What are the risk factors of developing type 2 diabetes and how do you prevent it? Dr Weston is here to explain it all.
Dr. Weston’s here to talk about adult onset non-insulin dependent diabetes, or what’s more commonly known as type 2 diabetes. It accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes cases, and is caused by either a deficiency of, or a resistance to, insulin, which creates an elevation in blood sugar. Initially the pancreas creates more of the hormone insulin trying to get it into the cells. When it can’t keep up, sugar begins to build up in the blood. It has now been estimated that there are almost 90 million pre-diabetics, meaning that even though they are not experiencing any symptoms yet, their blood glucose is already above normal.
Common symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, vision problems, numbness in the hands and feet, irritability, fatigue, mental fog or confusion, slow healing wounds and infections, including recurrent yeast infections.
There are several risk factors potentially predisposing a person to type 2 diabetes that we can’t do much about; they include being over 45 years of age, ethnicity factors such as being Hispanic or African-American, having a family member with diabetes, physiologic defects with the pancreas, a hyper-active liver, and faulty cellular communication. There are however a number of contributing factors that we can control, such as weight, particularly belly fat, sedentary lifestyle, poor diet consisting of over-processed empty calorie foods, certain medications such as statins, elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol, triglycerides, and chronic stress. Other complications that are associated with Type 2 are stroke, vision problems, kidney disease, limb amputations, depression, sexual dysfunction, dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
In the U.S., the cost of diabetic care is approaching $300 billion, and 51% of those 65 and older have prediabetes. Some fairly simple changes in lifestyle have proven to be of great benefit in dealing with type 2 diabetes and consists of regular exercise, sensible weight loss, controlling blood pressure, and a plant-based diet.