Diabetes is caused by elevated blood sugar levels. People with diabetes have a problem with regulating blood sugar properly.
However, it not true that only people who are overweight face the risk of developing diabetes type 1 or 2. While it is actually true that weight plays a significant role in increasing your chances of becoming diabetic, it is a small cog in a large wheel.
Anybody can become diabetic. There are many other factors, other than weight, that influence your likelihood of developing diabetes including family history, genetics, poor eating habits and living a sedentary lifestyle.
Weight and diabetes
If you are wondering how weight influences your chances of developing diabetes type 1 and 2, here is its role together with that of other non-weight factors.
Type 1 diabetes
Diabetes type 1 is generally an autoimmune disease. If you have type 1 diabetes, your body’s immunity attacks your beta cells, the one responsible for making insulin. Once that starts to happen, your pancreas ceases to produce insulin.
Insulin moves transfer sugar from your blood into the cells. The cells then use that sugar to produce energy. However, with insufficient insulin, your blood sugar will rise.
Your weight does not increase the risk of you developing type 1 diabetes. The only known risk factor, in this case, is genetics and family history.
Type 2 diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes are not able to produce enough insulin, and the cells are resistant to insulin, or it could be both. About 90 percent of all diabetes cases fall under type 2.
Weight is a major risk factor that leads to the development of type 2 diabetes. More than 88 percent of all adults in America suffering from type 2 diabetes are obese.
Other risk factors for type 2 diabetes
Even those people who look skinny or thin are at risk of developing diabetes. Many factors, other than weight, can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Researchers have shown that people with normal weight but suffering from type 2 diabetes have a lot of visceral body fat. This is fat that is stored around your abdominal organs. Visceral fat secretes hormones that interfere with your glucose and metabolism.
Sometimes visceral fat causes the metabolism of a normal weight person to look like that of a person who is obese, however thin he or she appears.
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This is the kind of diabetes common in pregnant women. It was non-existent before pregnancy, but the expectant mother may have had pre-diabetes without actually knowing it. This type of diabetes is usually an indicator that diabetes type 2 is likely to occur and this is often the case in 10 percent of all pregnancies.
Most instances of gestational diabetes clear off after pregnancy. However, any woman who had this condition has a 10 percent risk of developing full-blown in succeeding 10 years after pregnancy.
Poor eating habits
Poor dieting is not only common to the obese and the overweight. Even those of normal weight tend to indulge in a diet that can cause type 2 diabetes.
Based on a recent study, diets full of sugar tend to increase the risk of becoming diabetic, even when you factor in your body weight, calorie consumption, and exercise.
Sugar is common in sweetened foods and in most other foods also, like salad dressing and processed snacks. Actually, even canned foods, like soups, have a lot of sugar.
Smoking is also a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. A study established that those who smoke at least 20 cigarettes daily stand a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes irrespective of weight.
Sitting down all day is not good for your health. People who do not move about stand the risk of developing serious health issues. A sedentary lifestyle, irrespective of your weight, exposes you to twice the risk of becoming diabetic compared to those who move around.
High cholesterol is a problem most people have due to poor dieting. However, diet is not the only predisposing factor. Your genes also play a huge role in influencing your cholesterol levels.
A recent study concluded that about one-quarter of all American with normal weight have an unhealthy metabolism. This often leads to high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.
Diabetes is a condition that can affect anyone, irrespective of size and shape. The greatest risk factor is weight, but this is just one issue, there are others like gestational diabetes, living a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and family history.