Risk Factors of Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2

Risk Factors of Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2

Diabetes is a disease in which the body's ability to make insulin or its ability to utilize blood sugar for energy is impaired. Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes are the three types of diabetes that exist today.

Type 1 Diabetes 

Type 1 diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a disease that affects the body's ability to produce insulin. Patients are typically diagnosed in childhood, though it can also affect adulthood. Insulin is a hormone that aids the body's use of blood sugar. Extra blood sugar might harm the body if there isn't enough insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes

It has an impact on the body's ability to effectively utilize insulin. People with type 2 diabetes, unlike those with type 1 diabetes, produce insulin. However, either they don't produce enough insulin to keep up with growing blood sugar levels or their bodies can't effectively use it.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a disorder in which women are diagnosed with excessive blood sugar levels throughout their pregnancy or during their gestation period. Unlike Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes is a disorder that lasts only a few months. Having gestational diabetes during pregnancy, on the other hand, increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

What Are the Risk Factors Involved?

Genetic factor

Because the exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is unknown, it is classified as a hereditary condition. As a result, having a family member with Type 1 diabetes is considered a risk factor. If both parents have Type 1 diabetes, their child has a one-in-ten to the one-in-four probability of having it.

Having a parent with Type 2 diabetes raises the likelihood of developing diabetes. Parents may pass on poor health practices to their children besides a genetic predisposition to diabetes because diabetes is typically linked to lifestyle choices. This raises their children's chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.


Type 2 diabetes is also more common in people of specific ethnicities. These include‌:

  • Asian-Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Hispanic Americans 
  • Pacific Islanders
  • African-Americans

Environmental factors

The cause and development of diabetes is influenced by environmental variables. Polluted air, soil, and water, as well as a poor diet, stress, lack of physical activity, vitamin D insufficiency, rhinovirus exposure, and immune cell destruction, are all factors. Some people may develop type 1 diabetes because of contracting a virus (of unknown nature) when they are young. People who live in cold climates are likewise more prone to develop Type 1 diabetes.

Lifestyle as a factor

It's uncertain whether there are any lifestyle-related risk factors for Type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is frequently caused by changes in lifestyle. The risk factors in one's lifestyle are:

  • Obesity

Obesity can cause insulin resistance, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes. It is not simply the extra weight that matters; it is also where you carry it. Insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes are linked to visceral fat, which is extra fat in the abdomen. Not only this but being overweight puts you at a higher risk of developing life-threatening heart problems.

  • Physical inactivity

Physical exercises have long been known to have health advantages, some of which are mentioned in the Consensus Physical Activity Guidelines for Asian Indians. The first recommendation of the CDC's 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines is to walk more and sit less. Not getting enough physical activity can raise a person's risk of developing diabetes. 

  • Cholesterol levels in the body

Low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol have been associated with insulin resistance, which may raise the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

  • Smoking

Smoking is another factor that contributes to insulin resistance and the chance of developing diabetes.

  • Unhealthy diet 

Obesity affects over 90% of persons with Type 2 diabetes. Obesity and diabetes are both driven by an overabundance of refined, simple carbs and a diet lacking in dietary fibre. Changing your diet to be more diabetic friendly and include more complex carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, whole grains, brown rice, lentils), fibre-rich vegetables and fruits (leafy veggies, citrus fruits), lean proteins (fish, chicken), and healthy fats might work as a solution. 

Age as a factor

When you reach your senior years, your chances of developing diabetes increase even more. Ageing is accompanied by glucose intolerance. The most important cause of higher blood glucose as we age is thought to be a deficiency of insulin secretion and growing insulin resistance. Elderly persons may be prone to diabetes regardless of their weight or body mass. 

Cardiovascular disease 

High blood pressure and cholesterol (total and LDL cholesterol markers) are two of the most common risk factors for a variety of diseases and ailments, including Type 2 diabetes.

You can also use the Diabetes Risk Test to determine your type 2 diabetes risk. 

The bottom line

There are things you can control and things that you can't control that influence your diabetes risk. Although some risk factors, including family history and genetic susceptibility, are beyond your control, there is still much you can do to assist your blood sugar and prevent diabetes from worsening. The trick is to commit to a healthy way of life. Follow a diabetic diet and include exercise. Consult a nutritionist to ensure you're receiving enough fibre, healthy fats, and the correct nutrients, and hire a personal trainer to help you develop a fitness routine that fits your talents and time constraints. You can always opt for diabetic food home delivery for a hassle free experience. 






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