Diabetes Basics

Are You Amongst The Diabetics?

The diabetes sufferers are increasing in number with each passing day. Practically, everybody is at risk and borderline of acquiring this disease. Are you one of them?

Diabetes is not a contagious disease but there are certain factors that can increase the risk of incurring it. You are at higher risk of developing this condition if:

1) you are overweight.
2) you are sedentary.
3) you are already suffering from gestational diabetes.
4) you are of African-American, Latino, Asian-American, or Native American descent.
5) you have a low, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level (less than 35).
6) you are more than 45 years old
7) you have a family history of type 2 diabetes
8) you have a high triglyceride level (250 or above)
9) you have high blood pressure (140/90 mm/Hg or higher)

Type 1 diabetes occurs equally among males and females but it is more common in whites than in non-whites. According to the World Health Organization’s Multinational Project for Childhood Diabetes, type 1 diabetes is rare in most African, American Indian, and Asian populations. Besides them, some northern European countries along with Sweden and Finland are found to have high rates of type 1 diabetes. There is no known reason for these differences. Type 1 diabetes occurs most often in children but it can occur at any age.

Type 2 diabetes develops more often in older people, especially in people who are overweight. It also occurs in African Americans, American Indians, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islander Americans. On an average, it has been found that non-Hispanic African Americans are 1.8 times as likely to be suffering from diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of the similar age.

As for Mexican Americans, they are 1.7 times as likely to be inflicted with diabetes as non-Hispanic whites of the same age. Also, American Indians have one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world.

Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy, which is a temporary condition. It goes away after the delivery. It affects two to four per cent of all pregnancies and it increases the risk of developing diabetes for both mother and child. In most cases, with the help of proper diet and exercise, gestational diabetes can be managed.