Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Causes of Diabetes

Causes of Diabetes

Main causes of diabetes that you should know

There are countless factors that can determine that a person is diabetic. Infinity of causes that can lead to the different types of diabetes we know. What are the main causes of diabetes? Do not miss our post today, because knowing the causes can help us improve our quality of life and prevent or delay the onset of diabetes if you have risk factors.

What is diabetes?
Diabetes is caused by a deficiency in the functioning of the pancreas. When we eat, our body converts food into glucose, but for the body's cells to receive it as energy, we need a hormone called insulin.

Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect the way your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is vital to your health because it is an important source of energy for the cells that make up muscles and tissues. It is also the main fuel of your brain.

The hidden cause of diabetes varies by type. However, regardless of the type of diabetes you have, it can lead to an excess of blood sugar. Too much sugar in the blood can cause serious health problems.

Chronic diabetic conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Diabetic conditions that are potentially reversible include prediabetes, when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not enough for the disease to be classified as diabetes, and gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy but can be resolved once the baby is born.

The pancreas is the organ responsible for producing insulin, but when enough is not produced, or our body has generated resistance to this hormone we can develop diabetes.

Background and inheritance

If any member of your family is a type 1 diabetic, you are more likely to be. Diabetes is inherited, so if your mother, father, grandparents or siblings have insulin problems, you may end up developing them too.

Family history is one of the main causes of diabetes, but not a condition. Having the gene for diabetes does not ensure that we will develop it, but it increases the chances that other factors can activate it.
So do not hesitate, if you have a direct family member who is diabetic be careful and minimize your risks.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to control blood sugar. Diabetes can be caused by very little insulin production, insulin resistance or both.

To understand diabetes, it is important to first understand the normal process by which food is transformed and used by the body for energy. Several things happen when the food is digested and absorbed:

A sugar called glucose enters the bloodstream. Glucose is a source of energy for the body.
An organ called the pancreas produces insulin. The role of insulin is to transport glucose from the bloodstream to muscle, fat and other cells, where it can be stored or used as a source of energy
People with diabetes have high blood sugar levels because their body can not mobilize sugar from the blood to the muscle and fat cells to burn or store it as energy, and/or the liver produces too much glucose and secretes it in the blood. This is because:

  • The pancreas does not produce enough insulin
  • Cells do not respond normally to insulin
  • Both previous seasons
  • There are two main types of diabetes. The causes and risk factors are different for each type:

Type 1 diabetes is less common. It can occur at any age, but it is diagnosed more frequently in children, adolescents or young adults. In this disease, the body does not produce or produce little insulin. This is because the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin stop working. Daily insulin injections are needed. The exact cause of the inability to produce enough insulin is unknown.

Type 2 diabetes is more common. It almost always occurs in adulthood. but due to the high rates of obesity, children and adolescents are now being diagnosed with this disease. Some people with type 2 diabetes do not know they have this disease. With type 2 diabetes, the body is resistant to insulin and does not use it as effectively as it should. Not all people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.
There are other causes of diabetes, and some people can not be classified as type 1 or 2.
Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that occurs at any time during pregnancy in a woman who does not have diabetes.

If one of your parents, brothers or sisters has diabetes, you may be more likely to have this disease.

Sedentary life

The lifestyle you follow directly influences the development of diabetes. If you do not exercise, neglect your diet, sleep little and smoke, you could run the risk of developing diabetes.

If you eat a lot of sweets and refined flours, your pancreas has to make a tremendous effort to keep glucose levels under control. If you add to this that your physical activity is low or that you have a few kilos more, the chances of suffering from type 2 diabetes increase.

Remember that it is essential to exercise, follow a balanced diet and avoid tobacco and alcohol to reduce the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes or delay type 1 diabetes.


One of the causes of diabetes in pregnancy. During the 9 months of pregnancy, the cells of the mother's organism can create a great resistance to insulin, which uncontrolled blood glucose levels. Approximately 4% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, although usually after giving birth it disappears. However, having gestational diabetes may be linked to developing type 2 diabetes later in life.


Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed more frequently in children, adolescents, and young adults, although it can be detected at any age.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes has a greater presence in adults, in fact, the risk of suffering increases with age. From the age of 45, the higher the age, the more incidences of diabetes occur. Why? It is not known exactly, but as people get older they become less active and gain weight, which can cause dysfunction of the pancreas.
When a person suffers from stress or anxiety, their body acts as if they were attacking it. In situations of stress, it is proven that levels of hormones such as adrenaline or cortisol increase significantly. An increase in these hormones produces an increase in blood sugar.

Physical or emotional stress is associated with an increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. So yes, stress can be considered one of the causes of diabetes.

Other Diseases

There are some diseases that cause a person to develop diabetes. For example, if our thyroid does not produce enough hormones (hypothyroidism), our pancreas lowers its performance and does not produce enough insulin, which can trigger diabetes.

Diseases like this, hypertension, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or intolerance to gluten, among others; they are related to greater possibilities of developing diabetes in adulthood.

Take note of these possible causes of diabetes, some are inevitable (such as background or age) but others can be stopped at the root. As we always recommend, keep a healthy lifestyle, practice exercise and follow a healthy diet. Do not forget, in addition, to make medical check-ups frequently, especially if you have a risk factor such as the ones we detail.


The symptoms of diabetes may vary depending on the amount of sugar increasing. Some people, especially those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, may not experience symptoms at first. In type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to appear quickly and be more severe.

These are some of the signs and symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Extreme hunger.
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Presence of ketones in the urine (ketones are a by-product of the muscle and fat breakdown that occurs when there is not enough insulin available).
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurry vision
  • Sores with slow healing.
  • Frequent infections, such as infections of the gums, skin, and vagina.


The complications of diabetes in the long term develop gradually. The longer you have diabetes (and the less controlled your blood sugar level is), the greater the risk of complications. In the long run, the complications of diabetes can cause disability or even be fatal. Possible complications include the following:

  • Cardiovascular disease Diabetes dramatically increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems, such as coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis). If you have diabetes, you are more likely to have heart disease or stroke.
  • Damage to the nerves (neuropathy). Excess sugar can damage the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that feed the nerves, especially in the legs. This can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain, which usually begins at the tips of the toes or hands and gradually spreads upward.
  • If you do not receive treatment, you may lose all sensitivity of the affected members. Damage to the nerves in relation to digestion can cause problems with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. In the case of men, it can lead to erectile dysfunction.
  • Kidney damage (nephropathy). The kidneys contain millions of clusters of tiny blood vessels (glomeruli) that filter waste from the blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system. Severe damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible ESRD, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
  • Eye damage (retinopathy). Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy), which can lead to blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of other serious conditions of vision, such as cataracts and glaucoma.
  • Damage to the feet Damage to the nerves of the foot or insufficient blood flow in the feet increases the risk of various complications in the feet. If left untreated, cuts and blisters can lead to serious infections, which usually have poor healing. These infections may, ultimately, require amputation of the toe, foot or leg.
  • Diseases of skin Diabetes can make you more susceptible to skin problems, such as bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Auditory deterioration. Hearing problems are common in people with diabetes.
  • Alzheimer disease. Type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of having dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease. The poorer the control of blood sugar level, the greater the risk. Although there are theories of how these disorders may be related, none of them has been proven yet.
  • Depression. Depression symptoms are common in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Depression can affect the management of diabetes.

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