Types of Diabetes - Are you at risk?

There are three major types of the disease: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. The condition is a result of the human body being unable to make or effectively use insulin. One in four people with diabetes don't know they have it. Although a number of acquired factors can increase the risk of diabetes, there are also a host of inherent causes that may heighten the risk of a person developing diabetes, later on in their life. 

 

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is believed to be caused by an immune reaction. It is a condition in which your immune system destroys insulin -making cells in your pancreas. These are called beta cells. This condition is often diagnosed in children and young people, and is therefore also referred to as juvenile diabetes. Risk factors for type 1 diabetes are not as clear as for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. However, the known risk factors include:

  • Family history: Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 1 diabetes
  • Age: You can get type 1 diabetes at any age, but it’s more likely to develop when you’re a child, teen, or young adult.

    Unfortunately, as of now, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. However, it can be managed effectively.

    Type 2 Diabetes

    Type 2 diabetes is a condition that is a result when cells in muscle, fat and the liver become highly resistant to insulin. And when these cells don't interact in a normal way with insulin, they don't take in enough sugar resulting in a spike in blood sugar levels. A host of factors play a role in causing type 2 diabetes. These include. 

    • Weight: Being overweight or obese highly increases your risk of developing diabetes. A BMI that is above the normal levels as per your age and height can pose serious health problems. Therefore, losing 5% to 10% of your body weight—in addition to getting regular physical activity—can significantly reduce your risk of developing diabetes. 
    • Age: The older you are, the higher your risk for pre diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in middle-aged adults, most frequently after the age 40. New research conducted by the CDC, however, have proved that due to unhealthy lifestyle, a huge number of young adults, well below the age of 28 are also suffering from type 2 diabetes. 
    • Family History: If you have a blood relative with diabetes, your risk for developing it is significantly increased. Thus, it’s vital to share your family health history with your doctor to find out what it may mean for you.
    • Sedentary Lifestyle: people who lead a sedentary lifestyle are also at a risk of developing diabetes later on in their life. Therefore, it’s extremely important to incorporate exercise along with dietary changes in your lifestyle.
    • Gestational Diabetes: If you previously developed diabetes during pregnancy, you are also at increased risk of developing diabetes again later in life.
    • Fatty liver: If you have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease you may also be at risk for type 2 diabetes.

      You can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes with simple, proven lifestyle changes such as losing weight if you’re overweight, eating healthier, and indulging in regular physical activity.

      Pre-diabetes

      You’re at risk for developing pre-diabetes if these factors are present:

      • BMI is higher than normal.
      • Aged 45 years or older
      • Family history of type 2 diabetes
      • Sedentary lifestyle.
      • History of Gestational diabetes.

        You can prevent or reverse pre-diabetes with simple, proven lifestyle changes such as- losing weight if you’re overweight and maintaining a healthy BMI as per your age and height, eating healthier, and indulging in regular physical activity. 

         

        Gestational Diabetes

        Gestational diabetes is diabetes that is diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy (gestation). Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar (glucose). Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby's health. However, while any pregnancy complication is concerning, there's also some good news. Expectant mothers can help control gestational diabetes by eating healthy foods, exercising and, if necessary, taking medication.

        The major risk factors for gestational diabetes include:

        • History of Gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy
        • Given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
        • Overweight or higher BMI than normal as per your age and height.
        • Family history of type 2 diabetes
        • The hormone disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

          Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born but increases your risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. Your baby is more likely to have obesity as a child or teen, and is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life too, if the condition is not properly managed.  So, before you get pregnant, you may be able to prevent gestational diabetes by losing weight if you’re overweight, eating healthier, and getting regular physical activity.

          Without doubt, certain inherent and genetic conditions do play a major role in causing certain types of diabetes and there is little or nothing a person can do to completely prevent it. You can, however, manage it effectively by taking the necessary measures. However, with an enhanced and a healthier lifestyle, the acquired risk factors for certain diabetic conditions can be managed and even completely prevented. We must remember that “Prevention is better than cure”, so a healthier lifestyle is just a mindset away and it can lead to a much healthier and fulfilled life.