Diabetes: Risk Factors You Should Know

donut diabetes

It’s expensive to get sick. For example, an average of $16,752 per year is needed to care for a person with diabetes. That figure significantly increases if the patient is already reliant on insulin injection. Yes, there are fundraising for patient advocacy groups that seek to help finance the treatment of specific illnesses, but that should not be an excuse to be complacent. As the adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Diabetes has three main categories. They are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. The last one affects pregnant women. Type 1 diabetes refers to cases where the pancreas’s ability to produce insulin has been compromised. Meanwhile, type 2 diabetes is an acquired lifestyle disease. It being a lifestyle disease means that it is preventable.

Between 90 and 95 percent of the total number of diabetes cases in the United States fall under type 2 diabetes. It is unfortunate to know how prevalent the disease is. If you do not want to contribute to that statistical figure, here are risk factors you need to know. This list will help you carry out the necessary prevention in case you are highly susceptible.

Body mass index

The body mass index (BMI) determines whether a person is underweight, of normal weight, or obese. Obesity is closely linked to diabetes. A BMI of more than 30 falls under the obesity range. Obesity increases a person’s susceptibility to inflammation and increases levels of fatty acids. Those are notorious for activating insulin resistance, which results in the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

Age

Here the number to remember is 45. Once you reach this age, the likelihood of you getting diabetes increases. Diagnosis of the disease is most prevalent among individuals aged 45 to 64. This can be explained by the body’s natural deterioration at this point.

Waistline

Be wary of your waistline. If you are a woman with a waistline above 35 inches (0.89 m) or a man with a waistline above 40 inches (1.02 m), you are at a higher risk of contracting diabetes. Fat accumulation in the abdominal area is associated with the disease. It’s another potential symptom of insulin resistance.

Sedentary lifestyle

Active individuals are less likely to get diabetes compared to those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. If you eat more than you should without doing any exercise, you are putting yourself in danger of contracting the disease.

Genetics

If one of your parents or one of your siblings has diabetes, you have a higher chance of getting the disease. Certain gene mutations that your family carries might trigger the onset of the disease.

Racial or ethnic background

Race and ethnicity are other risk factors associated with diabetes. The most vulnerable groups include Asian Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders.

Gestational diabetes

If you once gave birth to a baby that’s more than 9 pounds, or if you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy, you are at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes in the future.

Mental health concerns

People living with mental health disorders might be susceptible to diabetes if they are taking certain medications. Some medications have been found out to induce weight gain. That becomes the culprit for the disease’s onset. That goes without saying that individuals under mental health medications should not stop taking their prescribed treatment. Proper consultation with a physician is of the essence.

plate with pieces of paper written diabetes causes

Darkening of skin in certain areas of the body

Have you noticed the darkening of your neck, ankles, and armpits? That could be another symptom of insulin resistance, so please have yourself checked.

Regularly visit your physician for routine checkups. Have your cholesterol levels and blood sugar level checked. Your triglycerides should not go higher than 150 mg/dL. As for your blood sugar level, it should be less than 140 mg/dL.

You can prevent diabetes by living a healthy and active lifestyle. Remember that your vital organs might suffer rapid deterioration once you are afflicted with this disease and your immune system will be compromised. You are at a higher risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases and nerve, eye, and kidney damage. The threat of contracting Alzheimer’s disease becomes more pronounced too.

Meanwhile, if you have already acquired the disease, make sure to take your medication consistently. That is while doing regular exercise, sleeping right, and eating in consistent intervals and small amounts. Those will help to lessen the effects of the disease, if not entirely cure it.

Disease prevention begins with loving your body. Treat it right because it is the only one you have.

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