Diabetes is a health condition that results in the inability to metabolize sugar optimally resulting in high blood sugar. There are two main causes of high blood sugar in diabetics. Either the pancreas is unable to produce sufficient insulin or the cells in the body have become insulin resistant – which basically means they have lost the ability to use insulin to break down sugar in the blood.
There are many factors that can result in the development of diabetes. The most common factor in both Diabetes Type I and Type II is genetic. A genetic predisposition is normally present in a person who develops diabetes. However, a predisposition does not necessarily mean that an individual will develop diabetes or that a person without a predisposition cannot develop diabetes due to the many other factors that are relevant in causing this serious health condition.
Obesity is a major risk factor that plays a role in diabetes. Consuming excess sugar puts the body under stress and cells often become immune to insulin as a result. Losing weight and a low Glycemic Index (GI) diet can help maintain blood sugar levels with the use of insulin injections.
In Type I Diabetes, the disease is as a result of the immune system attacking and destroying the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This is normally as a defense against a virus or infection that may have entered the body as well as a genetic predisposition.
To a lesser degree, the cause of diabetes may be hormonal. An overproduction of hormones can affect the body’s ability to use insulin and metabolize sugar, especially in diseases that affect hormone production.
Damage to the pancreas may also result in the inability to effectively produce insulin. Certain types of medications, as well as nutritional supplements, may result in the development of diabetes. The disease can be the result of other health conditions or genetic mutations.