What Causes Diabetes?
Many people think that eating excess sugar causes diabetes, but that’s not really the case. So, what causes diabetes? Eating too many calories leads to weight gain and obesity is one of the major risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Again, weight gain is not necessarily the cause of type 2 diabetes. There are other risk factors such as age and family history that can also contribute. Health Total’s integrated approach is easy-to-follow and not only helps you to manage the symptoms of diabetes, but also helps you to lose weight! We have a 4-step scientific approach to lower blood sugar levels as well as other health-related problems.
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Diabetes can be categorised into two broad types:
Type 1 diabetes
There is a certain type of cell present in our body, known as beta cells, whose primary function is to store and secrete insulin. Insulin is a hormone that transports sugar and glucose to cells in the body, where it is used as fuel. However, when a person 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 sugar. Though the symptoms of diabetes type 1 are quite 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
Causes of type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a rare health disorder, as it does not affect as many people compared to type 2 diabetes. So, the exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not clearly known. Here’s a list of common factors that can lead to occurrence of type 1 diabetes.
If either of your parents suffer from type 1 diabetes or you have a family history, it is likely that you may also develop it at some point in your life. This type of diabetes affects both men, women and children and is common in individuals below 20 years.
The presence of any virus in the body can cause havoc in your immune system. When the body tries to get rid of the virus, it begins to attack the pancreas. While doing so, it begins to kill the beta cells, 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 high risk of suffering from type 1 diabetes.
Though the symptoms of type 1 diabetes are subtle and misleading, ignoring them could lead to serious health problems. This type of diabetes is difficult to manage and control. So, it is best to seek advice of a health expert if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms. Also, staying active, eating healthy and at regular intervals, and cutting down on unhealthy sugars are some of the best ways to manage type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes
Unlike type 1 diabetes, wherein the body does not produce insulin, the cause of type 2 diabetes is the body producing insulin, but the cells not using 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.
A person who suffers from type 2 diabetes experiences the following symptoms –
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Fatigue & irritability
- Numbness in hands or feet
- Wounds do not heal easily
- Occurrence of yeast infections
Causes of type 2 diabetes
Some of the factors that can cause type 2 diabetes are –
While genes give us our good look and charming features, they can also pass on undesirable health disorders such as diabetes type 2. If either of your parents suffer from type 2 diabetes or if you have a family history, it further increases your risk of developing this health issue. Type 2 diabetes is common among people above 45 years.
Sedentary lifestyle & diet
Glucose is obtained from what you eat. So, a diet high in sugar and other unhealthy fats can lead to excess levels of glucose in the body. Also, leading a sedentary lifestyle, accompanied by high stress levels and lack of sleep can lower immunity, making you prone to various health problems.
Excessive alcohol consumption, regular smoking, consuming drugs or heavy medication lowers immunity and leads to a build-up of harmful toxins in the body. This increases the risk of developing serious health problems.
High sugar diet
Sugar is found naturally in a majority of foods in the form of simple carbohydrates. While natural sugars may not harm the body, artificial sugars can. High intake of sugar can cause obesity and heart problems, which can further increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Here’s a list of foods high in sugar content, which you must avoid –
- Packaged & processed foods
- Sweetened soft drinks
- High fructose corn syrup
- Sugary candies
Unlike type 1 diabetes, the cause of type 2 diabetes is faulty genes or an unhealthy diet. While you cannot control your genes, you can surely watch what you eat. Conventional medicines are not the only way to manage and control diabetes. Making certain lifestyle modifications and dietary changes go a long way in managing diabetes.
If left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to serious health problems such as –
- Heart problems
- Loss of vision
- Kidney failure
- Poor circulation of blood