Diabetes diagnosis

The Risk Factors and Comorbidities of Diabetes And How to Deal With Them

  • A sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating, and obesity increase the risk of diabetes.
  • Family history and age can also be risk factors for diabetes.
  • Diabetes can lead to oral cancer, eye complications, kidney damage, and heart disease.
  • Following a doctor’s advice and living a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of developing diabetes-related conditions.
  • Regular checkups help diagnose any issues early so they can be managed effectively.

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease that happens when your blood glucose (sugar) is too high. It is a severe disease that takes time to develop and has become a major health problem worldwide. The condition is often linked to lifestyle factors, including diet, exercise, and chronic stress.

Risk Factors For Diabetes

Certain diseases have been linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes. These include:

Sedentary Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle, or a lack of physical activity, is one of the significant risk factors for diabetes. People today are sitting more and moving less compared to generations before. Your body needs regular physical activity to absorb glucose and transport it to the muscles to use it as energy. However, when you are inactive, your body struggles to regulate sugar levels, and insulin resistance can occur, leading to Type 2 diabetes. To mitigate this risk factor, regular exercise can decrease the chance of developing diabetes and lower your blood sugar levels.

Unhealthy Eating Habits

Unhealthy eating habits are another common risk factor for diabetes. A diet rich in calories, fat, and sugar increases your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. Eating large portions of fast food, processed snacks, and sugary drinks can cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar levels. Over time, this can lead to insulin resistance and increase the risk of obesity. A healthy eating plan should contain healthy fats and vegetables that help you maintain blood sugar levels.

Obese man with beer mug


Obesity is a leading risk factor for diabetes. The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, can cause high blood sugar levels and lead to Type 2 diabetes. Unhealthy eating habits and a lack of physical activity cause obesity. A healthy eating plan and regular exercise can help you lose weight and become healthier, lowering the chance of developing diabetes.

Family History

A family history of diabetes is a significant risk factor that can’t be controlled. If your siblings or parents have diabetes, you’re at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Genetics is believed to play a significant role in the development of T2D, though the inheritance is not straightforward. To reduce your risk if you have a family history of diabetes, a healthy lifestyle is crucial.


As you grow older, your chances of developing diabetes increase. This is because of the drop in metabolic rate and the inability of the body to fight off sugar. Often, people neglect exercise and adopt unhealthy eating habits as they age, putting them at a higher risk of developing diabetes. However, regardless of age, healthy habits such as a balanced diet and regular physical activity can significantly reduce your risk factors.

Comorbidities With Diabetes

Diabetes can also lead to numerous complications that damage your eyes, kidneys, and nerves, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Here’s a deeper look into these comorbidities and how to deal with them:

Oral Cancer

One of the most common oral complications of diabetes is the increased risk of oral cancer. People with uncontrolled blood sugar levels are more prone to developing cancerous and precancerous lesions in the mouth. To reduce these chances as a diabetic, replace any tooth you might have lost with robust tooth implants. These implants can cover your gums and protect them against cancer.

Can't read due to cataracts in eyes

Eye Complications

Diabetics are also at risk of developing eye complications, such as glaucoma and cataracts. High blood sugar levels can damage the delicate nerve fibers in the eyes, leading to vision loss. Regular eye checkups with an optometrist can help you detect problems before they cause lasting damage. Take steps such as quitting smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation to keep your eyes healthy.

Kidney Damage

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to kidney damage over time, known as diabetic nephropathy. This condition damages the tiny tubes that filter out waste from the blood, causing them to leak protein into your urine. This disease is common among diabetics and may require dialysis if not appropriately managed. To keep your kidneys healthy, follow your doctor’s instructions and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Heart Disease

Diabetes is also closely linked to heart disease. High blood sugar damages the coronary arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart, causing them to narrow and harden. This can cause chest pain (angina) or even a stroke. Controlling your diabetes with medication and lifestyle changes will help you reduce your chances of developing heart disease.

By understanding all these risk factors for diabetes, you can take steps towards better managing it and reducing associated comorbidities. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to manage diabetes effectively so that you can maintain good health for years to come.

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