Diabetes mellitus type 2 is commonly known as type 2 diabetes, which you probably know is mostly caused by living unhealthy by eating too many sugary foods everyday. But that’s not the only way you can develop diabetes – here are a few things you didn’t know could put you at risk for developing diabetes mellitus type 2.

Everytime you guiltily sink your teeth into your favorite glazed donut, creampuff, eclair, or other dessert, you probably feel in the back of your mind that you might get diabetes if you keep this up. So maybe you try to offset any damage by trying all sorts of things, but some of these things can actually increase your risk for developing diabetes mellitus type 2. Here are some surprising causes of diabetes you should refrain from doing:

1. Using Artificial Sweeteners

Lots of artificial sweeteners and products containing artificial sweeteners like to boast claims that they contain minimal carbohydrates or sugar. You start thinking that using these products safely lets you enjoy sweetened foods without the risk of diabetes mellitus. But sadly, you’d be wrong.

Researchers took non-diabetic participants and had some of them take the zero-calorie artificial sweetener sucralose. The rest drank water. Ten minutes later the researchers had both groups ingest the same amount of sugar. Surprisingly, the participants who took sucralose beforehand experienced higher blood sugar levels for a longer period of time than the participants who drank water. The researchers officially concluded that ingesting sucralose can significantly affect your blood sugar level control.

It seems that if you chronically use sucralose, it may increase your risk of developing diabetes mellitus type 2 because it can keep your blood sugar levels higher than they normally would. Other artificial sweeteners may have similar metabolic effects.

If you’d like a safer zero-calorie sweetener, choose stevia, which is a natural sweet compound.

2. Not Drinking Enough Water

Some professional body builders say that drinking too much water is counterproductive to building muscle. Weight loss gurus also often talk about water weight and how losing it is a part of weight loss. With so much misrepresented negativity surrounding drinking water in both these popular aspects of fitness, it’s not surprising that some people might become wary of drinking too much water when trying to stay healthy. But doing so is another diabetes mellitus danger.

French researchers found that drinking the recommended eight glasses of water daily can protect you from developing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) by 21 percent. Chronic hyperglycemia is a sign of prediabetes, which can lead to diabetes mellitus.

3. Taking Too Much Niacin

Being health-aware and taking multivitamins is great. But you could be increasing your risk for developing diabetes mellitus type 2 if you take too much niacin (vitamin B3).

The National Institutes of Health list niacin intake as a potential cause of diabetes mellitus. They reviewed numerous clinical trials and found that long-term niacin supplementation moderately increases your risk for developing diabetes mellitus.

Does that mean that taking vitamin B3 supplements is bad? No. The participants in these studies were taking higher doses of niacin, some as part of niacin therapy. You should only be worried if you’re taking so much niacin that you experience side effects – like niacin flush, which is when you experience redness or an uncomfortably warm feeling on your skin which lasts for up to an hour. Niacin flush can also cause tingling or itching of the skin.

Take an appropriate amount of vitamin B3 and try not to exceed the recommended daily intake in order to prevent any increased risk for developing diabetes mellitus.

Now you know that watching your sugar intake isn’t the only way to prevent developing diabetes mellitus type 2. You should also watch your vitamin B3 intake, and make sure you’re drinking enough water everyday and staying away from artificial sweeteners (and products that use them).