Cart 0

Type 2 Diabetes: Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Myths

Posted by Eamonn Brady on


Eamonn Brady is a pharmacist and the owner of Whelehans Pharmacy, Pearse St, Mullingar. If you have any health questions e-mail them to

Risk Factors

The more risk factors that apply to you, the greater your risk of having diabetes. Risk factors are:

Your age

Risk of diabetes increases if over 40 or you’re over 25 and Afro-Caribbean, Asian or from a minority ethnic group. The risk also rises with age.

Your family and ethnicity

Having diabetes in the family increases risk. The closer the relative is, the greater the risk. So if your mother or father has diabetes, rather than your aunt or uncle, it’s more likely you will develop the condition too. People of Afro-Caribbean or South Asian origin are at least five times more likely to develop diabetes.

Your weight

Over 80 per cent of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. The more overweight and the more inactive you are the greater your risk.


Your waist

Women – if your waist measures 31.5in (80cm) or more you’ve got an increased risk.
Men – if your waist is 37in (94cm) or more means increased risk of developing diabetes


The other risk factors

If you’ve been diagnosed with any problems with your circulation, had a heart attack or stroke, or if you’ve got high blood pressure you may be at an increased risk of diabetes. Pregnant women can develop a temporary type of diabetes; this is known as gestational diabetes.  Having this – or giving birth to a large baby – can increase the risk of a woman going on to develop diabetes in the future. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome who are overweight are at an increased risk of developing diabetes. If you’ve been told you have either impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) it means the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood is higher than normal but you don’t have diabetes and you should follow a healthy diet, lose weight (if needed) and keep active to help prevent diabetes. But make sure you’re regularly tested for diabetes. Certain antipsychotic medicines such as olanzapine used for certain mental health conditions (eg. Schizophrenia) can increase diabetes risk.



People without diabetes have fasting blood glucose no higher than 6.0 mmol/l; after a meal blood glucose does not exceed 7.8 mmol/l. If fasting blood glucose is 7.0 mmol/l or above, and /or it rises to more than 11.1 mmol/l after a meal, you could be diabetic. A further blood test called a HbA1c can then be used to monitor diabetes control over a three-month period.


Myths about diabetes

There are myths about diabetes which are not true. For example, you cannot catch diabetes from someone. You can eat sweets and chocolates if you are diabetic (moderation and a balanced diet is the key). You can drink alcohol if you are diabetic (again moderation is key, no more than two or three units per day and definitely no binge drinking). Eating too much sugar does not cause diabetes (there are many other factors such as genetic factors, excess weight). There is no need to eat “special” diabetic foods (a healthy and balanced low fat diet is fine). People with diabetes are no more likely to catch colds or other illnesses. Insulin does not cause weight gain.


Free Diabetes Test

Whelehans provide free Diabetes checks in store, no appointment is needed so simply call in for your two minute simple finger prick glucose test today (or any day) for your quick and free check.

Disclaimer: Consult your healthcare professional before making any changes recommended. Whelehans Diabetes Check is not a substitute for your full assessment by your GP

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →