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Diabetes risk factors.

Certain factors increase your risk for diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes

You’re more likely to get type 1 diabetes if you’re a child or teenager, you have a parent or sibling with the condition, or you carry certain genes that are linked to the disease.

Type 2 diabetes

Your risk for type 2 diabetes increases if you:

Are overweight

Are age 45 or older

Have a parent or sibling with the condition

Aren’t physically active

Have had gestational diabetes

Have prediabetes

Have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high triglycerides

Have African American, Hispanic or Latino American, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, American Indian, or Asian American ancestry

Gestational diabetes

Your risk for gestational diabetes increases if you:

Are overweight

Are over age 25

Had gestational diabetes during a past pregnancy

Have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds

Have a family history of type 2 diabetes

Have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

The bottom line

Your family, environment, and pre-existing medical conditions can all affect your odds of developing diabetes. Find out which risks you can control and which ones you can’t.

Diabetes complications

High blood sugar damages organs and tissues throughout your body. The higher your blood sugar is and the longer you live with it, the greater your risk for complications.

Complications associated with diabetes include:

Heart disease, heart attack, and stroke



Retinopathy and vision loss

Hearing loss

Foot damage such as infections and sores that don’t heal

Skin conditions such as bacterial and fungal infections



Gestational diabetes

Uncontrolled gestational diabetes can lead to problems that affect both the mother and baby. Complications affecting the baby can include:

Premature birth

Higher-than-normal weight at birth

Increased risk for type 2 diabetes later in life

Low blood sugar



The mother can develop complications such as high blood pressure (preeclampsia) or type 2 diabetes. She may also require caesarean delivery, commonly referred to as a C-section.

The mother’s risk of gestational diabetes in future pregnancies also increases.

The bottom line

Diabetes can lead to serious medical complications, but you can manage the condition with medications and lifestyle changes. Avoid the most common diabetes complications with these helpful tips.

Compiled by Dr Rone.

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