Diabetes is an endocrine disorder which means that there is some problem in the way the body uses digested food for energy. Most of the causes for diabetes can be primarily attributed to hereditary reasons. But in the modern age, there is more increase in artificial causes than the natural ones.
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Scientifically speaking, there is no single cause which fits all types of diabetes. There are different types of diabetes. For example gestational, Type-1, Type-2, LADA, Juvenile, Steroid Induced are some of the forms.
What are the routine Causes of Diabetes?
Some of the reasons why Diabetes occurs can be listed below :
- Insulin Resistance
- Abnormal Glucose Production by the Liver
- Genetic Susceptibility
- Obesity and Physical Inactivity
- Increasing Age
- Bad Diet
Normally your immune system is supposed to fight against bacteria and viruses. But on the contrary in Type 1 Diabetics, the immune system attacks and destroys your insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result the insulin level reduces in the concerned organ.
Now instead of sugar getting converted into energy and transported into your cells, it builds up in your blood stream. The main causes for Type 1 Diabetes are a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. But its still not clear what those factors are.
Genes also play a major role in causing Type 2 diabetes. Having certain genes or a set of genes may increase or decrease a person’s risk of getting that disease. But what is the proof for genes causing diabetes ? The role of genes in causing diabetes can be inferred from the fact that a high rate of Type 2 diabetes can be found in families with identical twins and prevalence by ethnicity.
Recent studies have shown that variants of TCF7L2 gene can increase the susceptibility of Type 2 diabetes. People who inherit 2 variants of this gene are 80% more susceptible than those who do not carry this gene variant. [Source : http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov]
People who are genetically susceptible to Type 2 diabetes are more vulnerable when there is physical inactivity and obesity in them. Improper balance between calorie intake and physical inactivity can lead to obesity. One of the major risk factors for diabetes is central obesity in which a person has excess abdominal fat.
Other important causes for the development of type 2 diabetes include:
- acanthosis nigricans
- being 40 years of age or older
- blood vessel disease (e.g., damage to blood vessels in the eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart, brain, or arms and legs)
- First Nation, Hispanic, South Asian, Asian, or African descent
- giving birth to a large baby
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- a history of gestational diabetes
- HIV infection
- mental health disorders (e.g., bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia)
- obstructive sleep apnea
- polycystic ovary syndrome
- prediabetes or impaired fasting glucose
- use of certain medications (e.g., corticosteroids such as prednisone, certain antipsychotic medications, certain antiviral medications for HIV)
There is another type of diabetes known as gestational diabetes which occurs during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones to sustain your pregnancy. These hormones make your cells more resistant to insulin.
Normally, your pancreas responds by producing enough extra insulin to overcome this resistance. But sometimes your pancreas can’t keep up. When this happens, too little glucose gets into your cells and too much stays in your blood. This is gestational diabetes.