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What are the causes of Diabetes?
When someone recognize they are Diabetic, one of the first question they have in mind is, what caused Diabetes for them and whether they have done anything to avoid it, even though it is too late. Read my experience.
I was diagnosed with Diabetes in 2004. When I came out of the initial shock, I started researching on what caused the Diabetes and was there anything I could have done to avoid it, even though it is too late. During my last several years of living with Diabetes, I learnt a lot about causes of Diabetes, remedy and so on. Currently, I do manage Diabetes well and my blood sugar level is normal just like any other healthy person.
What are the causes of Diabetes?
There is no short answer to this question. Diabetes could be caused a several reasons, including:
- Hereditary/family history of Diabetes
- Prolonged elevated blood sugar
- Pancreas disorders
Causes of Type 1 Diabetes could be different from that of Type 2 Diabetes. Most of the above can cause Type 2 Diabetes, but reason for Type 1 Diabetes is some or other kind of Pancreas disorders which result in failure to produce insulin by the Pancreas.
Causes of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes happens when the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin to process glucose in the blood are destroyed by the immune system in the body. This is a progressive disease where the beta cells are destroyed in a progressive manner and finally reaches the stage where it cannot produce any insulin at all.
What causes the body to destroy its beta cells are unknown to the medical world. Typical role of the immune system is to fight the harmful viruses and bacteria, but in this case, it attacks and destroys the beta cells of the Pancreas that produce insulin. After the insulin producing cells in the body are destroyed, pancreas can produce little or no insulin, resulting in Type 1 Diabetes.
The time taken to develop Type 1 Diabetes can vary from person to person and depends on the progress in destroying the cells. In most people, it may take several years to reach the final stage of Type 1 Diabetes where Pancreas gland can produce no insulin at all.
The exact reason for this disorder is unknown. Some researches suggest genetics and infection from certain viruses could be causing this.
Causes of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes can be caused by a variety of reasons. Unlike Type 1 Diabetes, this can be managed with change in life style and food habits to an extend.
In Type 2 Diabetes, there are 2 scenarios:
1. Pancreas gland does not produce enough insulin to process the glucose in the blood.
2. There is enough insulin, but body has developed some resistance to the insulin which does not allow insulin to process the glucose in the blood.
Type 2 Diabetes is much more common than Type 1 Diabetes.
How hereditary and family history cause Diabetes?
Several research studies have proven that certain genes carry traces of Type 2 Diabetes from parents to children. If a member of a family has Diabetes, then there are chances that other members in the family also could develop it. If both parents have Diabetes, then there are very high chances that the children also would develop Diabetes at some stage in life.
Impact of lifestyle in Type 2 Diabetes
Chances of having Type 2 Diabetes are higher in people who lead a Sedentary lifestyle, with little or no physical activity. People who sit and work continuously through out the day get very little physical activity, leading to various problems like Obesity, which can lead to Diabetes. The obese people are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people of normal weight.
Will Stress cause Diabetes?
There is conflicting information on whether stress can cause diabetes or not, but there is no doubt that stress can make the situation worse for diabetic patients.
Stress has proven to have effects on metabolic activity in the body and could cause release of various hormones. When the human body is under physical or mental stress, body releases several hormones to prepare the body to deal with it. Certain hormones in blood causes elevated blood sugar. This is not a problem for a normal person, however, in case of diabetic patients, elevated blood sugar causes lead to problems. Many stress situations are long term (like death of a family member, sickness etc) and result in long term elevated blood sugar due to the increased hormone activity.
It is believed that Stress is not directly linked with Type 1 Diabetes, however, stress can accelerate the progressive destruction of beta cells in the Pancreas.
Prolonged elevated blood sugar
There are certain medications that could increase the blood sugar level significantly. For many people, these medication may be unavoidable and should be used long term. If the body cannot handle the excess blood sugar, this situation can lead to elevated blood sugar, which is type 2 diabetes.
Aging could cause Diabetes
Chances of becoming type 2 diabetic are higher for older people. Most type 2 diabetic people get this disease after the age 50 or so. Type 1 diabetes does not depend on the age and many people who are type 1 diabetic got it even from childhood.
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