Diabetes: Are You At Risk?

Diabetes is a serious illness. If or when you show signs or symptoms, it’s time to set up an appointment with your doctor immediately.

According to Mayo Clinic, there are commonalities for people at risk or more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, which affects 90-95% of all cases of diabetes:

Risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes

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


The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin. When you have visceral fat; fat that accumulates around your liver, kidneys and other internal organs it puts pressure on those organs and increases your risk for diabetes.


The less active you are, the greater your risk. Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.

Family history

Your risk increases if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.


Although it’s unclear why, people of certain races—including African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians and Asian-Americans—are at higher risk.


Your risk increases with age; maybe because you tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass and gain weight as you age. But type 2 diabetes is also increasing among children, adolescents and younger adults.

Gestational diabetes

If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, your risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes later increases. If you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms), you’re also at risk of type 2 diabetes.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

For women, having polycystic ovary syndrome—a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity—increases the risk of diabetes.

High blood pressure

Having blood pressure over 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels

If you have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol, your risk of type 2 diabetes is higher. Triglycerides are another type of fat carried in the blood. People with high levels of triglycerides have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Have your doctor test your levels.

Other Symptoms You Should Take Note Of

Type 1 diabetes symptoms develop fast and show up over a few weeks. Type 2 diabetes symptoms often go unnoticed as the disease develops slowly over the years.

  • Excessive thirst
  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections
  • Extreme hunger even after eating
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Numbness or tingling in hands/feet
  • Irritability
  • Nausea, possible vomiting

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, especially if you have any of the risk factors mentioned above, you should immediately take action to improve your health—before it’s too late.

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