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Diabetes: Who is at Risk?

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  • Written By: St. John's Health
Diabetes: Who is at Risk?

Understanding Your Risk of Developing Diabetes

With more than 34 million Americans living with diabetes and 88 million with prediabetes, it is essential that you know your risk of developing this chronic health condition. The health experts at St. John's Health break down everything you need.

What is Diabetes

According to the International Diabetes Foundation, diabetes is a chronic health condition characterized by an individual’s inability to produce insulin or properly use the insulin that it is producing. When your body has trouble producing or using insulin, your blood glucose levels increase. Eventually, this can lead to extensive damage and even failure of various organs.


There are three main types of diabetes that have unique causes and characteristics:

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is most commonly found in children and adolescents, although it can develop at any age. With this form of diabetes, your body produces very small amounts of insulin or no insulin at all. You’re at an increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes if an immediate family member has been diagnosed with the condition.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes makes up about 90% of diabetes cases and is more common in adults. This type of diabetes is typically brought on by leading a relatively unhealthy lifestyle that lacks adequate physical activity and a balanced diet.


The following factors put you at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes:

  • Having prediabetes.
  • Being overweight or obese..Being over the age of 45.
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle.
  • You have had gestational diabetes before.
  • You eat an unhealthy diet.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes (GDM) happens when blood sugar levels rise significantly during pregnancy. This type of diabetes can cause health complications for the expectant mother and her growing baby. However, it is important to note that this type of diabetes subsides right after the mother gives birth.


The following factors put you at an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes:

  • Having had gestational diabetes during pregnancy before.
  • Having given birth to a baby more than 9 lbs in weight.
  • Being over the age of 25.
  • Having a family history of type 2 diabetes.
  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Primary Care in Jackson, Wilson, and Teton County

From family medicine to internal medicine, our Primary Care Providers (PCP) are here to openly listen to your concerns and work with you to achieve overall better health and wellness. Visit our website to see the types of primary care we provide or to find a doctor, today!