Diabetes: Are You At Risk?

Diabetes: Are You At Risk?





Diabetes: Are You At Risk? — Guardian Life — The Guardian Nigeria Newspaper – Nigeria and World News














The Guardian

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Diabetes is a life-long disease in which the body can neither produce insulin nor use the insulin it produces. A specific cause of diabetes has not been identified. However, having one or two risk factors makes one more prone to develop diabetes. The presence of a risk factor or more doesn’t mean that one would develop diabetes.

Photo: Everyday Health

What are the risk factors for type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is caused by the body attacking itself by mistake. It is more common in children but can develop in adults too. Type 1 diabetes is inborn and risk factors are not as clear as in other types of diabetes. Some established risk factors include:

  • Having a parent or sibling with type 1 diabetes.
  • Being White.

What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease that develops over time based on our lifestyle choices. You’re at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Have prediabetes.
  • Are overweight.
  • Eat unhealthy food.
  • Are 40 years or older.
  • Have a parent, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes.
  • Are not physically active.
  • Are a female and had gestational diabetes or given birth to a baby who weighed four kilograms or more.
  • Are Black.
  • Are hypertensive.
  • Take excess alcohol.
  • Take steroids containing drugs for a long time.
  • Smoke.

Woman giving herself an insulin shot. Photo Net Doctor

What are the risk factors for gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)?

You’re at risk of developing gestational diabetes if you:

  • Had prediabetes before getting pregnant.
  • Had hypertension before getting pregnant.
  • Had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy.
  • Have given birth to a baby who weighed more than 4 kilograms or more.
  • Are overweight.
  • Are more than 30 years old.
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
  • Have a hormone disorder called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
  • Are Black.

Photo: Diabetes Ireland

What are the risk factors for prediabetes?

You’re at risk of developing prediabetes if you:

  • Are overweight.
  • Eat unhealthily.
  • Are 40 years or older.
  • Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes.
  • Are not physically active.
  • Are a female and had gestational diabetes or given birth to a baby who weighed 4.5kg.
  • Are Black.
  • Smoke.
  • Take excess alcohol.

Testing blood sugar. Photo BET

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Diabetes may present with no symptoms, especially in the early stages. Most people are unaware that they have diabetes and symptoms typically develop over time. You may have diabetes if you:

  • Are always hungry.
  • Are always thirsty.
  • Are always tired.
  • Urinate frequently, especially at night.
  • Lose weight suddenly.
  • Have a wound which will not heal.
  • Frequent infections.
  • Persistent headaches relieved after eating food.
  • Have blurry vision which developed over a few months.
  • Feel numbness or tingling sensations in your hands or feet.
  • Breath odour that is fruity, sweet or acetone.
  • Have sexual problems (poor erection).

As with other symptoms, these are not specific to diabetes and the only way to be certain is to consult your doctor if you have any of the above symptoms. Early diagnosis, treatment and good control are vital for good health and reduce the chances of developing serious complications like heart disease, kidney disease and blindness.


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