Diabetes Basics

Causes and Prevention of Diabetes

The disease Diabetes mellitus occurs when in either of two conditions. The first condition is when the pancreas stops producing insulin - a hormone that is necessary to regulate the utilization of glucose by the cells of the body. The second condition is when the body becomes resistant to the action of insulin and the hormone is not able to regulate the consumption of glucose by the cells of the body.

Diabetes, depending upon the underlying reason is classified into two types, namely type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the pancreas inability to produce insulin, which in turn may be caused by an autoimmune reaction. An autoimmune reaction is characterized by the immune system turns against certain tissues of the body. Such a reaction may result in the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin.

Although it is not very clear about why such autoimmune reactions take place, there are a number of triggers that have been identified. A few of the possibilities are infection with a virus or a strain of bacteria, possible exposure to food based toxins and exposure to cow’s milk as a very young infant.
These are just a few of the possible triggers that result in an autoimmune reaction that in turn causes the pancreas to lose its ability to manufacture insulin.

Type 2 diabetes on the other hand is a condition when the body is not able to utilize insulin effectively. This happens on account of a number of lifestyle factors such as being obese, excessive consumption of sugary foods and refined carbohydrates. The susceptibility of type 2 diabetes increases with advanced age and is known to occur in people after the age of 45 years.

Gestational diabetes on the other hand is acquired yet temporary diabetes that affects roughly 3 to 10 percent of pregnant women. The main reason for this form of diabetes is hormonal changes that take place in the bodies of women that result in intolerance to insulin. Gestational diabetes should be managed properly as it may have adverse effects on the fetus.

Eating properly, getting sufficient exercise and reducing weight are certain lifestyle based factors that can help in the prevention of diabetes.