Diabetes is a disease that can affect anyone regardless of their gender, race or ethnicity. However, it is important to note that certain groups of people are more susceptible to developing the disease than others. Knowing these groups of people will help you make a more concrete decision to keep yourself away from factors that can raise your risk of developing it.
Diabetes is a health condition where the body has an increased level of sugar in the blood, usually as a result of the inability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin or the body’s inability to properly make use of the insulin produced. There are three major types of diabetes and includes type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. In these three conditions, the body’s is either unable to produce or use insulin.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. It affects only a small portion of the diabetics and usually involves the pancreas’ inability to make enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, involves the body not being able to use the insulin produce – a condition called insulin resistance. It is more common in adults but it can begin at any time of one’s life.
Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women and could affect women even with no history of the disease. It could develop into type 2 diabetes or the symptoms go away soon after delivery.
What Group of People Does Diabetes Affect More?
Now that you know what diabetes is and the different types of the diseases that exist, let’s talk about some of the factors that can make some group of people more susceptible to the disease than others.
#1: People that are overweight or obese
It is a clear fact that having extra weight on your body could be a significant contributing factor to developing diabetes, especially if you packed the extras around the waist or stomach area. If your BMI passes 25, it could be an indicator of type 2 diabetes.
#2: People that are advanced in age
As one gets older, so also is the risk of developing type diabetes increasing. This may not only be limited to diabetes but could also mean an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Even though there is little you can do about getting older, you can decide to help yourself prevent diabetes by eating healthy and keeping your weight under control.
#3: People from specific races
The race and ethnic group one hails from also has a way of determining ones’ risk of developing diabetes. People of Mexican American, African American, Native Hawaiian, American Indian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander decent tend to be at higher risk of having diabetes. This may be as a result of the fact that people from these races tend to be overweight and have high blood pressure.
#4: People living a sedentary life
This is also another significant issue that can result in diabetes. Living a more physically active life could help you a lot when it comes to preventing diabetes. If you are above the age of 45 years or have a family history of type 2 diabetes, it will be a great decision to start eating healthy and be more physically active. Exercising at least 30 minutes for 3 times a week is a great place to start.
#5: Gestational diabetes
As mentioned earlier, people who have experienced gestational diabetes while they were pregnant could be at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
#6: People with a family history of diabetes
If your relatives have diabetes, there are greater chances that you too will have it. If your father, mother, sister, or brother have or had diabetes, you should get yourself checked out as well.
#7: People who have a disease of the pancreas
When the pancreas is diseased, it can affect its ability to make insulin and thus raises your chance of having diabetes in later years.
It doesn’t matter what your risks for diabetes are, it doesn’t mean you can avoid or prevent having diabetes. There are lots of things you can do delay or prevent this deadly disease, including:
- Keeping your weight within a healthy range
- Managing your blood pressure
- Keeping an eye on your blood sugar levels
- Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet
- Cason, C. (2011, May 11). Definition of Diabetes Mellitus. Information About Diabetes. Retrieved from: http://www.informationaboutdiabetes.com/articles/diabetes/definition-of-diabetes-mellitus
- “What Is Gestational Diabetes?” Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/gestational-diabetes-guide/gestational-diabetes#1
- Susan Renzo, (2014, Nov 04). Difference Between Insulin Resistance and Diabetes. Battle Diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.battlediabetes.com/articles/insulin-resistance/how-insulin-resistance-differs-from-diabetes
- Reynaldo Martorell. (2004, Dec 15). Diabetes and Mexicans: Why the Two Are Linked. Prevent Chronic Disease. 2005 Jan; 2(1): A04. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1323307/