Discover what causes Diabetes Type 2 and how to prevent it. Learn lifestyle factors, risks, and habits that contribute to this condition.🤯🔥💥
Diabetes mellitus develops when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the body cannot effectively utilize the insulin it produces. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes results from the autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing cells. Type 2 diabetes occurs when insulin resistance impairs glucose regulation, or the pancreas secretes too little insulin. While genetics and age increase the risk, an unhealthy diet, obesity, inactivity, high blood pressure, prediabetes, abnormal cholesterol, and socioeconomic factors compound the causes of this chronic disease that affects over 400 million worldwide.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how the body processes sugar. It occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the body cannot properly use the insulin it produces. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system destroys insulin-producing cells. It usually appears in childhood or adolescence and requires insulin injections for management. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, though it may involve genetic and environmental factors.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form, accounting for 90-95% of cases. It occurs when the body develops insulin resistance, impairing its ability to use insulin effectively, or the pancreas produces too little insulin.
What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?
- Autoimmune attack. In type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.
- Genetic factors. The genes you inherit from your parents can play a role in whether or not you develop this disease, but they don’t determine whether or not it will happen to you–they only increase your risk of developing it if other factors are present.
- Environmental factors (such as viruses). Viruses may also trigger an autoimmune response in some people genetically predisposed to developing type 1 diabetes; however, this has yet to be proven by research studies on humans so far!
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that affects your body’s ability to make and use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not respond well enough to insulin or doesn’t produce enough of it. The result is that your blood sugar level stays too high for too long, which can lead to serious health problems over time if left untreated.
This condition is often called “adult-onset” because it usually develops in people over 40 years old but can occur at any age depending on genetic factors (the way you’re born) and lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise habits.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form, accounting for about 90-95% of cases. It occurs when the body develops insulin resistance, impairing its ability to use insulin effectively, or the pancreas produces too little insulin. The main causes of type 2 diabetes include:
Obesity or excess weight
Extra fat, especially in the midsection, can lead to insulin resistance and higher diabetes risk. Excess weight gain during adolescence or midlife also increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
A diet high in sugar, refined carbs, red meat, and full-fat dairy products can contribute to insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels over time. Lack of fiber, vegetables, and lean protein also promotes diabetes development.
Lack of exercise
Leading a sedentary lifestyle without regular physical activity allows insulin resistance and excess weight gain to occur, raising the risk of type 2 diabetes.
As people get older, especially after age 45, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases. Aging decreases insulin sensitivity and secretion.
Having a parent or sibling with diabetes increases your odds of developing the disease by 2-8 times. Genetics play a significant role in type 2 diabetes.
African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes than non-Hispanic whites. This is partly due to a higher prevalence of obesity and excess weight gain within these groups.
History of gestational diabetes
Women who developed high blood sugar levels during pregnancy have a 35-60% chance of developing diabetes later in life.
Impaired glucose metabolism
Prediabetes, impaired fasting glucose, or impaired glucose tolerance damage insulin sensitivity and beta cell function, making progression to diabetes more likely.
High blood pressure
Having uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage blood vessels and nerves involved in glucose regulation, increasing the risk of developing diabetes complications and health issues.
Abnormal cholesterol levels
High triglycerides and low good HDL cholesterol contribute to insulin resistance and inflammation in the body, promoting diabetes development over time.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes?
The exact cause of gestational diabetes is unknown. However, some factors can increase your risk of developing it:
- Hormone changes during pregnancy
- Insulin resistance (the body’s inability to use insulin properly)
- High blood sugar levels
What Are the Risk Factors for Diabetes?
There are many risk factors for diabetes. These include:
- Family history of type 2 diabetes
- Age (the older you are, the more likely it is that you will develop type 2 diabetes)
- Obesity (being overweight or obese)
- Physical inactivity (not being active enough)
- Poor diet (eating too much sugar and fat)
- Smoking cigarettes/tobacco products
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High cholesterol levels in your blood
How is Diabetes Diagnosed?
In order to diagnose diabetes, your doctor will ask you to take a blood sugar test. You’ll need to fast for at least eight hours before the test, so if possible, avoid eating or drinking anything except water during this period.
After fasting for eight hours, your blood will be drawn and tested for glucose levels. Suppose the results show that your blood sugar level is over 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). In that case, it’s likely that you have diabetes and should be referred to an endocrinologist who specializes in treating this condition.
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?
The most common symptoms are:
- Frequent urination and extreme thirst
- Blurry vision, fatigue, slow healing sores, and frequent infections (such as urinary tract infections)
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.
How Can Diabetes Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight, be physically active, eat a balanced diet, and limit alcohol consumption. Smoking and monitoring blood sugar levels are also important factors in preventing diabetes.
What Are the Complications of Diabetes?
Many complications of diabetes can lead to serious health problems. These include:
- Heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems: High blood sugar can damage the walls of your arteries. This increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Kidney disease: Diabetes makes it hard for your kidneys to filter waste from your blood, which can lead to kidney failure or chronic kidney disease (CKD).
- Nerve damage: Nerves in the feet may be damaged by high blood sugar over time. This causes tingling or numbness in the feet and pain when walking or exercising on hard surfaces like concrete floors or pavement–a condition called neuropathy that may make it difficult to perform daily tasks such as driving a car or going upstairs without assistance from another person.
How is Diabetes Treated?
There are several treatment options for diabetes. These include medications, insulin therapy, and lifestyle changes. Medications can help lower blood sugar levels by increasing the insulin released from your pancreas or decreasing how much sugar is absorbed from food into your bloodstream.
Insulin therapy involves injecting yourself with insulin to control symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T1DM & T2DM).
Lifestyle changes include eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and losing weight if overweight or obese. Monitoring blood sugar levels periodically helps you track how well these treatments work.
In summary, the significant causes of diabetes include excess weight and obesity, unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, aging, family history, ethnicity, history of gestational diabetes, prediabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Controlling or preventing these factors can help reduce your odds of developing diabetes. Early diagnosis and management also help prevent serious health complications from the disease.
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