritionist and fitness instructor Cassandra Barns said that weight gain around the abdomen is an indication that your blood sugar levels could be high and is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

"If you already have the condition then having a healthy bodyweight makes it easier to manage type 2 diabetes – including controlling blood sugar levels – and reducing the risk of complications", she said.

Type 2 diabetes symptoms

Type 2 diabetes develops at a slower pace than type one.

Most people don't get any symptoms, but there are some things you can look out for.

  • going to the loo more often
  • feeling really thirsty
  • feeling more tired- because your body can't hold on to the glucose it needs
  • losing weight without trying
  • thrush
  • cuts taking a while to heal
  • blurred vision

Source: Diabetes UK

4. Inactivity

Dr Denning said that getting type 2 diabetes is less likely to occur if you eat well and exercise regularly.

"Exercise makes your body more sensitive to insulin and also the more you exercise the more glucose you burn thereby lowering blood glucose.

Exercise for at least 30 minutes per day – most days of the week.

"Exercise also helps reduce the risk of heart disease, lowers stress and may help you lose weight", she said.

5. Fatigue

Being tired can have many causes, and sometimes you might just need to take a nap.

Cassandra however said that it can be an indication that your body is not efficiently taking glucose (sugar) into your cells to use for energy, meaning your blood sugar stays high.

6. Age

Dr Denning said that your age could have a significant impact on your chances of getting type 2 diabetes.

She explained: “The most common age for type 2 diabetes to develop is between 45 and 60.

"It’s been found that ‘normal-weight’ older people can have insulin resistance, which suggests that getting older in itself increases the risk for getting type 2 diabetes.” 

7. History

Different parts of your life can make a difference when it comes to type 2 diabetes.

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If you have family history of the illness, for example a close relative such as a sibling or a parent has diabetes, then you're more likely to have the condition.

Your medical history also matters and the experts at Diabetes UK say thatif you have a history of high blood pressure, heart attack or strokes, gestational diabetes or severe mental illness.

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