We all know diabetes is a dangerous health condition, but many people don’t understand what it really is. Diabetes is actually a complex metabolism disorder in which metabolism is the way the body utilizes the food you eat to gain energy. Carbs, including sugars and starches, are broken down into glucose. Insulin, a hormone, helps by absorbing glucose, so the body can use glucose for energy. Unfortunately, if you have diabetes, you don’t have enough of the hormone or your body doesn’t use insulin correctly. Sometimes, it is both in diabetic patients.
There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. There’s also another common type, which is known as gestational diabetes, but this can only happen in pregnant women. There are still other types of diabetes, which are due to gene defects, drug side effects, problems with the pancreas, and other conditions.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes happens when you don’t have enough insulin in the body and the main causes include:
• Genetic susceptibility: If a family member has type 1 diabetes, chances are you will develop the disease as well. Some gene variants that instruct the production of human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) are linked to type 1 diabetes.
• Beta cells destruction: Beta cells in the pancreas that create insulin are destroyed because the immune system actually attacks and abolishes the beta-cells.
• Environmental factors: Infections and viruses contribute to type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
This type is the most common in which the body does not use insulin correctly. It is caused by a number of different factors, including:
• Family history: Just like type 1 diabetes, you are more susceptible to the disease if your parent or any member of the family has a history of it.
• Obesity: Being overweight and lack of physical activity are strong reasons why people develop type 2 diabetes. This is often due to the high caloric consumption, which the body cannot use properly. The imbalance causes obesity, which then easily leads to diabetes.
• Insulin resistance: People who are obese have this condition where the fat, liver, and muscle cells no longer respond to insulin, so the pancreas produce more insulin to compensate.
• Unusual glucose production: Some diabetic patients experience an abnormal rise in glucose production, which takes place in the liver. This then contributes to high levels of blood glucose, leading to diabetes.
People who have type 1 diabetes can still have type 2 diabetes and vice versa. This disease is feared for a reason. While there are some causes that can’t be changed, having a healthy lifestyle can definitely contribute to saving you from this deadly disease.