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Your Diabetes Risk and How To Lower It

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on March 8, 2016

Diabetes is a growing problem in the United Kingdom. So far, more than four million people in Britain are estimated to live with the disease. That’s 6% of the entire British population!

Scarily, in the past twenty years the number of people with diabetes has more than doubled. Even scarier, this trend is unlikely to change any time soon.

Official statistics from Diabetes UK suggest 90% of all diabetics have type 2, which is mostly preventable.So could you suffer from type 2 diabetes in the future? We check out the risk factors and what you can do to reduce them.

Obesity

Obesity is the main cause of type 2 diabetes: up to 85% of people get type 2 diabetes because they’re obese. With two out of three people in the UK overweight or obese, the high rates of diabetes aren’t a surprise.

If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight can help to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Perhaps the most obvious way of lowering your risk factor is by aiming to lead a healthier lifestyle. That means going on a calorie-controlled diet and eating more fruit and vegetables.

It’s not  just diet: managing your weight involves regular exercise. That could be something as simple as walking a mile a day. Or you may wish to head to the gym after work two nights a week. The Department of Health says that only 39% of men and 29% of women meet recommended fitness levels – so it’s very likely you need to reboot your regime!

Deprivation

Lifestyle and environmental factors can also impact your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Those on a low income are more likely to be inactive, obese and smoke.

Back in 2011, an official Health Survey for England was conducted. The results suggest male low-income earners are 2.3 times more likely to develop diabetes. Women in the same income bracket are 1.6 times more likely to become diabetic.

Pregnancy

Believe it or not, pregnancy also raises the risk of type 2 diabetes. Around 5% of all pregnant women develop gestational diabetes.

This goes away after giving birth, but women who develop gestational diabetes are seven times more likely to get type 2 diabetes in later life.

Gestational diabetes often occurs during the second or third trimester. It happens because the body can’t produce enough insulin during pregnancy. If you’re obese and pregnant, your risk of developing this form of diabetes is much higher.

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