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3 Surprising Things That Increase Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, a disease that typically affects people age 45 and older, occurs when the body develops a high level of insulin resistance. This resistance builds up over time, but there are steps you can take to increase your insulin sensitivity. Learn about three little-known things that can affect your insulin resistance, and start making proactive changes toward achieving better health today!

Skipping Breakfast

You’ve heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but do you know why? When you skip breakfast, your blood sugar will rise significantly more after the rest of your meals throughout the day than if you had eaten breakfast. Higher blood sugar requires your pancreas to release more, and increases your resistance to, insulin. Also, as you grow hungrier throughout the day, you’re more likely to choose unhealthy foods and eat larger portions, which can build up your resistance to insulin. Try a healthy breakfast rich in fiber, complex carbohydrates, and protein, such as unsweetened oatmeal with a side of eggs, to keep you full throughout the day.

Counting Sheep

Sleepless nights, if happening frequently enough, can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. Not only does exhaustion mean you’re more likely to feel hungry throughout the day and less likely to exercise; it also causes your hormone levels to change. When you get less than seven hours of sleep a night, your body releases less insulin and more cortisol, a hormone that makes it difficult for insulin to break down glucose. This means your blood sugar will be higher than normal. If this becomes a regular occurrence, it can negatively impact your health in the long run.

Not Getting Enough Vitamin D

Having a vitamin D deficiency puts you at risk for several adverse medical conditions, one of which is type 2 diabetes. A study published in 2011 showed that people who had consumed large concentrations of vitamin D were 43 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, meaning there is a correlation between adequate levels of this nutrient and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Try to incorporate foods such as fatty fish, mushrooms, and fortified dairy products into your diet to up your intake of this essential nutrient. If you’re still not getting enough vitamin D, speak with your doctor about whether a supplement might be right for you.

To get a better understanding of your health, speak with your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician. They can give you advice to prevent diseases that come with age and improve your overall well-being. If you’re concerned about your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, schedule an appointment with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group endocrinologist for testing and further information on how to keep the disease at bay.

 

Sources:
Healthline | Eating Breakfast Every Day Can Lower Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health | Weight training associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
Medical News Today | What to know about fasting blood sugar?
Healthline | Insulin and Insulin Resistance - The Ultimate Guide
National Sleep Foundation | The Link Between a Lack of Sleep and Type 2 Diabetes