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Type 2 Diabetes: Genetics or Lifestyle?

Type 2 Diabetes: Genetics or Lifestyle?

Type 2 Diabetes is different from type 1 diabetes in that unlike type 1 diabetes where the body produces no insulin, in type 2 diabetes, insulin is produced but it is either not enough to regulate blood sugar, or the body doesn't recognize the insulin and therefore cannot use the insulin to break down the glucose in the body, a condition known as insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes, is often known to run in families, so there seems to be a genetic predisposition to the disease. To further compond this risk families usually have similar eating and exercise habits, which is a major factor of the disease. Other risk factors include:

  • high blood pressure
  • obesity
  • A diet high in fat
  • High alcohol intake
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Aging
  • Ethnicity (African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and Japanese have higher rates of type 2 diabetes)

How is type 2 diabetes prevented?

Type 2 diabetes and obesity are closely linked. Maintaining a healthy weight for your frame, and eating a healthy diet rich in lean protein and vegetables is key in the prevention of diabetes. It is also a good way to manage the disease if you already have type 2 diabetes.

What are the Warning signs for Type 2 Diabetes?

  • Increased Thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Slow healing cuts or sores
  • Itching of the skin
  • Recent weight gain
  • Numbness in the hands and feet
  • Itching of the skin
  • Impotency
  • Darker coloring to the skin on the neck, groin and armpits (called ancantosis nigrans)

If any of these symptoms are noticed, you should go to the doctor to get checked for diabetes. Diabetics that are undiagnosed cannot take the proper precautions the disease requires and can cause deadly complications without knowing it. Proper foot care for instance is necessary for diabetics, and not taking the proper precautions with your feet and diet can result in amputation of the foot or leg and organ damage. Diabetes is manageable, but prevention through diet and exercise may eliminate the risk altogether.

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