Diabetes and Risk Factors

What is the nature of association between diabetes and risk factors? The condition of diabetes is characterized by the inability of the body either to make or to use insulin-a hormone having the ability to facilitate absorption of glucose in the body. When the production of insulin is stopped or obstructed the blood sugar level increases leading to diabetic condition. Prolonged and uncontrolled diabetes may cause damages to kidneys, heart, nerves, eyes and other vital organs of the body.  According to an estimate only about one third of the people with diabetes are aware about this situation.

Various risk factors are associated with different types of diabetes as follows:

The three major types of diabetes, namely type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes share the same basic characteristics.

Risk factors for Type 1 Diabetes

  • Genetics and family history. The diabetes type 1 in children is associated with genetic and family history.
  • Diseases of the pancreas.  The ability to produce insulin is obstructed due to injury or disease of the pancreas which causes type 1 diabetes..
  • Infection or illness. Some infections and diseases can damage the pancreas which leads to cause type 1 diabetes.

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

  • Overweight or obesity. Overweight or obesity is significantly associated with type 2 diabetes.
  • Impaired glucose tolerance or prediabetes. Mild diabetes showing the way for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Ethnic background. Diabetes occurs more often in some Ethnic groups like Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian-Americans,etc.
  • High blood pressure. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a major risk factor for diabetes.
  • History of gestational diabetes. Diabetes which is developed during pregnancy may lead to type 2 diabetes.
  • Sedentary lifestyle. Leading an inactive or idle life may cause type 2 diabetes.
  • Family history. In case of having a family history of diabetes the children are vulnerable to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Age. People over age 45 are put on increasing risk to type 2 diabetes although people with any age group may develop diabetes.

Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes

Diabetes which is developed during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes and is caused  by hormones that are produced  during pregnancy. High blood sugar level in mother may lead to high blood sugar level of the growing baby in mother’s womb. The risk factors for this type of diabetes include-

  • Obesity or being overweight. This condition puts women at risk of gestational diabetes.
  • Previous history. A history of previous gestational diabetes increases the risk of gestational diabetes.
  • Family history. A family history of gestational diabetes increases the risk of gestational diabetes.
  • Age. The risk of gestational diabetes increases with the age of the women having pregnancy.

The various risk factors of diabetes  as outlined and discussed above indicate that diabetes is such a disease which can be developed in any age and any time and can become a serious threat to human health including damages to kidneys, heart, nerves, eyes and other vital organs of the body.. This suggests that adequate steps should be taken as well as physicians should be consulted in right time in order to manage the diabetes and diabetic situation properly.

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