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Diabetes

Diabetes Risk Factors

Diabetes Risk Factors

Diabetes can have a debilitating effect on anyone, regardless of ethnic or socioeconomic background. Several risks and complications are associated with the condition, some of which are life-threatening.

Generally, diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, amputation, and kidney problems. Common complications that may arise from diabetes are blindness, sexual problems, slow healing of wounds, neuropathy, and foot problems.  

Obesity and physical inactivity are major risk factors for diabetes development. Additional risk factors include older age, family history of diabetes, and prior gestational diabetes history.

The risk factors associated with diabetes can be grouped into two categories, namely:

Modifiable Risk Factors

Modifiable risk factors can be reduced by adjusting dietary and lifestyle choices. They include:

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors

These are the different risk factors that can not be changed. Non-modifiable risk factors of diabetes are:

  • Age
  • Family History
  • Genetics
  • Ethnicity
  • Low birth weight

The Types of Diabetes and Their Risk Factors

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that is still being studied for better understanding. Currently known Risk factors are listed below.

Risk Factors of Type 1 Diabetes

Family History

This includes the presence of a parent or other relative who has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the family. The higher the frequency of Type 1 diabetes in the family history, the higher the chances of developing it.

Age

Although it is possible to develop type 1 diabetes at any age, children and adolescents are at higher risk.

Race

Caucasians are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than African Americans and Hispanic/Latino Americans.

Prevention

Currently, there are no known preventive measures for type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition marked by a malfunctioning in how the body regulates and uses sugar. The chances of developing type 2 diabetes are higher with the presence of the factors listed below.

Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes

Family History

If parents, grandparents, and other relatives have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, then you are at risk. It has been shown that the risk of developing diabetes in adults is increased by a factor of four if there is a history of diabetes in one’s own family.

Age

The likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes is greater if you are 45 and older.

Prediabetes

People with prediabetes are at a high risk of getting diabetes. Experts from the American Diabetes Association estimate that as many as 70% of people with prediabetes will go on to have type 2 diabetes.

Overweight

This includes the presence of a parent or other relative who has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the family. The higher the frequency of Type 1 diabetes in the family history, the higher the chances of developing it.

Physical Activity

It is estimated that 10–20% of the disease prevalence in this area can be attributed to inactivity. Exercise and physical activity are great ways to balance blood sugar. Therefore, the chances of getting diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are higher in less physically active people.

Gestational Diabetes

If a pregnant woman’s body is unable to create enough insulin, she may develop gestational diabetes. Women who have experienced this or gave birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds are at a high risk of type 2 diabetes.

Ethnicity

The chances are higher for African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, and Alaska Native. Native Americans have a 33% higher rate of diabetes than Alaska Natives, who have a 5.5% lower rate. 

The prevalence rates among NHWs and Asian Americans are quite close to one another (7.1% and 8.4%), whereas the prevalence rates among NHBs and Hispanic Americans are much higher (11.8% and 12.6%).

Prediabetes

Prediabetes is characterized by blood sugar (glucose) levels that are higher than usual but not as high to be classified as diabetes. Prediabetes is a precursor to type 2 diabetes and puts one at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Pathology of Prediabetes

Prediabetes has the same pathophysiology as type 2 diabetes mellitus, with insulin resistance and early beta cell loss being the two fundamental dysfunctions. 

Slow insulin oscillations and smaller amplitudes of big pulses are hallmarks of prediabetes. The reason for smaller amplitude big pulses is unclear but may be due to impaired insulin secretion and/or increased basal insulin levels. The former can lead to increased hepatic glucose production, while the latter can lead to increased peripheral glucose uptake.

Symptoms of Diabetes/Prediabetes

The following symptoms may be an indication of diabetes:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Vision changes
  • Dehydrated skin
  • Sores slow to heal
  • Nausea(type 1 diabetes)

How does prediabetes turn into diabetes?

Individuals with prediabetes have cells that do not react appropriately to insulin. As a result, their pancreas produces more insulin in an effort to stimulate the cells. They eventually develop Type 2 diabetes because their pancreas becomes overworked and unable to maintain their blood sugar levels from rising.

What Measures Can We Take to Prevent Prediabetes Developing into Diabetes?

Some measures can be taken to prevent prediabetes from progressing to diabetes.

These include:

  • Losing weight if overweight or obese
  • Increasing physical activity levels
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Quitting smoking

If diagnosed with prediabetes, one must see a doctor for regular check-ups and blood sugar testing. This will help to ensure that any changes in the condition are detected early and treatment can be started if necessary.

Type1 diabetes is an acute condition; therefore, its symptoms may have a sudden onset. However, type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition. As a result, its symptoms can progress slowly and undetected for some time. Hence, type 1 diabetes can result in acute worsening of health, leading to a medical emergency called Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

References

MARCIA BYGRAVE PHD
MARCIA BYGRAVE PHD

Marcia Bygrave is a licensed nurse. She received her PhD in public health from Walden University. She is currently a Sr. Enterprise Learning Development Advisor with a large managed care company. Marcia has 25+ years of experience in the healthcare field working in management, staff development and training and as a charge nurse. She has extensive experience training staff and caregivers and developing programs to address pertinent skills. Marcia is also an entrepreneur. Her most recent venture includes plans to open a diabetes education center in a local rural area in Alabama. Besides Marcia’s passion for learning, seeking knowledge, and training others, she is very passionate about helping diabetics learn skills to manage their diabetes. She has a unique background, bringing experience from both the corporate and educational environments. Marcia is an advocate of continued learning and advancement; very effective in influencing the grasp of knowledge and love of learning in others.

<h2 style="color: #3f3b36; font-family: Merriweather; font-size: 24px; font-weight: 400px;font-style:italic">MARCIA BYGRAVE PHD</h2>

MARCIA BYGRAVE PHD

Marcia Bygrave is a licensed nurse. She received her PhD in public health from Walden University. She is currently a Sr. Enterprise Learning Development Advisor with a large managed care company. Marcia has 25+ years of experience in the healthcare field working in management, staff development and training and as a charge nurse. She has extensive experience training staff and caregivers and developing programs to address pertinent skills. Marcia is also an entrepreneur. Her most recent venture includes plans to open a diabetes education center in a local rural area in Alabama. Besides Marcia’s passion for learning, seeking knowledge, and training others, she is very passionate about helping diabetics learn skills to manage their diabetes. She has a unique background, bringing experience from both the corporate and educational environments. Marcia is an advocate of continued learning and advancement; very effective in influencing the grasp of knowledge and love of learning in others.

Dr. Saman Aftab
Dr. Saman Aftab

Dr. Saman is a medical writer with over six years of experience in freelance writing, editing, and proofreading. She is a practicing healthcare professional holding a doctorate in physical therapy at DOW University of Health Sciences. She loves to write and read about Physical and Mental health. She started content writing to blend her passion for writing and medicine with extensive clinical experience.

<h2 style="color: #3f3b36; font-family: Merriweather; font-size: 24px; font-weight: 400px;font-style:italic">DR. SAMAN AFTAB</h2>

DR. SAMAN AFTAB

Dr. Saman is a medical writer with over six years of experience in freelance writing, editing, and proofreading. She is a practicing healthcare professional holding a doctorate in physical therapy at DOW University of Health Sciences. She loves to write and read about Physical and Mental health. She started content writing to blend her passion for writing and medicine with extensive clinical experience.

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