What Causes Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious health disorder which is characterized by high levels of blood sugar, caused due to high levels of glucose in the body. Diabetes can be categorized into two broad types:
- Diabetes type 1
- Diabetes type 2
Diabetes type 1
There is a certain type of cells present in our body, known as beta cells and their primary function is to store and secrete insulin. Insulin is a hormone which transports sugar and glucose to cells in the human body, where it is used as fuel. However, when one is suffering from type 1 diabetes the immune system begins to destroy these essential beta cells, thus hampering this process. As a result, glucose builds up in the body leading to high levels of blood sugars. Though the symptoms of diabetes type 1 are pretty subtle, they are as follows:
- Pain in the stomach
- Dryness in the mouth & extreme thirst
- Nausea & vomiting
- Increased hunger
- Weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Heavy breathing
- Blurred vision & feeling of fatigue
- Occurrence of skin & urinary infections
Diabetes type 1 is a rare health disorder, as it does not affect as many people, when compared to diabetes type 2. Thus, the exact causes behind it are not very well-known. However, here is a list of common factors which can lead to the occurrence of type 1 diabetes.
- Other health disorders
If either of your parents suffer from diabetes type 1 or you have a family history of this health disorder, it is likely you may suffer from type 1 diabetes at some point in your life. This type of diabetes effects males and females equally and is common in individuals under the age of 20 years.
The presence of a virus in your body may cause havoc in your system, and while your body tries to get rid of the virus, it begins to attack the pancreas. Doing so it begins to kill off the beta cells, thus leading to high levels of insulin in the body.
Other health disorders
If you suffer from health disorders such as vitiligo or Grave’s disease, you could be at a higher risk of suffering from type 1 diabetes.
Though the symptoms of this disorder are subtle and misleading, ignoring them could lead to serious health problems. Diabetes type 1 is a difficult disease to treat. Thus, it is best to seek medical help at the earliest if you experience any of the mentioned symptoms. Also, keeping active, eating healthy and at regular intervals, and cutting down on unhealthy sugars is the best one can do to manage type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes type 2
Unlike diabetes type 1, wherein the body does not produce insulin, in diabetes type 2 the body produces insulin, but the cells do not use it. This condition is known as insulin resistance. As a result, the pancreas produce more insulin to get glucose into the cells, leading to high blood sugar levels. An individual who suffers from diabetes type 2 would experience majority of the following symptoms.
- Feeling very thirsty
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Feeling of fatigue & irritability
- Numbness in hands or feet
- Wounds do not heal easily
- Occurrence of yeast infections
There are a number of factors which could lead to the occurrence of diabetes type 2. They are as follows:
- Unhealthy lifestyle & diet
- Substance abuse
- High sugar intake
While genes give us our good look and charming features, they can also pass on undesirable health disorders such as diabetes type 2. Thus, if either of your parents suffer from type 2 diabetes or if you have a family history of the same, this further increases your risk of suffering from it as well. Also, diabetes is most common among individuals who are 45 years of age or more.
Unhealthy lifestyle & diet
Glucose is obtained from the food we eat. Thus, an unhealthy diet high in sugar and other unhealthy fats can lead to excess levels of glucose in the body. Also, leading a passive lifestyle, accompanied by high stress levels and a lack of sleep can lower immunity, thus making us prone to various health problems.
Indulging in frequent alcohol consumption, or the regular intake of cigarette smoke, drugs, or heavy medications lowers immunity and leads to a build-up of harmful toxins within our body. This increases our risk of developing serious health issues.
High sugar diet
Sugar is found naturally in majority of foods in the form of simple carbohydrates. While natural sugars may not cause us any harm, artificial sugars sure can. A high intake of sugar can lead to weight problems, obesity, or heart problems, which can further increase one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Here is a list of foods high in sugar content.
- Packaged & processed foods
- Sweetened soft drinks
- High fructose corn syrup
- Sugary candies
Treatment for type 2 diabetes
Diabetes type 2 is a serious life-long health disorder, and if left untreated could lead to further health problems, such as:
- Heart problems
- Loss of vision
- Kidney failure
- Poor circulation of blood
- Related health disorders
Unlike its counterpart, diabetes type 2 is majorly caused due to faulty genes or an unhealthy diet. Thus, while we cannot control our genetics, diet is something we can control. Thus, along with the necessary medication, it is important to make essential lifestyle and diet changes. Eating a healthy diet, staying away from sugar, and indulging in daily exercise can help manage diabetes better.