What other factors impact my risk?

What other factors impact my risk?

It’s not just weight loss and your activity levels that have an impact on your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. There are other lifestyle factors that you need to consider:


Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths and one in two smokers will die from a smoking-related disease.

Nicotine is one of the many chemicals that are found in cigarettes and is what makes smoking so addictive. When you smoke, nicotine changes the chemical processes in the cells inside your body, so they do not respond to insulin. This is known as insulin resistance.

Stopping smoking before you develop serious diseases such as type 2 diabetes is extremely important for your health in the future.


Icon of bottle and glass of wine

Drinking too much alcohol can also contribute to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in a number of ways

Drinking too much alcohol can reduce your body’s sensitivity to insulin which means that it doesn’t break down sugar as well as it should. This will result in higher blood glucose levels, which over time can lead to type 2 diabetes or worsen existing diabetes.

Heavy drinking can cause inflammation in your pancreas, which is the organ responsible for producing insulin which regulates your blood glucose levels. If you continue to drink heavily it can lead to a condition called pancreatitis which will stop your pancreas from working properly.

Alcohol contains a lot of hidden calories and sugar so it can be a cause of gaining weight, which is an established risk factor for type 2 diabetes.


If you are tired, the hormone that regulates your blood glucose level, insulin, doesn’t work as well.

Other hormones that your body produces when you are stressed also impact how well insulin works, so this can cause blood glucose levels to increase.

If you’re tired during the day, it’s common to compensate for the lack of sleep through food to get a boost of energy. This can lead you to you eating more than normal or eat calorie-dense foods such as sugary snacks and carbohydrates to get that energy your body is looking for. This can also cause your blood glucose levels to increase.

A lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity and consequently, being overweight or obese also increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

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