Risk Factors & Diagnosis

Diabetes: Risk Factors and Diagnosis

doc2Risk factors are characteristics that can predispose you to developing a condition or disease. Just because you have one or more risk factors does not mean you will get Diabetes.

However, the risk factors for Type 1 Diabetes are not as clearly defined as for Type 2 Diabetes.


Type 1 Diabetes Risk Factors Include:

• Family history of Diabetes

• Autoimmune disease, where the body mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing cells

• Environmental factors

Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors Include:

• Age of 45 years or older

• Obesity

• Family history of Diabetes

• Diabetes during pregnancy

• Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)

• Physical inactivity

• Being a Native American, African American, Hispanic / Latino American, Asian Americans, or a Pacific Islander

How Is Diabetes Diagnosed

Type 1

Patients with Type 1 Diabetes usually develop symptoms over a short period of time, and the condition is often diagnosed in an emergency setting. Urinalysis of an acutely ill Type 1 Diabetes patient will detect high glucose levels, and high levels of ketones.

Ketones are produced by the breakdown of fat and muscle, and they are toxic to the body at high levels. Ketones in the blood can cause a condition called “acidosis” (or low blood pH). Blood glucose levels are also high.

Type 2

Patients with Type 2 Diabetes develop symptoms over a longer period of time. Type 2 Diabetes is diagnosed when:

• The blood glucose is 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) or higher on two occasions after fasting (abstaining from food) for 8 or more hours; or…

• The blood glucose level is 200 mg/dl or higher at any time between meals with symptoms of Diabetes, such as increased thirst, urination, and fatigue; or…

• A blood glucose level drawn two hours after drinking a 75-gram glucose solution is 200mg/dl or higher.

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