Can a Skinny Person Get Diabetes?


Authored by Malcolm Tatum in Diseases 
Published on 12-20-2009

Many people assume that the onset of diabetes later in life is due to obesity. While there is no doubt that an unhealthy amount of excess body weight can increase the possibility of developing some form of diabetes, it is not correct to assume that skinny people can never get this disease. In fact, people of all body sizes and types can become diabetic.

There are actually a number of underlying causes that can lead to the development of diabetes. Some of these causes are just as applicable to skinny people as those who are overweight. One of the more common examples is the lack of regular exercise coupled with a sedentary lifestyle.

Simply put, if you never engage in some type of ongoing physical activity and spend your workday at a desk, you are at a higher risk for developing diabetes. One of the best things anyone can do to effectively promote the use of glucose in the body is to be active. Something as simple as a brisk thirty minute walk each day can decrease the potential for diabetes significantly. Engaging in activities like bike riding, tennis, or any other sport that helps to increase the heart rate for a period of time is very good for blood sugar levels. Best of all, these same activities promote heart health and also promote the release of neurotransmitters that are helpful in overcoming stress and maintaining a balanced emotional outlook.

Another risk factor that applies to everyone is the matter of diet. People who consume huge quantities of carbohydrates run the risk of overloading their systems and causing a breakdown in the body’s ability to efficiently deal with the excess sugar generated from the carbohydrates. This is especially true if you choose to consume more foods with simple carbohydrates like processed sugar, and fewer foods with complex carbohydrates like whole grains. A balanced diet that includes enough carbohydrates to promote energy, as well as other essential nutrients, is your best defense when it comes to avoiding the onset of diabetes.

While not everyone in the health community agrees, there are many who believe that the health histories of parents and other close family members has some relevance in determining if an individual has an increased risk of becoming a diabetic. In other words, if your father had diabetes, there is an increased chance that you will develop the disease. However, even health experts who agree that heredity pays some role in who will develop diabetes do not agree on how much of a role your family ties play in your overall health situation.

Don’t assume that just because you’ve never been overweight that you are immune from the development of diabetes. Your lifestyle, eating habits, and even your family line can also conspire to make you a prime candidate for the disease. If you want to maximize your chances of avoiding life as a diabetic, talk with your doctor about what you can do to change your way of living, as well as what to look for in the way of early warning signs. When diabetes is caught in the early stages, it is often possible to manage the condition in a manner that allows you to make a few minor changes, and still enjoy your life.


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