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What causes diabetes?

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βˆ™ 2016-05-16 10:50:08

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There are several types of Diabetes with different causes. All can have life threatening side effects ranging from blindness to kidney and cardiovascular disease to gangrene and loss of limbs.


  • Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus is a loss of insulin function. The islets of Langerhans in the pancreas completely stop making insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar and energy use. Usually this is treated by regular injections of insulin. This is normally caused by an autoimmune condition, usually occurs early in life, and is likely genetic and not closely related to the etiology of Type 2 Diabetes. New treatments include the injection of patient or donor islets of Langerhans to replicate the pancreas' function. Loss of the pancreas due to pancreatic cancer or chronic pancreatitis are other potential causes.


  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is a problem involving the pancreas' production of insulin and the cells ability to utilize insulin. The root causes are not clearly understood but can include genetic issues and lifestyle issues (poor diet, inadequate exercise, stress). It involves a vicious circle of deterioration once begun, since diabetes causes high blood sugar, which causes oxidative stress which in turn damages the pancreas and increases insulin resistance. Treatments: The production of insulin can be increased by medication. Sensitivity to insulin can be increased by various glucophages, weight loss, calorie restriction, a low-carbohydrate diet and physical activity. Severe cases or poorly treated cases will eventually require insulin injection.


  • Gestational Diabetes Mellitus is high blood sugar brought on by pregnancy. Close medical attention is required. Treatment may include insulin or other medication but the condition passes after the end of the pregnancy. Both mother and child have increased risk of type-2 diabetes afterward.


  • Diabetes Insipidus (AKA "Water" diabetes to differentiate it form "Sugar" diabetes) has several sub types. It's not related to blood sugar levels at all, but causes similar polyuria (excessive urination). It's fairly rare, and occurs because of problems regulating the hormone vasopressin, which tells the kidneys how much to concentrate the urine. See link (further down this page, listed under Related Links) for more information.


Juvenile Diabetes - or Type 1 Diabetes - appears to be a second generation genetic condition. It seems to show up mostly every second generation in families with a diabetes history. Current and older studies also indicate an envrionmental link, and a link to Vitamin D deficiency. Its cause is not completely understood, and so no cure as yet has been found. Its onset is usually at youth.

Type 2 Diabetes is, for the most part, self-inflicted through poor diet, lack of excercise and, therefore, obesity. It mostly affects middle-aged and older people who have poor eating habits, and do little physical activity, and are, therefore, overweight or obese.

2016-05-16 10:50:08
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