Type 2 Diabetes: Can the Risk Be Reduced?

In the UAE in 2021, about 1 million people had diabetes, and the predicted figure in 2040 is expected to be 2.2 million. There are two main types of diabetes mellitus, type1 and type2, type1 presents about 10% of diabetes mellitus, and type2 diabetes mellitus presents around 90%. Therefore, can we reduce the burden of type 2 diabetes mellitus on society and individuals? Do you believe we can reduce the estimated number of diabetes cases by 2040?

Does Type 2 Diabetes Occurs Solely as a Result of Genetics and Family History

Genetics and family history account for 15% of your risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus; however, lifestyle, diet, and exercise account for 85% of your risk. This indicates that 15% is considered a non-modifiable risk, while on the other hand, 85% is considered modifiable. So, let us look at how we can address the modifiable 85% risk:

First, for early detection, a blood checkup should be done every 6 months, including the diagnostic test HBA1C, which checks your mean blood glucose for the last 3 months and fasting and post-prandial blood sugar. Early detection will be achieved even in the pre-diabetes stage.

Second, exercise can work on increasing the sensation of insulin in your body, which helps improve the glucose absorption in your body cells, reduces the work burden on the pancreas, and can help you lose extra body weight if the person is obese.

Thirdly, weight loss is one of the most important key elements in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus, as it helps improve insulin sensation at the cell level. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with prediabetes lose at least 7% to 10% of their body weight to prevent disease progression. More weight loss will increase the health benefits even more.

Fourth, lifestyle and behavioral changes are the most difficult challenges in the journey. Therefore, a multidisciplinary team of a doctor, dietitian, psychologist, and diabetic educator is needed to empower you to achieve the ultimate goal.

Diet plays the most important role in managing blood glucose readings; having a realistic goal and meal plans will help you maintain the result of adequate blood glucose control.

In conclusion, prevention is better than cure. By working on all the mentioned elements, the burden of diabetes mellitus can be reduced in society and improve your quality of life.

Diabetes Expert at Burjeel Day Surgery Center in Abu Dhabi

Ms. May Abu Galala

Diabetes Educator

Years of Experience: 11

Nationality: Palestine

Languages Known: Arabic, English