Type 2 diabetes is the form of the condition in which a person’s body makes insulin but can’t use it properly to convert food to energy. This causes the glucose in food to build up in the blood so it can’t reach the cells to provide them with the energy they need to function properly.
Scientists don’t understand why some people get type 2 diabetes and others don’t, but they have identified certain factors that increase the risk of developing it. These risk factors include:
- Ethnic background: People of Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian, and African descent have a higher risk than Caucasians or Oriental people.
- Overweight: Eight out of ten people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. Extra weight raises the risk even higher if it is around the abdomen (what is commonly described as having an “apple shape” body).
- Family history: Having a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, with diabetes increases a person’s risk of developing it.
- Sedentary lifestyle: The less active a person is, the higher the risk of developing diabetes.
- Age: Being age 40 or over increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Other health conditions: Having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose, or having had gestational diabetes or having given birth to a baby that weighed more 4 kg (9 lbs.) increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
If you think you may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, speak with your doctor or Sobeys pharmacist about being tested for the condition.