Diabetes is a metabolic disease, which is the way the body uses food for energy and growth. As explained in the article “Managing Gestational Diabetes: A Patient’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy” by the NICHD.
While there is a significant hereditary component in diabetes, environmental factors, and an individual’s lifestyle are essential for the disease to develop.
There are two types of diabetes, both of which result in higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, leading to multiple health problems. The difference lies in the role insulin plays in each of them.
Type 1 Diabetes
Formerly known as juvenile diabetes, this is a chronic (lifelong) disease that can occur at any age but is more common in children and teenagers.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, which contains 90% of diabetes cases worldwide, continues to increase disproportionately. It is even considered a non-infectious epidemic in countries like the United States, closely associated with obesity.
What Causes Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system, which fights infections, attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Scientists believe that type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that can trigger the disease.
Some studies, such as the TrialNet, focus on identifying the causes of type 1 diabetes and possible ways to prevent or delay the onset or progression of the disease.
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes? Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, is caused by various factors, including lifestyle and genes.
Overweight, Obesity, and Physical Inactivity
A person is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if they are not physically active and are overweight or obese. Sometimes, excess weight causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes.
The location of body fat is also significant. Excess abdominal fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel diseases. To determine if your weight is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.
Causes of Diabetes Causes of Diabetes Insulin Resistance
Type 2 diabetes often begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which muscles, the liver, and fat cells do not use insulin properly. As a result, the body needs more insulin for glucose to enter cells.
Initially, the pancreas produces more insulin to meet the increased demand, but over time, it stops producing enough insulin, and blood glucose levels rise.
Genes and Family History
Just as with type 1 diabetes, certain genes can make a person more prone to type 2 diabetes. The disease has a hereditary tendency and occurs more frequently in these racial or ethnic groups:
African Americans Alaska Natives American Indians Asian Americans Hispanics or Latinos Native Hawaiians Pacific Islanders
Genes can also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by increasing a person’s tendency to be overweight or obese.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes? Scientists believe that gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, is caused by hormonal changes, genetic factors, and lifestyle factors.
Certain hormones produced by the placenta NIH contribute to insulin resistance, which occurs in all women toward the end of pregnancy.
Most pregnant women can produce enough insulin to overcome insulin resistance, but some cannot. Gestational diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
Just like with type 2 diabetes, excess weight is linked to gestational diabetes. Women who are overweight or obese may already have insulin resistance when they become pregnant. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can also be a factor.
Finally, if you want to know a little more about this condition. I invite you to read my article Diabetes: What Is It? Understanding Diabetes: Causes, Types, and Warning Signs