WHAT CAUSES DIABETES?

 

Diabetes mellitus is the condition in which there is hyperglycemia, i.e. an excess of sugar in the bloodstream. This increase in the blood sugar level occurs due to the malfunctioning of the pancreas, which secretes insulin. Insulin is the hormone that controls the sugar level in the blood. Without insulin, sugar will accumulate in the blood, leading to diabetes mellitus.

The condition develops quite suddenly and the factors that cause it to occur are not very well known. However, the following factors are investigated thoroughly to be causative for the disease:-

Factors Related to Diet

Diet is one of the most important factors triggering diabetes mellitus. Indeed, diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the blood sugar level increases and so, any diet that contains carbohydrates (or more specifically, sugars) in it, are directly responsible for increasing the overall blood sugar level.

Diabetes mellitus is not an easy disease to control. Proper monitoring of the blood sugar level must be done at all times, so that it is not allowed to go up. This is indeed one of the most frustrating aspects of the disease. The following foods are directly responsible for the development and aggravation of diabetes mellitus, and they should be strictly avoided:-

  • All foods containing sugar or jaggery, such as jam, jelly, marmalade, chocolates, desserts, ice cream, candy, etc.
  • Honey in all forms
  • Cokes, cola drinks and all such artificially sweetened cold drinks
  • Milk and milk products, including cheese, butter and condensed milk
  • Fruits with high sugar content and their juices
  • Oily foods
  • Alcoholic beverages, including wines

Factors Related to Lifestyle

Diabetes mellitus is a lifestyle disease. It has been observed that this disease is more rampant in the upper classes, since they tend to binge more on unhealthy foods. For this reason, diabetes mellitus is termed as a rich man’s disease. Expostulating on this trend, it can be said that diabetes mellitus is more of an urban disease than a rural disease. People who migrate to advanced countries stand a higher risk of contracting diabetes mellitus.

It has been observed that people who lead a sedentary lifestyle are more vulnerable to non-insulin dependent diabetes, or diabetes mellitus type 2. Such people have unexercised muscles and tissues, which can affect the overall action of insulin and reduce its capacity in the utilization of glucose.

Stress is another very important cause of diabetes mellitus. In some high-risk people, stress can cause malfunctioning of the pancreas, and hence, secretion of insulin. Several reasons can bring on stress and trauma. The following is a list of the most common of the stress-causing factors:-

  • Injury
  • Surgery
  • Infections
  • Pregnancy
  • Different kinds of mental tensions and worries

Environmental and External Factors

In many instances, diabetes mellitus can be originated from outside the body rather than from within. The following are some of the more obvious of these extrinsic factors:-

  • People who take steroids and other drugs that alter the hormonal balance are very susceptible to diabetes mellitus, as the amount of insulin can be reduced.
  • Some people can develop diabetes due to the chemicals contained in certain vegetables such as beans.
  • Infections can also cause diabetes mellitus. Some microorganisms can infect the pancreas and reduce its functioning. The insulin dependent diabetes mellitus or the diabetes mellitus type 1 is believed to be caused, among other causes, due to the infection of the Coxsackie virus on the pancreas.

Hereditary Factors

Diabetes mellitus shows a very strong hereditary connection. People who have the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) in their blood, which is obtained from the parents, they have a strong propensity towards developing diabetes mellitus type 1. Though it is believed that diabetes mellitus type 1 is not hereditary, it is seen that the disease is more common in people who have a relative suffering from other forms of diabetes. Diabetes mellitus type 2 is definitely hereditary, but it is compounded in future generations due to other problems such as obesity, hypertension and high blood pressure. People can also get a defective mechanism from their preceding generations due to which the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans can be impaired in their functions.

Factors Related to Age

Though diabetes mellitus can occur in any age, there are a few points to be considered. Diabetes mellitus type 2 mostly occurs in the adulthood. It can begin in youth, but its repercussions on the overall health are found in the later stages of life, when the person reaches middle age. On the other hand, diabetes mellitus type 2 was once called juvenile diabetes because it was found to be prevalent in children and adolescents predominantly. However, it has been found out now that this type of diabetes too can occur in later stages of life.

In this manner, there are several factors that are strongly indicated to be responsible for diabetes mellitus. For this reason, the prevention and control of the disease becomes exceedingly difficult. Proper knowledge is needed for the treatment of the disease.