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diabetes

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a health disorder or disease wherein the body mechanism, of maintaining normal levels of glucose in the blood, does not function properly. As a result, the glucose levels in the blood rise above the normal limits, giving rise to symptoms of diabetes.

Types of Diabetes.

There are two types of diabetes
a]Diabetes mellitus, which is the more common one and is explained in this article.

b] Diabetes Insipidus, a rare form of diabetes , which results from a deficient secretion of a pituitary gland hormone called vasopressin. Some of the symptoms like excessive thirst and excessive urination, are common, but the treatments of these diabetes are different. We shall discuss this form of  diabetes in another article at a later date.

What is Prediabetes?

This is a condition which acts a warning signal of impending diabetes. It is a precursor, of sorts, telling you that diabetes is on the way. It is also called borderline diabetes. If adequate precautions are taken at this stage, then you may still be able to control the oncoming diabetes. Many a times, this stage may be present for a long time and may be missed in people, who do not have regular medical check ups.

What is Juvenile Diabetes.

This is a diabetes, which occurs early on in life, sometimes as early as childhood, and hence the name juvenile diabetes.

Types of Diabetes Mellitus.
The most common types of Diabetes Mellitus are:

1] Type 1 Diabetes:
This results from inadequate secretion of insulin by the pancreas. Insulin is the hormone which is responsible for keeping the glucose levels in the blood within normal limits. This inadequate secretion may be due to a pancreatic disorder such as an autoimmune disorder or a viral infective disorder. Type 1 Diabetes is commonly found in young people.

2] Type 2 Diabetes:
Here the secretion of insulin is normal, but the utilization of insulin by the body cells is not proper. It is commonly found in middle aged and above people.

3]
Gestational Diabetes:
This is the diabetes detected in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes earlier. This diabetes may herald the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.

Symptoms of Diabetes-

The symptoms of both Type1 diabetes and Type2 diabetes are similar. However, they are a little late in being seen in Type2 diabetes. Diabetes symptoms are explained below.

1] Excessive thirst :- called Polydypsia
2] Frequent urination:- called Polyurea
3] Excessive hunger :- called Polyphagia. Even after a full meal the patient feels hungry again.
4] A feeling of tiredness. 
5] Nausea and vomiting 
6] Delay in healing of wounds. Wounds do not heal as usual because of the high blood sugar levels, which act as feasting media for bacteria which then become difficult to control. 7] Rapid loss of weight. 
8] At times, dehydration may set in.

In later stages, neurological (relating to nerves) symptoms appear such as:

9] Blurring of vision
10] Tingling and numbness in both the upper and lower extremities.

Causes of Diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus is a health disorder which most of us dread. Knowing the causes of diabetes can help us act upon them thereby reducing the chances of contracting diabetes. As explained in Diabetes and its Symptoms, there are two common types of Diabetes Mellitus – Diabetes Type 1 and Diabetes Type 2. There are various main contributing diabetes causes, some being causes of Diabetes Type 1 and some being causes of Diabetes type 2.

Causes of both Diabetes Type 1 and Diabetes type 2 are listed here. You will realize that most of the causes of diabetes, especially in Type 2 diabetes,can be controlled and diabetes can be prevented.

Cause of Diabetes | What Causes Diabetes.

Insulin is responsible for keeping our blood sugar levels within normal limits by influencing the uptake of blood glucose by the body cells for their metabolism. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and, as and when required, it is released into the blood stream to facilitate the uptake of glucose by the body cells. When this sequence is disturbed, blood sugar levels rise above normal limits and diabetes results.

Why is this insulin and blood sugar sequence disturbed?

This sequence is disturbed due to two reasons: 1) When the pancreas fail to produce insulin or produce insufficient insulin, and 2) When the pancreas produce sufficient insulin but, there is failure on the part of the body cells to uptake the glucose from the blood stream, causing the glucose to accumulate in the blood resulting in diabetes.
Let us now come to what are the causes of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Causes of Diabetes Type 1 or Juvenile Diabetes.

Diabetes Type 1 is also called Juvenile diabetes because it is commonly found in young people. In Diabetes type 1, there is no insulin or insufficient production of insulin by the pancreas. This occurs due to auto immune destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas which produce insulin.

This auto immune response is triggered by a viral infection or environment factors such as exposure to certain toxins, drinking cow's milk, and viral infections. Studies have shown diabetes type 1 to be associated with viral infections due to coxsackie B, rubella, and mumps. Genetic factor, especially if your father has diabetes, makes you more prone to develop diabetes type 1

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes.

1] Hereditary factor causes diabetes :- If there is a family history of diabetes, it is more than likely that you will inherit it. It may come to you either from your father’s side or from your mother’s side or from both. This is one cause on which you have no control. But, taking certain precautions can prevent or minimize the risk of diabetes.
2] Age and diabetes:- As age progresses, chances of getting diabetes increase. More than 75% of diabetes patients are above 50 years.
3] Mal nourishment causes diabetes: If you are a person with a poor diet intake, lacking in proteins and fiber, your chances of acquiring diabetes are very high.
4] Obesity causes diabetes and is a one of the major cause of diabetes.
5] A Sedentary lifestyle or a lifestyle of physical inactivity causes diabetes.
6] Certain drugs cause diabetes: Prolonged administration of certain drugs make the person a potential candidate for diabetes. These drugs include Steroids, Clozapine, olanzapine.
7] Infection by staphylococci causes diabetes.
8] Hypertension and diabetes are often seen together especially in those who have a high systolic pressure.
9] High lipids: Similarly patients with high triglyceride and cholesterol are more prone to diabetes.

Wrong myths about Diabetes.

Ø Eating sweets does not cause diabetes.
Ø Stress does not cause diabetes either.
However, in a diabetic person, the above two factors will worsen the diabetes.
Knowing the causes of diabetes, it will be easier now to understand how we can prevent or minimize the risk of the onset of diabetes.

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