Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes results in the loss of the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, the beta (B)-cells. As a result, several organs fail to absorb the sugar leading to high glucose levels in the bloodstream. Though mostly diagnosed in children and young adults, it can occur at any age. Patients with type 1 diabetes may experience dehydration as the body tends to secrete excess sugar through the urine. This could also lead to weight loss, among other symptoms.
- Family history – Genetic factors play an important role in some people who develop Type 1 diabetes. The risk increases if a parent or sibling has the disease.
- Environmental factors – It is likely that external factors like exposure to a viral illness set off an immune system attack, playing some role in type 1 diabetes.
- Autoimmune – In some cases, people with a family history of type 1 diabetes are tested for the presence of diabetes autoantibodies. Though everyone with such antibodies does not develop the disease, their presence
- increases the risk.
- Pancreatic injuries – A damage caused to the pancreas by an infection, tumor, surgery, or accident could also raise the risk of the disease.
- Geography – Certain countries, such as Finland and Sweden, have reportedly higher rates of type 1 diabetes.
Types 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In this condition, the body’s cells become resistant to insulin and as a result, sugar accumulates in the blood. In the advanced stages of the disease, the pancreas tries to produce more insulin to get the body to respond but fails to keep up. This can damage cells of the pancreas and it ultimately stops producing the hormone totally, causing adverse health effects and requiring insulin as part of the treatment regimen.
- Family history – the risk of getting type 2 diabetes increases if a close family member has it.
- Poor dietary habits and overweight – Bad dietary habits and accumulation of extra fat, especially in the abdomen, predispose the person to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
- Physical inactivity – A lack of physical activity leads to an increase in weight and hinders the process of glucose getting used up as energy.
- Blood pressure and cholesterol – A blood pressure of 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and high levels of triglycerides increase your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome – Women with polycystic ovary syndrome —characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, and obesity — have a higher risk.
- Gestational diabetes – Women who have gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) have increased chances of getting type 2 diabetes later.
Blood sugar levels in some women increases during pregnancy leading to gestational diabetes. It typically develops between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. During pregnancy, hormones produced by the placenta make your cells more resistant to insulin. Responding to this, your pancreas makes extra insulin but sometimes cannot keep up. In such cases, too much glucose stays in your blood, resulting in gestational diabetes. Having gestational diabetes does not indicate that you had diabetes before your pregnancy or that you will have it afterward. It does, however, raise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
- Age - Women older than 25 years of age are seen at an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes.Family or personal history – Your risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy increases if you are in a prediabetic
- stage (a precursor to type 2 diabetes) or if a close family member has type 2 diabetes.
- Previous experience – Women who have had gestational diabetes or unexplained stillbirth during previous pregnancies are at a higher risk.
- Weight – Just like the risk of type 2 diabetes, women who are overweight could experience raised blood sugar levels during their pregnancy.