Risk Factors

There are three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes: Usually diagnosed in children and young adults.
  • Type 2 diabetes: The most common form and the most often diagnosed form in adults.
  • Gestational diabetes: Can appear during pregnancy and can create a high risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.

Sugar cubes stacked

The cause of diabetes is unknown, but risk factors for type 2 diabetes have been identified: they include obesity, family history of diabetes, increasing age, a poor diet high in processed foods, and lack of regular exercise.

Know the symptoms of diabetes and discuss any you are experiencing with your doctor:

  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive thirst
  • Slow healing sores or frequent infections
  • Extreme hunger
  • Tingling sensation in the hands and/or feet
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Red, swollen, sensitive gums
  • Increased fatigue

The chart below explains some of the typical, primary tests for type 1 and 2 diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes. Only your doctor can determine which test or tests are appropriate for you, based on your symptoms, risk factors and other important personal information.

Test What to expect Type 1 & 2 Prediabetes Gestational
Glycated hemoglobin (AIC) Blood test that measures average blood sugar level for the past 2-3 months X X
Random blood sugar test Blood test taken at a random time X
Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) Blood test taken after an overnight fast (test may be taken twice to ensure accuracy) X X
Oral glucose tolerance test Blood test taken after an overnight fast and again two hours after drinking a sugary drink X X