Common Diabetes Risk Factors and Their Complication

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z

Nowadays, diabetes is the most common disease, not only in India but all over the world. Around 1 in 4 people who are having diabetes, even don’t know that they have the disease. According to a well-known phrase, prevention is always better than cure, so knowing the diabetes risk factors is very important for preventing the damage caused by it. If you know what actually these factors are, you can see a doctor early to find out if they have, or are at risk of diabetes.


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What are the Diabetes Risk factors?


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Basically diabetes risk factors depend on its type.


Type 1 Diabetes:


If you have type 1 diabetes then your body produces no or very little insulin. Its only treatment is insulin. You can use either insulin injections or an insulin pump, along with diet.


Diabetes Risk factors for Type 1:


Well, the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not known, factors that can increase diabetes risk include:


Family History


You are at an increased risk of diabetes if any of your parents or sibling has type 1 diabetes.


Environmental Factors


A situation like exposure to a viral illness plays some role in type 1 diabetes.


Geography Location


Certain countries, like Sweden and Finland have higher rates of type 1 diabetes.


Type 2 Diabetes:


Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes.

In this type of diabetes, the body can produce some insulin but is not able to produce it the way it should. This leads to an increase of sugar in the blood.

Type 2 diabetes can be treated with medicines taken orally. But, insulin injection may be necessary if it is uncontrolled.

Risk factors of Type 2 diabetes are of two kinds. One cannot be avoided. The other can be avoided.



Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes:


Researchers don’t completely understand why some people develop type 2 diabetes and others don’t. It’s clear that some factors can increase the risk, including:


Obesity: According to the research, fatty tissue is a top reason for type 2 diabetes.




Less activity also increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Physical activity helps you to reduce your weight and uses glucose as energy.


Family History


You are at an increased risk of diabetes if any of your parents or sibling has type 2 diabetes.




Your risk of diabetes increases by your age. This may be because you do less exercise, gain weight and lose muscle mass as you age.


Gestational Diabetes


If you have gestational diabetes during your pregnancy, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes later increases. If your baby’s birth weight is more than 4 kilograms, then you’re also at risk of type 2 diabetes.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome


Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common condition distinguish by irregular periods, excessive hair growth and obesity. It increases the risk of diabetes.


High blood pressure


Having blood pressure over 140/90 can also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.


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Complications of Type 2 Diabetes:


Complications of diabetes develop gradually. Blood sugar not in control can increase the risk of complications. Well, diabetes complications may be life-threatening or disabling. Possible complications include:


Cardiovascular Disease


Diabetes can increase the risk of many cardiovascular problems like coronary artery disease, heart attack, narrowing of arteries and stroke.


Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)


Increased level of sugar can injure the walls of your blood vessels that nourish your legs nerves. It can cause numbness, tingling, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward.



Kidney Damage (Nephropathy)


Your kidneys contain millions of blood vessel clusters which are used to filter waste from your blood. Diabetes can damage this filtering system.



Eye damage (Retinopathy)


Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina as well, which can lead to blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of other serious vision problems like cataracts and glaucoma.



Foot Damage


Nerve damage or poor blood flow in the feet can increase the risk of foot complications. Untreated cuts, wounds, and blisters can develop serious infections, which often heal poorly.



Skin Conditions


Diabetes can increase the risk of skin problems such as bacterial and fungal infections.



Hearing Impairment


Hearing problems are more common in people who are dealing with diabetes.



Alzheimer’s Disease


It can also increase the risk of dementia. Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to Alzheimer.





Depression symptoms are common in people of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It can affect your diabetes treatment.


Gestational Diabetes:


If you have diabetes during pregnancy, it is known as Gestational diabetes. Usually, it goes away after the childbirth.

If you have gestational diabetes during your first pregnancy then there are the chances that it will return in future pregnancies.



Risk factors for Gestational Diabetes:


Any pregnant woman can have gestational diabetes, but risk factors for gestational diabetes include:



Women aged more than 25 are at increased risk.



Family or Personal History

You are risk increases if a close family member like a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes. You’re also at greater risk if you had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy.




Being overweight before pregnancy increases your risk.



Complications of Gestational Diabetes:


Usually, women with gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. But, uncontrolled blood sugar can cause problems for you and your baby, including:


Excess Growth


Extra glucose can cross the placenta, which triggers your baby’s pancreas to make extra insulin. This can cause your baby to grow too large (macrosomia). Very large babies are more likely to require a C-section birth.


Low Blood Sugar


Sometimes women with gestational diabetes develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) after birth because of their own insulin production increases after birth.




Untreated gestational diabetes can lead to the baby’s death too.




It is the condition which is identified by excess protein in the urine, high blood pressure, and swelling in the legs and feet. Preeclampsia can lead to life-threatening complications for both mothers as well as the baby.




These diabetes risk factors and their complication can be prevented if your blood sugar levels are controlled. Controlled diabetes can lead to a better and healthy lifestyle. If you are dealing with uncontrolled diabetes then consult a diabetes specialist doctor as soon as possible to get better treatment.


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