Diabetes is a chronic health condition which is linked with abnormal blood sugar levels. Insulin, which is produced by pancreas, plays a key role in lowering blood glucose levels. But in case of diabetes, our body is either becomes irresponsive to insulin or the pancreas doesn’t produce enough of this hormone to lower glucose levels in blood.
There are two types of diabetes commonly known as type 1 and type 2. The former, which was traditionally referred to as insulin dependent is genetic in nature whereas the latter, which is known as insulin dependent, is caused largely by diet and lifestyle. Let’s look at some of the most common type 1 and type 2 diabetes causes.
Type 1 Diabetes Causes
This type of diabetes mainly occurs due to a response from our immune system, which destroys the pancreas’ beta cells, therefore making it unable to produce insulin.
Many researchers believe that there are a host of genetic and environmental factors that could trigger this immune response. However, doctors are still working on pinpointing the exact cause of type 1 diabetes in order to prevent this disease.
Type 2 Diabetes Causes
Lifestyle factors and genetics are some of the most common type 2 diabetes causes. Due to rising obesity rates in the United States, this type of diabetes has become more prevalent than ever. Being physically inactive or obese can increase the chances of getting type 2 diabetes.
Your genetic predisposition to store fat in your body also affects your diabetes risk. For example, people who store more fat in their midsection are more likely to develop insulin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes starts with insulin resistance when fat cells stored in liver and other organs prevent proper absorption of the hormone. In the beginning, pancreas tries to produce more insulin to meet the increased demand. But over time, its ability to produce insulin starts to slow down, increasing the bloos glucose levels.
Genetics may also play a role in causing type 2 diabetes. In some racial groups like African Americans, Asian Americans, native Alaskans and Latinos, this disease can run in the family. In many cases genes can affect a person’s likelihood to gain weight, which ultimately determines their risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Some of the most common symptoms of this insulin-related disease include excessive urination and thirst, lack of energy, blurred vision, numbness in extremities, weight-loss and sudden hunger. Type 1 diabetes can start showing symptoms in a matter of weeks.
On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is slow to develop. It can take years and even decades before the symptoms start to show. Most people don’t find out that they have this disease until they start having trouble with their heart and vision.