Although Type 2 diabetes is commonly associated with a diet high in fat and sugar and a lack of exercise, science is discovering it’s a much more complex disease than once believed.
Diabetes develops when a person’s blood-sugar levels become too high. In Type 2 diabetes—the more common type of the disease—the pancreas either can’t make enough insulin or the body isn’t able to use it adequately.
That results in blood sugar staying in the bloodstream, which manifests as high blood sugar.
Subsequently, glucose isn’t able to adequately fuel the body’s cells for energy which can result in Type 2 diabetes.
What are the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes?
There are several risk factors that can predispose an individual to Type 2 diabetes. Some factors—such as diet and exercise—are manageable, while others—such as genetic and hereditary factors—are not.
You are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes if you are:
- 45 or older
- Have a family history of the disease
- Are overweight or obese
- Being of a certain ethnic group (e.g. African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American or Pacific Islander)
Health issues—such as lack of physical activity, high blood sugar, gestational diabetes during pregnancy—can also predispose someone to Type 2 diabetes.
But there are ways to reduce your risk — or manage Type 2 diabetes if you do receive a diagnosis.
A poor diet high in sugar could lead to Type 2 diabetes
While studies have shown a diet high in sugar is associated with Type 2 diabetes, it’s not necessarily a cause and effect.
A diet high in sugar and fat may be only one underlying factor that—along with others—could trigger prediabetes or diabetes.
Diabetes is a complicated disease, and—from medication and diet—scientists are still learning what causes it and how to manage it.
One idea being examined is whether a poor diet disrupts the gut microbiome, thus losing your body’s natural ability to break down fiber which may lead to insulin resistance.
A lack of physical activity can increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes, even before noticeable weight gain or the development of obesity.
Evidence is clear that exercise and increased physical activity not only lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes, they could also create a protective biological effect against it.
Studies have demonstrated that exercise increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. In addition, physical activity reduces intra-abdominal fat, another risk factor of Type 2 diabetes.
And even if you have developed Type 2 diabetes, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent the progression of the disease before insulin therapy is needed.
People with a family history of diabetes are also at risk for the disease. If a parent or sibling has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, paying extra attention to your diet and physical activity can help lower your risk.
You can also have a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes if you or a family member has had gestational diabetes.
“While the mother’s high blood glucose and gestational diabetes goes away after delivery, 40% of those women will have developed type 2 diabetes by the end of five years,” says Orville Kolterman, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Pendulum Therapeutics.
Your race, ethnicity, and family’s country of origin may also play a factor in your hereditary risk of Type 2 diabetes. American Indians have a high rate of diabetes, and African-Americans and Hispanics have a two-fold increased risk of the disease compared with Caucasians.
It’s not known yet if there are genetic or biological reasons for the increased risk, but scientists are looking into the role of adiponectin, a hormone that regulates insulin, and how the body stores energy in these different populations.
What to do if you have risk factors for Type 2 diabetes
If you have several risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor about how you can proactively reduce your chances of developing the disease as well as monitor your glucose levels to ensure you’re in the acceptable range.
Aside from making healthy diet and exercise changes, you can also aim to improve your gut microbiome by ensuring diverse and healthy bacteria. Studies have found that certain strains of beneficial bacteria are lower in individuals with Type 2 diabetes.
Pendulum Glucose Control does not prevent Type 2 diabetes. Pendulum Glucose Control, however, is the only medical probiotic to help people:
- Manage Type 2 diabetes
- Maintain healthy A1C levels and
- Decrease spikes in their blood sugar*
Pendulum Glucose Control is formulated with a special mixture of probiotics (5 beneficial live-bacteria strains) and inulin, a prebiotic fiber that helps the 5 bacterial strains thrive).
In a clinical trial, Pendulum Glucose Control—along with metformin—was found to be safe and effective in patients with Type 2 diabetes.
It improved bloods-sugar control by lowering blood-sugar spikes and helping participants maintain a consistent A1C level throughout the study.*
Specifically designed for people with Type 2 diabetes, Pendulum Glucose Control contains a unique probiotic blend of five strains of bacteria and inulin, a prebiotic found in chicory root.
Learn more about Pendulum Glucose Control.
*A nutrition study demonstrated statistically and clinically significant reduction in A1C and blood sugar spikes in people with Type 2 diabetes. It was randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled, and across multiple sites in the U.S.