Understanding Diabetes (Part: 3/7)

Understanding Diabetes (Part: 3/7)

Colin McWatters |

Exploring the Causes of Diabetes (Part: 3/7)

The root causes of diabetes vary and are closely linked to the type of diabetes diagnosed. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The reasons behind this autoimmune reaction are not entirely understood but are thought to involve genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, such as viral infections.

Type 2 diabetes arises from a combination of genetics and lifestyle factors. The body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level. Risk factors include obesity, inactivity, poor diet, aging, and family history. Unlike type 1, type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed through healthy lifestyle choices.

Gestational diabetes is another form, occurring during pregnancy. It's caused by hormonal changes, genetic factors, and lifestyle factors, which lead to insulin resistance. Though it usually resolves after pregnancy, it increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Prediabetes, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. It results from insulin resistance and is a significant risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes.

Understanding these causes is crucial for prevention and management:

Type 1 diabetes is largely unpreventable but manageable through insulin therapy. Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or managed through lifestyle modifications, such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Gestational diabetes requires careful monitoring and management during pregnancy to protect the health of both mother and child.


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