There are three specific forms of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. With each type, your body can’t use insulin properly or, in some cases, can’t produce it at all. The end result is high blood sugar.
Diabetes is quite common, but many people don’t understand why they have it. Each form, while having similar symptoms, usually has various risk factors. If you’re concerned about developing the condition or are curious why you have it, read through the following risk factors for diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is usually detected in childhood, and it occurs because your body stops creating insulin altogether. This is a lifelong diagnosis, unlike other forms of diabetes which can be reversed. The risk factors for type 1 diabetes are usually family history, problems with the pancreas, or an infection or illness.
Usually, people with type 1 diabetes also have relatives with the condition. If you have an immediate relative with diabetes (mother, father, sibling), it’s worth getting tested for type 1 diabetes. This can be done through a blood test.
If you’ve had some kind of disease of the pancreas, like pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer, the likelihood the pancreas stops producing insulin is higher. This means you are at greater risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
Lastly, some infections or illnesses can attack the pancreas and damage it. As mentioned above, that damage can affect the organ’s ability to produce insulin and can result in diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, your body still produces insulin, but it doesn’t produce enough or it doesn’t use it properly. This can happen at any point in your life, unlike type 1, which is usually detected in childhood. When it comes to type 2, the risk factors for diabetes are greater than those for type 1.
According to research, being overweight or obese is one of the top risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. A naturally occurring glucose intolerance or insulin resistance can also be a risk factor. High blood pressure has also been associated with the development of type 2 diabetes, as have high levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL cholesterol.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome, people over the age of 45, and people of Hispanic, African-American, Pacific Islander, Asian-American, or Native American descent are considered to be at a greater risk for type 2 diabetes. Family history, a sedentary lifestyle, and a history of gestational diabetes are also risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
The third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes. This type only affects pregnant women, and it happens when high blood sugar from the mother causes a spike in the fetus’s blood sugar. This causes development and growth problems with the fetus when left untreated.
The risk factors for gestational diabetes are obesity, glucose intolerance, family history of the condition, and your age.
If you’re concerned you may have some of the risk factors for diabetes, there are steps you can take to avoid or delay the onset of the condition. These include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a proper diet, and managing your blood pressure.
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