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Risk factors

While genetics play a role in predicting your risk for developing type 1, type 2 or gestational, the link is not as strong as with other diseases. Simply having a parent, sibling or even a twin with the disease does not automatically predict your chances of having or developing it. Instead, ethnicity, lifestyle changes and even the climate are better indicators of risk.

Type 1

  • Race - Caucasian or white children are at a higher risk for Type
  • Blood make-up - Presence of islet cell antibodies in the blood. Islet cells produce necessary hormones such as insulin. Islet cell antibodies attack islet cells  and can destroy their ability to produce these necessary hormones.
  • Cold weather - Type 1 diabetes is found more often in colder climates
  • Early diet - breast fed babies are less likely to develop Type 1
  • Genetics - a family history of the disease increases the risk - especially in combination of other risk factors.

Type 2

  • Race - African Americans, Mexican Americans and Pima Indians have the highest risk for Type 2.
  • Lifestyle - high fat, low carbohydrate, fiber diets and a sedentary lifestyle heavily contribute to risk factors for developing Type 2.
  • Genetics - there is more evidence of a link to family history of Type 2 diabetes especially if lifestyle choices promote diabetes.
  • Obesity - excess fat can inhibit insulin absorption
  • Age - As the pancreas ages, it may produce less insulin.
  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • History of gestational diabetes


  • Obesity - being overweight prior to and during pregnancy
  • Age - women who become pregnant over the age of 30
  • History - having gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy; giving birth to a large baby - more than 9 lbs, 14 oz, giving birth previously to a stillborn baby or a baby with a birth defect
  • Health issues - too much amniotic fluid, high blood pressure
  • Genetics - family history of the disease

There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational.

Type 1:

Type 1 strikes only about 5% to 10% of diabetics. Formerly called juvenile diabetes because it affects children and young adults, this form of the disease occurs when your body doesn't produce any of the insulin hormone. Insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, is needed to transport glucose into your cells to convert it to energy. Glucose must have insulin in order to enter the cells. If there is no insulin in the body, the glucose accumulates at high levels in the blood stream and is eventually eliminated through urine.

Type 2:

Type 2 is the most common form of the disease. It occurs when either your body doesn't produce enough of the insulin hormone to help the glucose enter the cells or your cells simply reject insulin. Glucose that can't enter the cell begins to accumulate in the blood stream and must be eliminated through the urine.


Gestational is not necessarily a lifelong condition. It is usually diagnosed at about 28 weeks into a pregnancy. Even women who never had the condition before pregnancy can develop it and should carefully monitor their blood and follow their physicians advice and guidelines.


Type 1

  • Unusually increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue and Irritability

Type 2

Unfortunately, many with type 2 experience no symptoms and don't know they have the disease.

  • Any of the Type 1 symptoms
  • Frequent and recurring infections on the skin, gum or bladder
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing cuts and bruises
  • Numbness or "pins and needles" sensation in the extremities (hands/feet)
  • Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections


Often, there are no outward symptoms, but at-risk individuals may notice some or all of the following symptoms.

  • Excessive weight gain uncommon to the pregnancy
  • Unusually high level of hunger or thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Frequent and recurring vaginal infections

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Diabetes Affects Millions of Americans. Find out if you are one of them.

Order your diabetes tests right here!

Diabetes affects young and old alike. It is linked to many other life threatening conditions such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and blindness. It is diagnosed based on your blood glucose levels. Your body breaks down food and nutrients to be absorbed by the cells for energy. Insulin is required to allow this absorption to occur. People with diabetes either have no insulin, not enough insulin or their cells are resistant to insulin. As a result, glucose cannot be absorbed into the cells and is found in excess in the blood stream.

Diabetes affects many functions of the body. You can order comprehensive health test profiles that include diabetes tests to learn more about your overall health.

You look like a million - or rather 23 million

There isn't a certain look someone gets when they have diabetes. In fact, the average diabetic looks just like you. If you're African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian American, Native Hawaiian or a Pacific Islander, you may look a little more diabetic than others. That's because people of these nationalities tend to have a higher risk of developing the disease. But even if you don't fall into one of those ethnic categories, don't think you've gotten off easy. 23 million people in the United States have diabetes and only about18 million know it. That means there are about 6 million of us walking around with this disease and we don't even know it.

Fortunately, PERSONALABS™ offers comprehensive testing for all types of Diabetes Mellitus. Being able to obtain serum glucose and hemoglobin A1c blood tests make it easier than ever to help those who know they already have the disease to monitor their blood sugar and to provide important blood glucose information to those who have not yet been diagnosed or who are pre-diabetic. You can order your blood tests online and go directly to a lab to have your blood drawn instead of first visiting a medical office for a prescription. This can result in significant savings of time and money since PERSONALABS™ researches daily to offer you the best prices. If you are uninsured, have high co-pays or simply want to streamline your glucose monitoring process, we're certain you'll find the blood test that meets your needs.

While individuals may choose to order single tests, our medical team has compiled a comprehensive profile or series of tests to give a more complete overview of your diabetic condition.

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