What Actually Causes Diabetes?

There isn't just one thing that causes diabetes, there are multiple possible causes. So of them might point to a different medical condition.

Tell Me About The Causes

Diabetes is caused by a disorder of the pancreas. The pancreas has cells that make a hormone called insulin. Insulin controls the amount of simple sugars (glucose) that are released into the blood cells to fuel the body. We consume foods that contain sugar and starches and as we digest these foods they are converted into simple sugars or (glucose).

The glucose then circulates in the blood waiting to enter the cells to be burned as fuel to give us energy. It depends on what type of diabetes you have as to how you control it.

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the cells of the pancreas cannot make insulin. This is due to the body's immune system that either destroys or attacks these cells so they can no longer produce insulin. This causes the glucose in the blood to be too high. People with this type of diabetes have to rely on getting insulin through shots or insulin pumps.

This type of diabetes normally affects children, teens and young adults, but it has been known to also affect adults later in their lives. The cause of this immune response is not known. It is speculated that a virus or bacterial infection might be responsible or possibly exposure to a food- borne chemical toxin. Whatever causes the immune system to attack these cells it is still undetermined.


Alternative Introduction

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Type 2 Diabetes

Another form of diabetes is called type 2. One cause of type 2 diabetes is where the cells in the pancreas do not make a sufficient amount of insulin. Another cause could be the cell receptors that are supposed to control the insulin's actions are not working properly, which causes too much insulin to be produced and then over taxes the cells that produce insulin.

This is called insulin resistance. It is also possible that the cells that produce insulin are abnormal and therefore do not work properly. Some other causes of Type 2 Diabetes, which are fairly rare, are certain medications, an illness like pancreatitis, or a disease that damages the pancreas and affects its ability to produce insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes can affect anyone. Generally 95% of people with diabetes will have type 2. It is more commonly found in adults, but is being increasingly diagnosed in children. Being overweight and less mobile has been linked to this type of diabetes. You can try to control Type 2 Diabetes by losing weight, being more active and watching your diet.

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While every effort has been made to ensure the information on this site is accurate we must stress that it is all for educational purposes. Please consult a medical professional before taking any action!