What Causes Diabetes – Overview
Diabetes mellitus is the epidemic of modern life, and it will keep rising unless better early detection tools are developed.
Diabetes is a complex illness with a significant number of genes implicated in its pathogenesis. The exact understanding of the hereditary basis of diabetes could be a valuable way of improving diabetes discovery, treatments, and preventing complications.
Additionally, the enhanced understanding of the link connecting genetics and diabetes’ long-term consequences will give us an opportunity in delaying or eliminating such issues, which put a lot of stress on patients’ wellbeing.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar level, often known as blood glucose, is abnormally high.
Your primary source of power is blood glucose, which arises from the food that you consume. Insulin, a hormone that is produced by the pancreas, aids sugar absorption into various body cells.
Occasionally your body doesn’t produce sufficient insulin, or it doesn’t use it properly. Sugar remains in the circulation and does not enter your tissues as a result.
Possessing excessive glucose in the bloodstream might lead to serious health issues with time. Although there is no cure for the disease, you may do efforts to control it and keep it healthy.
Based on the intensity of the primary illness condition, the level of glucose may change from time to time. It’s possible that the disease is established but hasn’t developed enough to induce hyperglycemia (elevated blood glucose).
Types of Diabetes Mellitus
The followings are the main types of diabetes and the characteristics for each type:
Type 1 diabetes
It is an autoimmune disease, and autoimmune diseases are conditions that occur when the body’s immune system attacks any part of the body.
Its characteristics include:
1. The immune system attacks the beta cells responsible for insulin production in the pancreas and destroys them when developing type 1 diabetes.
2. The pancreas produces very little or no insulin.
3. A person with type 1 diabetes should receive insulin every day throughout their life.
4. Type I diabetes begins to develop in children and young people but may appear at any age.
5. If type 1 diabetes is not diagnosed and treated, the patient may develop a coma that can lead to his death, known as Diabetic ketoacidosis.
Type 2 diabetes
It is the most common type of diabetes, accounting for between 90 and 95% of all patients with diabetes.
Its characteristics include:
1. it is commonly associated with age, excess obesity, medical family history with diabetes, and personal medical record as cases of gestational (pregnancy) diabetes, physical inactivity.
2. About 80% of type 2 diabetes patients are overweight before contracting the disease.
3. Patients with type 2 diabetes have a pancreatic production of a sufficient amount of insulin, but for unexplained reasons, the body is unable to use and benefit from insulin effectively, known as insulin resistance.
4. Insulin production decreases after several years and the patient’s condition is similar to that of type 1 diabetes.
Gestational (Pregnancy) Diabetes
This type of diabetes occurs when women become diabetic only during pregnancy.
Its Characteristics include:
1. This type of diabetes is fairly widespread, especially among women with a family history of diabetes.
2. Most women do not show symptoms of pregnancy diabetes, so glucose is tested between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. Thirst, mouth dehydration, and constant fatigue.
3. Women with pregnancy diabetes have a 20 to 50% risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years.
What Causes Diabetes?
There are two types of cells in the pancreas insulin-producing cells and glucagon-secreting cells. The glucose microenvironment causes beta and alpha cells to increase their hormone release regularly.
The blood sugar becomes unbalanced when the equilibrium between insulin and glucagon is disrupted. Insulin is either absent or has impaired activity (insulin resistance) in diabetics, resulting in hyperglycemia.
Risk Factors of type 1 diabetes
1. Family history. You are at increased risk of developing diabetes if one of your parents or siblings has type one diabetes.
2. Environmental factors. A situation like viral infections (german measles) plays a role in type 1 diabetes.
3. Geographic location. Some countries, including Sweden and Finland, have higher rates of type 1 diabetes.
Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes
1. Physical inactivity. The lower activity also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Physical activity helps reduce your weight and glucose is used as energy.
2. Family History. You’re at increased risk of developing diabetes if one of your parents or siblings has type 2 diabetes.
3. The age. Your risk of diabetes increases with your age. This may be because you’re doing less exercise and being overweight and losing muscle mass as you age.
4. Gestational diabetes. If you have pregnancy diabetes during pregnancy, your risk of type 2 diabetes increases later. If your baby’s birth weight is more than four kilograms, you’re also at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
5. Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a common condition characterized by an irregular menstrual cycle, excess hair growth, and obesity. It increases the risk of diabetes.
6. High blood pressure. Hypertension over 140/90 can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
7. Diet. Diabetes is more common in people eating large amounts of oils, fats, flour, and sugars.
See Also: Type 2 Diabetes Food List
Risk Factors of Gestational (pregnancy) Diabetes
1. The age. Women older than 25 are at increased risk of gestational diabetes.
2. Family or personal history. Risks increase if a close family member such as a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes. You’re also at greater risk if you have pregnancy diabetes during the previous pregnancy.
3. Obesity. Weight gain before pregnancy increases your risk of injury.
Diagnostic Criteria of Diabetes mellitus
The following are the criteria that are used in the diagnosis of diabetes, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes:
- Having diabetes symptoms (thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss) and random blood glucose levels of 200 mg/dL or higher. random glucose test means you don’t have to fast before testing.
- Having fasting blood glucose of 126 mg/dL or higher. After 8 hours of not eating or drinking anything but water, a fasting glucose sugar test is performed.
- Having a blood glucose level of 200 mg/dl or higher 2 hours after ingestion of 75g glucose (it is called oral glucose tolerance test-OGTT).
- Have a hemoglobin A1c level of 6.5 percent or higher in your blood. Adults are the most dependable candidates for this test.
Diabetes is diagnosed when one of these values is abnormal on two occasions (except the first one).