To understand the main cause of diabetes, it is important for us to understand how the pancreas responds in producing insulin beta cells needed for the body’s glucose absorption.
Under normal circumstances, the glucose (sugar) will enter the bloodstream which will act as fuel for the body. The pancreas may be slow or may fail to produce tiny insulin factories called beta cells in order to transfer the glucose to the liver cells, muscles and fats. If there are few or no beta cells that enable other cells to receive glucose, the blood sugar level will increase.This is the main or primary cause of diabetes.
Due to the failure of the pancreas to produce the insulin beta cells, the level of unabsorbed glucose will also increase as the constant supply of glucose keeps coming in. As a recourse, the body will merely flush out the unabsorbed glucose by way of urine. Hence, the diabetic will experience thirst and frequently pass urine. The diabetes sufferer will need insulin injections to meet the body’s insulin requirements.
In other cases, the disorder may be due to the resistance of other cells to the insulin cells. There is now failure in glucose absorption but pancreatic production of insulin continues as an automatic response to the presence of glucose. Both insulin and glucose levels become elevated yet no absorption is taking place in order to supply the body with energy.
Other causes of diabetes may include the following factors:
1. Immunity- The beta cells of the pancreas is attacked by a disturbance in the immune system thereby a type 1 diabetes emerges. Under type 1 diabetes, the sufferer becomes insulin dependent due to the failure of the pancreas to produce insulin. This usually happens to children and adolescents.
2. Inflammatory- Viral infections are transferred from the blood to the pancreas resulting to damaged beta cells.
3. Hereditary- Some hereditary genes contribute to the emergence of diabetes in some people. If the parent is diabetic, chances are the offspring will be afflicted by type 1 diabetes by around 10%, more or less.
4. Environment- This includes the following factors:
a. Weight- In some studies, 80% of overweight patients are diabetics.
b. Sex- Diabetes is prevalent in women than men in the ratio of 2 to 1. Gestational diabetes happens at a later period of pregnancy. This will make the mother prone to type 2 diabetes.
c. Age- This usually occurs after the age group of 45 years old.
d. Exercise- Lack of exercise can reduce the ability of the body to absorb insulin. In the absence of exercise, type 2 diabetes typically emerges.
e. Eating Habits- Eating lots of fats, sweets and even fast meals will contribute in weight gain. Once there is already too much fats in the body cells, the sensitivity of cells decrease in absorbing insulin.
f. Ethnicity – For some unexplained reasons, women who are of African, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian descent, are prone to develop diabetes.
Since we already know the exact cause of diabetes, simple but important health rules such as eating the proper food and in the right amounts as well as engaging in exercises should become a normal part of our life.