Top Risk Factors for a Diabetes Diagnosis
Diabetes isn’t simply a random occurrence or something that you can just catch from strangers like other diseases. There are typically other risk factors involved that you need to watch out for that may lead to being diagnosed with diabetes.
The risk factors differ slightly between the two types of diabetes, since type 1 can’t be prevented but type 2 can. In both types, family history is extremely important. If one of your parents or siblings has diabetes, you’re immediately at much greater risk, since it’s somewhat hereditary.
Another very important factor is your weight. While this is more important with type 2 diabetes, it still applies to both to some extent. You can greatly decrease your chance of getting type 2 diabetes by keeping your weight at a normal level and not allowing obesity to creep in.
Activity levels are important, too. People who are more active experience fewer cases of diabetes diagnosis than those who live a more sedentary lifestyle. This may be because exercise allows your body to utilize the blood sugar more effectively.
Ethnicity is another risk factor in the development of diabetes. Certain ethnicities are more likely to get a diagnosis – including Hispanics, Paicific Islanders, American Indians, Asian and African Americans.
Age is another important risk factor. As you grow older, your risk for developing the disease rises. Those over the age of 45 begin seeing their blood sugar numbers rise, often leading to a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
If you had gestational diabetes while you were pregnant, or delivered a baby weighing more than nine pounds, then the chances of you developing full blown diabetes after you give birth are also increased. It may not happen instantly, but down the road it could have an impact.
Other medical conditions – such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides, or PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) can also be contributors to type 2 diabetes.
Other health concerns – primarily heart disease or having had a stroke previously – can also mean you’re headed for a diabetes diagnosis in your near future. So having an overall plan of attack for better health is important.
Even your mental health plays a vital role in staving off diabetes. Stress hormones can contribute to your body’s inability to properly use insulin, so if you’re depressed or experience chronic stress or anxiety, you’re setting yourself up for a diabetes diagnosis.