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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Ashby

Don’t Put Yourself at Risk For Type 2 Diabetes

Updated: May 6, 2023


Image: Pixabay


If you are overweight, you could be putting yourself more at risk for type 2 diabetes. This disease can lead to serious complications, affecting many different parts of your body. It can even kill you. Here is what you need to know about diabetes, how to tell if you are at risk, and what you can do about it.


How diabetes affects you


530 heart attacks and 175 amputations every week are attributable to diabetes.

Diabetes increases your risk of developing:

  • Heart disease

  • Stroke

  • High blood pressure

  • Kidney disease

  • Nerve damage

  • Problem feeling your feet

  • Reduced blood supply to your feet

  • Infections

  • Gum disease

  • Eye damage, including complete loss of vision

It can also cause sexual problems and lead to miscarriage and stillbirth.


What is diabetes?


Diabetes is a condition that causes people to have too much glucose in their blood, also called high blood sugar. We get glucose from the carbohydrates we eat and drink, and our body uses it for fuel. But if you have diabetes, you have a problem getting that glucose where it needs to be. And that’s due to insulin.


Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, and it works to move sugar from your blood into your cells, where it is stored and used for energy. Unfortunately, if you have diabetes, you don’t make enough insulin, or you can’t effectively use the insulin you do make. As a result, the glucose builds up in your blood, which can cause many problems, including those listed above.


The symptoms of diabetes


You may not even know you have diabetes. However, the symptoms can be:

  • Feeling thirsty

  • Going to the loo for a wee more often

  • Feeling tired

  • Infections

  • Thrush

  • Wounds that are slow to heal

The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes


Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas can’t make any insulin at all, and you will need regular insulin injections for the rest of your life.


With type 2 diabetes, your body’s insulin can’t work effectively, or you can’t make enough of it.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2.

What causes diabetes?


Apart from carrying extra weight and living a sedentary lifestyle, risk factors include:

  • Age

  • Ethnicity

  • Genetics

  • High blood pressure

  • Smoking

  • Mental health conditions

  • Drinking too much alcohol

  • Disturbed sleep

And what about sugar?


Although sugar does not cause diabetes, it increases your risk of developing diabetes. This is because of sugar’s effect on your liver and weight gain. If you eat more sugar than your body can use for energy, the excess is converted into fatty acids and stored as body fat. Weight gain and increased body fat are risk factors for developing diabetes.


As for fresh produce, the natural sugars found in fruit and vegetables are not linked to diabetes.


What you can do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes


There are no lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of type 1 diabetes, but there are things you can do to minimise your risk for type 2 diabetes.


  • Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and nuts

  • Moderate your consumption of alcohol

  • Maintain a healthy body weight

  • Exercise regularly

Several factors put you at risk for type 2 diabetes, and your weight is one of them. If you are overweight, You can help prevent or delay the disease by losing weight, eating fewer calories, and being more active.


Get in touch with us if you’re interested in making the changes you need to your lifestyle while having fun. We’re based in Coventry and passionate about health and wellbeing. Our team is here to help and support you every step of the way.


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