Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes

The chance of an individual developing type 2 diabetes depends on a range of risk factors. Some risk factors are simple to control in comparison to others. An individual may alter, or control, some risk factors including diet and the amount of physical activity they do.

When individuals are conscious of the risk factors that they may manage, they may consider reducing their probability of developing type 2 diabetes. This article explains the risk factors of type 2 diabetes, including what individuals might be capable of doing to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

Risk Factors of Diabetes an Individual May Control

Regulation of the following risk factors is vital if an individual has a family history of diabetes.

Obesity or Overweight

risk factor of being over weight

When an individual is obese, or overweight, too many levels of body fat, or adipose tissue, release hormones, inflammatory proteins, and other molecules that may activate insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance happens when fat, liver, and muscle cells are no longer sensitive to insulin and fail to store sugar as glycogen. When this occurs, sugar remains in the bloodstream for a long time. Hence, normal blood glucose levels increase. To decrease these glucose levels, the pancreas produces a large amount of insulin to overcome the weak response of the cells.

If an individual fails to reverse this process via lifestyle or medicine modifications, they are more expected to develop type 2 diabetes.

Also Read: HbA1c Test, Levels, and Chart For Adults


smoking risk factors

Smoking may augment an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Individuals who smoke at a 30–40% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes as compared to people who do not smoke.

Nicotine may augment the levels of blood glucose. And, individuals who frequently smoke require to use more insulin than normal. This keeps the glucose levels within a healthy limit. If any person with type 2 diabetes feels they wish to quit smoking, they must look for medical help first.

During a shift to a smoke-free routine, the glucose levels might fall down more than usual, however, they would finally settle down.

Also Read: Is Watermelon Good For Diabetics?

Deficient Exercise

excercises for type 2 diabetes

Exercising has a lot of advantages. It helps to improve mental and heart health and also lowers insulin resistance and inflammation.

As per studies, all types of exercise, like resistance training or aerobic exercises may help to improve blood glucose control. Also, they help to prevent or reverse obesity-related type 2 diabetes.

Together with a healthful diet, physical activity is one of the primary symptom management approaches that physicians suggest for prediabetics or type 2 diabetic patients.

Also Read: Do Antibiotics Raise Blood Sugar Levels?

Inactive Lifestyle

If a person spends long hours sitting (excluding sleeping), it is known as an active lifestyle. Being inactive is associated with a high risk of type 2 diabetes.

It is vital to understand that although a person does the advised amount of exercise per week, he or she may still have an inactive lifestyle.

Some of the sedentary behaviors can be:

  • Sitting down while doing studies at home or school
  • Working on computers for a long duration and not standing up
  • Sitting while traveling or driving a vehicle
  • Sitting or reclining while watching TV or playing games.

A person must try to break long duration of sitting as often as possible, using any light activity like walking. If a person sits in front of a screen or a desk all day, he or she must try a few chair-based exercises. Moreover, the person must aim to build light activity into his or her day. And, below are a few ideas:

  • Have walking meetings
  • Go and talk to your colleagues rather than sending an email
  • Walk or park a bit away from where a person needs to go
  • Take consistent breaks to bring a glass of water

Also Read: Yoga For Diabetic Patients


right way of sleep for type 2 diabetes

Disturbed sleep relates to a high risk of type 2 diabetes. Lack of sleep, or sleeping for too long is associated with high diabetes risk. Also, several factors may have an impact on how long and how well people sleep.

Mental Health Issues

Diabetic patients might live with 1 or more mental problems like anxiety and depression. When individuals fail to get proper treatment for such conditions, this may frequently worsen diabetes.

When a person experiences stress or anxiety, he or she might consume more processed foods and work out less. This may lead to increased blood glucose levels. Also, stress hormones themselves might make the glucose levels increase or decrease randomly.

If a person is getting treatment with antipsychotic drugs, this might also augment the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, the risk is fairly low. It is vital to carry on using any recommended drugs as they would aid in managing the condition. Visit a healthcare provider if a person is concerned about likely side effects.

Some of such drugs may also increase a person’s weight. Hence, it is vital to take steps to manage weight and each person must take advantage of eating well and moving more.

Also Read: C Reactive Protein Normal Level Chart

Risk Factors that can’t be Controlled

Few risk factors are outside an individual’s control. Examples can be sharing similar genes with family members who are diabetic.

Diabetes History

When an individual’s parents or siblings are type 2 diabetic, he or she is more expected to have the condition. Also, this is true in examples of undiagnosed prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

If a person is prediabetic, his or her blood glucose levels are higher than usual, however not high enough for them to get a diabetes diagnosis. Data proposes that when individuals are aware of a family risk of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, they alter their behaviors in order that their risk reduces.

Making use of family history as an analytical tool implies that healthcare providers may screen diabetics before their signs appear or deteriorate, which brings about improved health outcomes.

Also Read: Madhunashini vati For Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

gestational diabetes test

Gestational diabetes has an impact on pregnant females. This is generally during the second or third trimester. If a female has gestational diabetes, it is vital to check her blood sugars often. As these females are at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Also, it is important to go for a blood glucose test at a 6-week postnatal examination and every year as per the GP surgery. Also, notice any signs of diabetes.

Moreover, females may immensely lower their risk of developing gestational diabetes. This is possible by consuming healthily, managing their weight, and being physically active.

Also Read: Homeopathic Medicines For Diabetes


With growing age, people fail to metabolize carbs effectively. And, this may cause higher-than-normal glucose levels. Furthermore, fat, muscle, and liver cells also lose sensitivity to insulin. This augments the levels of blood glucose and insulin resistance.

If a grown-up adult is obese, he or she would likely experience more insulin resistance as compared to a person without the condition. This highlights the significance of maintaining a balanced diet and physical activity for older people.

Also, the research found that regular exercises and healthy eating are beneficial for diabetics who are above 60 years. As it helps to lower muscle loss and counterbalances insulin resistance.

Also Read: Best Home Remedies To Control Diabetes


As per studies from the ADA, it was seen that Blacks, Native Americans, Latinxs, and Asians are at a high risk of type 2 diabetes as compared to white populations. One cause for this might be bias in the healthcare system. Furthermore, owing to a shortage of drug testing in such populations, they might also get less efficacious treatments in contrast to the white population.

While the ADA suggests higher testing in these groups, it is vital to note that factually, researchers mistreated their positions and carried out unethical experiments within these communities. This brought a shortage of involvement in clinical trials.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a health problem that has an impact on the ovaries. Ovaries are part of the female reproductive system responsible for storing and releasing eggs that need to be fertilized. Each egg forms a small fluid-filled inflammation known as a follicle. Then, it releases by the ovary. In PCOS, numerous follicles develop however, none of them become an egg to get fertilized. These follicles may become cysts.

Females experiencing PCOS are at a high risk of type 2 diabetes. PCOS relates to insulin resistance and hence greater insulin levels circulating in the blood. Females with PCOS must take oral glucose tolerance tests on diagnosis, as advised by the NICE. If fasting blood sugars are impaired or impaired glucose tolerance, tests must be repeated every year.

Also Read: Can Diabetics Eat Jaggery?

Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

To prevent the commencement of type 2 diabetes, an individual must:

  • Consume a balanced diet, low in refined carbs, salt, and sugar
  • Do at least two hours of physical activity each week
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid having alcohol or limit its intake.


The risk factors for type 2 diabetes that an individual must control are obesity and smoking. Yet, a few risk factors including age, are irrepressible. With age, an individual’s body gets less and less effective at controlling blood sugars. And, this augments the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes. An individual is at a higher risk of diabetes if it runs in their family. Yet, if they follow a healthful diet, do not smoke, and keep physically active, they are expected to maintain normal blood glucose levels.

Also Read: Top 16 Benefits Of Almonds


Can depression result in diabetes?

Depression augments the risk for diabetes. Also, diabetes augments the risk for depression, as per studies. Explicitly, females who are depressed are 17% more expected to develop diabetes even after the researchers accustomed other risk factors including weight and lack of physical activity.

Can stress result in type 2 diabetes?

Stress alone does not result in type 2 diabetes. But there is some data that there might be an association between stress and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Studies state that high levels of stress hormones may prevent insulin-forming cells in the pancreas from functioning properly. Also, they lower the quantity of insulin they produce.

What age group gets affected the most by type 2 diabetes?

Above millions of people have diabetes (nearly 1 in 10). And, roughly 90-95% of people are type 2 diabetics. Type 2 diabetes mostly develops in individuals above the age of 45 years. However, more kids, teens, and young adults are developing it.

Is type 2 diabetes hereditary?

Type 2 diabetes has a tougher association with family history and ancestry in contrast to type 1. Also, research on twins has found that inheritances play a key role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Also, race plays a crucial role.


  1. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/preventing-type-2-diabetes/diabetes-risk-factors
  2. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/risk-factors-type-2-diabetes
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/type-2-diabetes-risk-factors#summary
  4. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes-causes

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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