Types & risk factors of diabetes

There are three major types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant).

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops making insulin or is unable to produce enough.

The main risk factors for this type include:

  • Family history / genetics
    Having relatives (mainly parent or sibling) with type 1 diabetes increases the risk of a person having the same type. If both parents have type 1 diabetes, the risk is higher.
  • Age
    Younger adults and children are more prone to having type 1 diabetes as it usually develops in childhood. Once a child is diagnosed, they have type 1 diabetes for life.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In this case, the body does not use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal level.

The risk factors include:

  • Family history and age
    Parents or siblings with diabetes (same as above) and being over 45 years old.
  • Ethnic background
    African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans all have a higher risk for type 2 diabetes compared to other groups.
  • Obesity / overweight
    Teenagers are prone to type 2 diabetes due to their lifestyle; lack of exercise, consumption of junk foods, leading to weight gain.

Gestational diabetes is diabetes diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect the pregnancy and baby’s health.

  • Risk factors are the same as other kinds, mainly:
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Physical inactivity
  • Having pre-diabetes
  • Having had gestational diabetes during pregnancy
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Race or ethnicity

Learn how you can manage your diabetes with our specialists and healthcare professionals from Regency’s Diabetes Care Unit.

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