WHAT CAUSES DIABETES

WHAT CAUSES DIABETES

The surface of your pancreas has insulin-producing cells called beta-cells or islet cells. If you are Type 1 diabetes the beta-cells are destroyed and insulin is no longer able to be produced.  Glucose cannot nourish your body without the insulin.

Before 1921 when insulin was discovered people that had type 1 diabetes did not survive long.  The first attempts at controlling and trying to defeat diabetes was to use the insulin from cow or pig pancreas and there were several issues related to the usage.  People developed allergies when the insulin was injected but they lived.

In the 1970s genetically human insulin was developed in labs and made available.  Today there are several types of insulin available and technologies to administer them.  Progress is still being made world wide to find a cure.

Type 2 diabetes is defined as “insulin resistant.” The ability to make insulin is present but the insulin is not fully effective.  When you think of a scenario to better define how Type 2 diabetes works is to think of a key that does not work well in the lock, you need to wiggle and jiggle the key until it unlocks.  The insulin is there, the insulin receptor is there, but the cells are not responding correctly.  The glucose is delayed because of the insulin resistance so your blood-glucose levels rise.

There are three ways to diagnose Type 2 diabetes.  The following chart describes the criteria.

SCREEN TESTS AND DAGNOSTIC CRITERIA

SCREENING TEST NORMAL PREDIABETES DIABETES
Fasting blood glucose Under 100 100-125 126 or more
Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) Under 140 14-199 200 or more
A1C Under 5.7 5.7-6.4 6.5 or more

This chart does not differentiate between type 1 or type 2 diabetes.  Additional blood work needs to be done to identify autoimmune markers.

    • Fasting blood glucose requires an eight-hour fast. Oral glucose tolerance test checks blood glucose response after two-hours of drinking 75 grams of glucose.
    • A1C test checks the amount of glucose attached to specific protein known as hemoglobin A protein. These proteins are located on red blood cells surfaces.

Some of the risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes include:

  1. Inheritance – Type 2 diabetes may run in the family but having this present does not mean that you will develop type 2 diabetes.
  2. High risk ethnic groups – Some ethnic groups have a higher risk level to develop type 2 diabetes. Some of the groups include:
  • African Americans;
  • American Indians;
  • Pacific Islanders;
  • Asian Americans;
  • Hispanics and Latinos;

Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes because of the following risk factors:

  • Getting older increases the risks of developing diabetes and being above 45 years of age is a risk factor when recommendations for testing should be done.
  • Being overweight – If obesity runs in families, the risk is higher. The eating habits of families that have obesity traits affects the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle – Lack of exercise increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The more you exercise the lower your chances are of developing diabetes.

There are other types of diabetes I have not mentioned and will touch upon in future blog posts.  Some of them are:

  • Neonatal diabetes- occurs in the first six months of life and can be permanent or transient;
  • Cystic-fibrosis related diabetes – this affects half of adults and 20 percent of children who have cystic fibrosis;
  • Maturity onset diabetes of the young- this is inherited and can be caused by several different chromosomal mutations. Treatment depends on the genetic defect and testing is required to make clear a proper diagnosis; and
  • Diabetes and pregnancy – this is considered a high -risk pregnancy. It is critical for women who have either type of diabetes to control blood-glucose levels prior to becoming pregnant. If you have high glucose present this can be passed on to the baby and can cause serious problems.  In the first trimester, the risk of birth defects and miscarriage are high.  Gestational diabetes occurs later in pregnancy and birth defects are not a concern at this stage.

 

I hope this sheds light and gives you some good information about diabetes. Please feel free to join my email listing so that you can keep up to date on what goes on here at LS Creations blog.

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