Diabetes is among the chronic conditions that contribute to millions of deaths globally. Diabetes Mellitus is a disease caused by low production of insulin by the pancreatic cells or the body does not use of insulin in the control of blood sugar levels (NIDDK, para. 1-3). A hormone called insulin controls blood sugar and is released from the pancreas when the level of blood glucose rises, such as after eating. Diabetes can contribute to hyperglycemia, which can affect the functioning of various body organs such as the kidney and liver (NIDDK, para. 1-2). Circulation sugar levels return to normal due to insulin’s stimulation of the liver’s metabolization of glucose and the removal of glucose in the body by muscle and fat cells. Diabetes can occur in three forms, namely, Diabetes Type 1 (T1DM), gestational diabetes, and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) (Nall, para.1). Therefore, this paper seeks to assess the causes of the three forms of diabetes mellitus.
Causes of Type 1 Diabetes
T1DM is caused by a reaction involving the destruction of the pancreatic beta cells responsible for producing insulin. Genetic traits passed from parents to their offspring can cause type 1 diabetes. Environmental factors such as viral infection can create room for type 1 diabetes. Research proves that viral infections such as the Human Enteroviruses (HEVs) associated with polio, can expose the beta-cells that produce insulin to attack the body’s immune system. This type of diabetes affects children more than adults (Nall, para. 2-4).
Causes of Type 2 Diabetes
T2DM is caused by risk factors such as unhealthy lifestyles, which contribute to being overweight or obese in most adults. Some unhealthy lifestyles include consuming processed foods with high sugar content that contribute to an increase in weight (Higuera & Lawler, para. 2-4). The failure to adhere to dietary recommendations is also a contributing factor to the development of diabetes in most adults. The high sugar, salt, and fat contents in most of the diets that adults consume contribute to obesity, and in expectant mothers, the probability of delivering obese children is high. Age can also be a causing factor of this type of disease since most older adults above 50 years engage in unhealthy lifestyles, especially after retiring (Higuera, V., & Lawler, para. 1).
Causes of Gestational Diabetes
Previous gestational diabetes during pregnancy can cause gestational diabetes in the future. Some causes of T2DM, such as obesity, can contribute to gestational diabetes, especially if an expectant mother is overweight. Age is another cause since older expectant mothers are likely to experience gestational diabetes due to unhealthy lifestyles that can cause the accumulation of fat deposits in the body and high blood pressure (Welch & Bennington-Castro, para. 3-4). Placental hormones such as growth hormones can also prevent pancreatic cells from producing sufficient insulin. Prediabetes can also contribute to the development of gestational diabetes since the body has signs of developing the health condition (Welch & Bennington-Castro, para. 2).
The general causes of the three forms of diabetes generally include unhealthy lifestyles such as consuming processed diets with high sugar and fat content, which contribute to hyperglycemia and are a health risk to many children and adults, including expectant mothers. This topic is essential to educate the general public on how to live healthy lifestyles through regular exercise and adhering to the recommended nutritional diets with low sugar, salt, and fat contents that can contribute to obesity.
NIDDK. (2019, March). Symptoms & Causes of Diabetes | NIDDK. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/symptoms-causes
Higuera, V., & Lawler, M. (2019, May 2). Type 2 Diabetes Complications: Heart Disease, Diabetic Retinopathy, Neuropathy, and More | Everyday Health. EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/treatment/type-2-diabetes-complications-heart-disease-diabetic-retinopathy-neuropathy-more/
Welch, A., & Bennington-Castro, J. (2020, December 3). What is gestational diabetes? Symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention | everyday health. EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/gestational-diabetes/guide/
Nall, R. (2021, November 30). Diabetes: Symptoms, treatment, prevention, and early diagnosis. Www.medicalnewstoday.com. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323627#type-1-diabetes