6 Diabetes Risk Factors to Discuss with Your Doctor
According to the CDC, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes, but 1 in 4 don’t know it. What’s more, 86 million Americans experience symptoms of pre-diabetes, but may not know what to do next. Having a basic understanding of the types of diabetes is a great way to get started. You should also understand diabetes risk factors that can help you stay ahead of the numberable risks that accompany the disease.
Types of Diabetes
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational.
Type 1 – Type 1 diabetes is not preventable and occurs when the body cannot make enough insulin – a hormone that helps blood sugar connect to cells for use as energy. About five percent of people with diabetes suffer from type 1 and must take insulin every day.
Type 2 – About 9 in 10 people with diabetes have type 2, which means their bodies do not use insulin well and are unable to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Gestational – Gestational diabetes, or diabetes while pregnant, can increase the risk of both the mother and baby developing type 2 later.
Pre-Diabetes – About 1 in 3 American adults have prediabetes, a health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is reversible with proper lifestyle changes and guidance from your doctor.
Diabetes Risk Factors to Discuss with Your Doctor
You may be more susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes if any of the following apply to you:
- Have pre-diabetes
- Ever having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- Are overweight
- Are 45 or older
- Have a family history of type 2 diabetes (siblings, parents, grandparents)
- Specific races and ethnicities are more prone: African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are all at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Regular health screenings can help you stay on top of your health. Get in touch to see what data you need to know and talk to your doctor about if and when you should be tested for diabetes. They’ll be able to help you manage the disease as well as guide you in preventing the onset of diabetes.