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According to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, Type 2, or non-insulin dependent diabetes, is the most common form of diabetes.  It is also called “adult onset” diabetes, since it typically develops after age 35.  People with Type 2 diabetes are able to produce their own insulin, but often it’s not enough or their body can’t properly use the insulin it makes.

These are some of the factors that can put you at risk for Type 2 diabetes:

  • Age 45 or older
  • Being overweight or obese
  • A family history – parent, brother or sister – of having diabetes
  • Family background of African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander descent
  • Having had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes) or having given birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
  • Blood glucose (blood sugar) levels that are higher than normal
  • Blood pressure of 140/90 or higher, or having a diagnosis of high blood pressure
  • Cholesterol (lipid) levels that are not normal, with HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels less than 35 or a triglyceride level above 250
  • Fairly inactive, engaging in physical activity less than three times a week
  • Having a diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Skin around neck or armpit area appears dirty no matter how clean, called acanthosis nigricans
  • Having blood vessel problems that affect heart, brain or legs

Prediabetes, a milder form of impaired glucose tolerance, can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. If you have it, there is a strong chance you will get Type 2 diabetes. It is very important to find out early if you have prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes, as early treatment can prevent some serious health problems.

In the United Sates, nearly 10 percent of the population has diabetes, and one out of 3 adults has prediabetes.  But, the good news is that Type 2 diabetes is highly preventable. About 9 cases in 10 could be avoided by taking several simple steps: keep your weight under control, exercise more, eat a healthy diet and don’t smoke.