- Diabetes risk factors
What are the risk factors for diabetes?
There are many risk factors for diabetes. It is important to look at your lifestyle and any underlying conditions you may have.
How can I tell if I have diabetes?
Most symptoms of diabetes are due to high levels of sugar in your blood. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes share some common and distinct symptoms.3
Common symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes:
- Increased hunger and thirst
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Itchy skin
- Blurred vision
Other symptoms of type 1 diabetes:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
Other symptoms of type 2 diabetes:
- Yeast infections between fingers and toes, under breasts, in or around sex organs
- Slow-healing of sores or cuts
- Pain or numbness in legs or feet
Apart from type 1 and type 2 diabetes, some pregnant women may develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy.4 Gestational diabetes is usually short term and asymptomatic, but you may share similar symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mentioned above.
When to screen for diabetes?
If you have any of the diabetes symptoms, it is important that you talk to your doctor immediately for a diabetes screening test. If your test results are negative, your doctor may recommend having follow-up screening tests every 3 years.5 If your test results are positive, your doctor should refer you for diabetes care and treatment.
What is the link between smoking and diabetes?
Smokers and second-hand smokers are more likely (30–40%) to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers.6 They tend to have problems controlling their diabetic condition and adjusting the insulin dosing. If you have diabetes and you smoke, you are more likely to have serious health complications than people with diabetes who do not smoke. It is highly beneficial to quit smoking to improve your general health.
- WebMD. What increases my risk for diabetes? Available at http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/risk-factors-for-diabetes. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- Mayo Clinic. Diabetes–risk factors. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/basics/risk-factors/con-20033091. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- WebMD. Early symptoms of diabetes. Available at http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/understanding-diabetes-symptoms. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- WebMD. What is gestational diabetes. Available at http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/gestational-diabetes-guide/gestational_diabetes. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- WebMD. Type 2 diabetes screening. Available at http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-2-diabetes-guide/type-2-diabetes-screening. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking and diabetes. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/diabetes.html. Accessed 19 September, 2019.