World Diabetes Day is recognized annually to raise awareness of diabetes and topics surrounding diabetes. This year's theme is about knowing your risk for diabetes. To help support awareness, we've put together the blog below to help educate you on risk factors for each type of diabetes.
World Diabetes Day is held annually on November 14 to increase awareness of diabetes. This year, the World Diabetes Day theme is all about knowing your risk for diabetes and potential complications. The prevalence of diabetes in the United States is concerning, as it currently affects more than 37 million people, which is approximately 11% of the population. Left unmanaged, diabetes can lead to heart disease, nerve pain, vision loss and kidney damage, among other problems.
Diabetes encompasses a group of chronic health conditions that affect how the body uses blood sugar or glucose. Glucose serves as an energy source for the body, including the muscles, tissues, and brain. The risk factors for diabetes can vary, with some being modifiable, such as lifestyle choices, and others being non-modifiable, such as genetics . Read on to understand if you are at risk for diabetes.
What Determines My Risk for Diabetes?
There are different types of diabetes, each with its own set of risk factors. Healthcare providers may consider these risk factors when determining your chance of developing diabetes and creating a plan to prevent or manage it.
Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body's immune system destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, but there are some factors that can increase the risk of developing this condition:
- Genetics: A family history of type 1 diabetes can increase the risk, particularly if a parent or sibling has the condition.
- Age: Although type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, it is more commonly diagnosed in children, adolescents and young adults.
- Geographical location: The prevalence of type 1 diabetes is higher in countries further from the equator.
Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is more common and occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't produce enough insulin. There are several risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, including:
- Weight: Being overweight or obese significantly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Physical inactivity: Being physically active less than three times a week can increase the risk of developing the condition.
- Age: The risk for type 2 diabetes increases with age, particularly after 45 years old.
- Family history: Having a parent, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes may increase your risk.
- Ethnicity: Certain racial and ethnic groups, such as African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans, are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Waist circumference: Men with a waist circumference of over 40 inches and women with a waist circumference of over 35 inches have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy and typically goes away after giving birth. However, it does increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Some of the risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
- Age: Women older than 25 years old have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.
- Family history: A family history of type 2 diabetes increases the risk of gestational diabetes.
- Pre-pregnancy weight: Being overweight or obese before pregnancy increases the risk of developing gestational diabetes.
- Previous gestational diabetes: Having gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy increases the risk of developing it again.
- Large baby: Giving birth to a baby who weighed over 9 pounds is a risk factor.
As we celebrate World Diabetes Day, we can increase awareness about these risk factors with those around us. For example, you might consider having a conversation with a friend or loved one if you’re concerned they may have a certain risk for diabetes. That way, they can visit a doctor or healthcare provider to monitor their risk and take action as needed.
Inside Rx is Here to Help
Those at risk for diabetes may often be prescribed medications, which can be costly. Inside Rx provides valuable solutions for those who need assistance managing medication costs related to diabetes.
With an Inside Rx savings card, you could save up to 80% on brand and generic prescriptions medications. The card can be used at nearly 60,000 participating pharmacies across the nation. You can instantly download the card, print it out or even download the mobile app to show the card at the pharmacy and save on medications for you and your entire family.