What Causes Diabetes?

What causes diabetes? Here are some known risk factors which can lead to diabetes. By knowing the causes and risk factors, you can be better prepared on what you can do to control or prevent diabetes.


Lifestyle Perspective

  • Sedentary lifestyle: The lifestyle has changed drastically. People prefer a comfortable life, spending long hours sitting on chair, going to destination by car and less physical activity. The lesser active a person is, the greater is the risk of developing diabetes. The risk can be reduced by exercise regularly.
  • Stress: The modern lifestyle is what causes diabetes too. Busy, stressful, chaotic lifestyle can lead to pancreatic insufficiency. Negative emotional feeling such as grief, worry and anxiety can cause the blood sugar level to rise and eventually progressing to diabetes. De-stress yourself by listening to music, doing exercise, yoga, meditation or taking a small break from routine work.
  • Diet: Eating too much of carbohydrates, fats and proteins are harmful to the body. Your body needs a balanced diet to produce energy and perform certain vital functions. Too much of food exhausts the pancreas, and affects its ability to produce enough insulin. Insufficient insulin increases blood sugar level, and if not taken care, the affected person will develop diabetes overtime. Balanced diet is one of the key factors to prevent diabetes. Overeating will leads to obesity which is another risk factor of getting diabetes.
  • Obesity: It is said to associate with type 2 diabetes, non-insulin dependent diabetes. The extra amount of fat affects the function of insulin. Insulin is supposed to bring the glucose in the blood stream to cells and tissue. Due to the excessive fat in the body, the muscle and tissue becomes resistant to insulin. This will slowly lead to high blood sugar level in blood and finally diabetes. In addition to diabetes, the person is at greater risk of developing high cholesterol level too. Hence, maintain an ideal body weight by following a healthy and balanced diet can help to prevent diabetes. By losing 7% or more of your body weight with proper exercise and diet can improve blood sugar level. Research has shown that people with pre-diabetes who took these steps had a 58% success rate in avoiding progressing to type 2 diabetes.

People at Higher Risk of Developing Diabetes

  • Age: It has been observed that the chances to develop diabetes are increased as one get older, especially above 45 years of age. The reason is older people are prone to be less active and gain weight, leading to pancreatic dysfunction.
  • Heredity: People who have family background having history of diabetes are 25% more likely to develop diabetes. Expectant mother should maintain blood sugar level normal, so that the diabetes is not passed into the child.
  • Smoker: People who smoke frequently are very much prone to develop diabetes, retinopathy and joint immobility. The diabetic patient needs to stop smoking immediately. If not, there are chances of premature mortality.
  • Woman delivered baby more than 9 pounds are at risks. Previous history of gestational diabetes or previous diagnosis of impaired glucose tolerance (when blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high to be diagnosed as diabetes mellitus) can both lead to diabetes.
  • Certain ethnic group: People of certain races like Asian or Afro-Caribbean are more prone to develop diabetes mellitus.

Other Factors on What Causes Diabetes

  • Certain medications such as steroids can affect blood sugar level, and if you are already borderline, it may advance into pre-diabetes or diabetes.
  • Virus infections: Certain virus like Coxsackie B virus may infect the pancreas, and finally impairing the release of insulin and increased blood sugar levels.

Reference

What Causes Diabetes, www.diabetesmellitus-information.com (Assessed 1st June 2009)


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