What Are The Main Causes Of Diabetes?

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What Are The Main Causes Of Diabetes?

What Do You Mean By Diabetes?

Diabetes is a complex group of diseases with a variety of causes. People with diabetes have high blood glucose, also called high blood sugar or hyperglycemia.

  1. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism- the way the body uses digested food for energy.
  2. The digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates, sugars, and starches found in many foods into glucose, a form of sugar that enters the bloodstream.
  3. With the help of the hormone insulin, cells throughout the body absorb glucose and use it for energy.

Diabetes develops when the body doesn’t make enough insulin or is not able to use insulin effectively, or both.

  • Insulin is made in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach.
  • The pancreas contains clusters of cells called islets.
  • Beta cells within the islets make insulin and release it into the blood.
  • If beta cells don’t produce enough insulin, or the body doesn’t respond to the insulin that is present, glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by cells in the body, leading to prediabetes or diabetes.

Two Main Types Of Diabetes

The two main types of diabetes are

  1. Type 1 Diabetes
  2. Type 2 Diabetes
  • A third type, gestational diabetes, develops only during pregnancy.

Complications Of Diabetes


Over time, high blood glucose damages nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications such as

  • Heart disease,
  • Stroke,
  • Kidney disease,
  • Blindness,
  • Dental disease, and amputations.

Other complications of diabetes may include

  • Increased susceptibility to other diseases,
  • Depression,
  • Pregnancy problems,
  • Loss of mobility with aging

No one is certain about the causes of diabetes, but scientists believe genes and environmental factors interact to cause diabetes in most cases.

Main Causes Of Diabetes

  1. Diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin due to the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
  2. In type 1 diabetes the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells.

    • Normally, the immune system protects the body from infection by identifying and destroying bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful foreign substances.
    • The immune system attacks the body’s own cells.
  3. In type 1 diabetes, beta-cell destruction may take place over several years, but symptoms of the disease usually develop over a short period of time.
  4. Type 1 diabetes typically occurs in children and young adults, though it can appear at any age.
  5. In the past, type 1 diabetes was called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) may be a slowly developing kind of type 1 diabetes. Diagnosis usually occurs after age 30.

  • In LADA, as in type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system destroys the beta cells.
  • At the time of diagnosis, people with LADA may still produce their own insulin, but eventually, most will need insulin shots or an insulin pump to control blood glucose levels.

Other types of diabetes are caused by

  • Defects in specific genes,
  • Diseases of the pancreas,
  • Certain drugs or chemicals,
  • Infections, and other conditions.

Some people show signs of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

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