What Causes Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that affects the amount of insulin the body produces. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It allows sugar to enter cells in the body. The sugar is then used as energy, or stored in fat, liver, or muscle cells for later use. Without insulin, the body cannot turn sugar or other carbohydrates into the energy it needs to function.

There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 happens when the body doesn't produce enough insulin, and is also often called juvenile diabetes, as it is most often diagnosed in children or teenagers. Type 2 is caused by the cells in the body having a much slower than normal response to insulin. Although the body is producing enough insulin, the cells are insulin-resistant. Another variation of this condition is gestational diabetes. This is a condition where the body has become temporarily resistant to insulin due to a pregnancy. It occurs in about 5% of pregnant women, and usually disappears shortly after delivery.


Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease happens when the body behaves inappropriately, and starts attacking its own cells the same way it would attack an infection. The body of those with type 1 destroys the cells that produce insulin. This sometimes follows an infection such as influenza, encephalitis, or the mumps. It can also be a hereditary disease. Trauma to the pancreas may also cause this condition, as can any other disease that affects the pancreas.

Type 2 has many causes, some of which are related to lifestyle changes and others of which cannot be helped. The most common lifestyle related causes include including obesity, particularly in the form of fat around the trunk, poor nutrition, and a sedentary lifestyle. Other uncontrollable causes include aging and a family history of diabetes.

As with Type 1, conditions that affect the pancreas, such as Strephylococci infections, can raise a person's risk of Type 2 diabetes. Hypertension and stress are also connected to this condition. Some prescription drugs, such as Clozapine or Quetiapine, increase a person's chances of getting it as well. Women who have had multiple pregnancies, gestational diabetes, or who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have more of a risk than other women, and women in general develop this condition more often than men.



Discuss this Article

Post 1

if diabetes could be caused by strep should tests include that of strep be still present and need treatment to cure the strep, would that cure the diabetes and prancreas?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?