What is Diabetes and What Causes It?
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes includes a group of metabolic diseases characterized by high blood sugar, either because cells do not properly respond to insulin or because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin for the body to use. High blood sugar may cause diabetic symptoms like increased thirst, increased hunger, and frequent urination.
The three main types of diabetes include Type 1 where the body fails to produce enough insulin, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes; Type 2 caused by insulin resistance, also called adult-onset diabetes; and gestational diabetes, which occurs when pregnant women develop high blood glucose levels.
What Causes Diabetes?
The cause of Type 1 diabetes is unknown and may be related to genetic and environmental factors. The cause of more prevalent Type 2 diabetes is the result of insulin resistance, when cells become resistant to insulin in the body and the pancreas cannot compensate by producing enough insulin to overcome resistance. Sugar in the bloodstream will build up instead of moving into cells where it is needed for energy.
Type 2 diabetes can be a lifestyle condition that is related to unnatural foods, weight, and environmental and genetic factors. An unhealthy weight greatly increases the risk of chronic disease, including Type 2 diabetes.