The most overlooked risk factors for diabetes - By a Diabetes expert after 12 years of experience

Amcec Health
Aug 15 2022
3 Min. Read
Reviewed by

Desmond Croker RN, Dip. OHS, BSN, MSN, CCDE

July 26 2023

Self Care

How to Prevent Diabetes: Understanding Risk Factors and Taking Action

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. According to the International Diabetes Federation, an estimated 463 million people were living with diabetes in 2019.

Diabetes can lead to serious health complications if left untreated, such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney damage. The good news is that diabetes can be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes and early detection.

In this blog post, we will explore the various risk factors for diabetes and provide practical steps for prevention.

Risk Factors for Diabetes

Several risk factors increase the likelihood of developing diabetes. Here are some of the most common ones:


As we age, our risk of developing diabetes increases. The risk is especially high for people over 40 years of age. Regular screening for diabetes is recommended after age 40.


Family history is a significant risk factor for diabetes. If one or more of your close relatives have diabetes, your chances of developing the disease are higher.


People of certain ethnic groups, such as African, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Hispanic descent, are more prone to developing diabetes than other ethnic groups.


Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing diabetes. Excess weight can cause insulin resistance, preventing insulin from breaking down blood sugar levels in the body.


Lack of physical activity can also increase the risk of developing diabetes. People who exercise less than three times a week are at an increased risk.

Gestational Diabetes

Women who have given birth to a child weighing over 9 lbs or who have had gestational diabetes are at risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Polycystic Ovaries or Metabolic Syndrome

People diagnosed with polycystic ovaries or metabolic syndrome are at risk for insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes.

Acanthosis Nigricans

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition that is also a sign of insulin resistance and an increased risk of developing diabetes.


Stress can contribute significantly to the development of diabetes. Everyday worries and troubles, lack of sleep, and illness can all lead to stress, increasing the risk of diabetes.

Prevention Strategies for Diabetes

While some risk factors for diabetes are uncontrollable, such as age and genetics, many others are modifiable. Here are some practical strategies for preventing diabetes:

Recognize your risk

Understanding your risk factors for diabetes is essential in preventing the disease. Regular health check-ups and screening can help identify early signs of diabetes.

Decide to take action

Prevention of diabetes requires a conscious decision to take action. It involves making lifestyle changes and adopting healthy habits.

Develop a regular exercise routine

Regular physical activity can help prevent diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity weekly exercise.

Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet is crucial in preventing diabetes. Focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limit intake of processed and sugary foods.

Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise is crucial in preventing diabetes. Aim for a weight loss of 5 to 7% of your current weight if you are overweight or obese.

Seek support

Preventing diabetes can be challenging, but seeking support can help. Consider joining a support group, working with a coach or mentor, or seeking professional advice from a diabetes educator.

Manage stress

Managing stress through relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, can help prevent diabetes.


In conclusion, preventing diabetes requires knowledge, awareness, and action.
Understanding the various risk factors and taking steps to mitigate them can significantly reduce your risk of developing this debilitating disease.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure, and with the proper support and guidance, you can take control of your health and live a happy, healthy life.

So don't wait any longer; take the first step toward diabetes prevention. Sign up and take your free diabetes/prediabetes assessment, and book an appointment with our diabetes educator to start your journey towards a healthier you.

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