A common misconception about type 2 diabetes is that people develop it from consuming too much sugar. While too much sugar for anyone isn’t a good thing, this myth is just that–a myth. In fact, many other factors collide to bring type 2 diabetes into the equation–genetics probably playing the biggest factor.
That’s right. Contrary to popular belief, type 2 diabetes is not caused by something you did to yourself. For too long, diabetes has been lumped into a category of diseases one brings on themselves with poor diet or lifestyle choices. Though making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle are part of the solution for type 2 diabetes, that doesn’t make them the cause of your disease.
However, circumstances like chronic stress and, yes, a poor diet can trigger your genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes. They are contributors to the disease but not direct causes. Making sense?
What You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
So what do you do if you’re already at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to family history? You take intentional steps to prevent it including following a healthy diet, getting two to three hours of exercise a week, and talking with your medical provider about your risks.
Regular checkups with your provider are key to “catching” early signs of type 2 diabetes. The sooner the disease is detected, the sooner you and your provider can work together to make changes and develop a treatment plan. Early treatment gives you control over the disease and stops its progression. Like with any disease, early treatment significantly increases your chances of surviving.