Up to 100 million Americans will suffer from diabetes in the course of their lives.
But what is diabetes and what causes it?
The Two Types Of Diabetes
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.
They are both very different diseases though they both affect the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar.
So, let’s look at them separately.
What Is Type 1 Diabetes And What Causes It?
Type 1 diabetes tends to come on early in life, though there are rare cases in which it may turn up in adulthood, and what causes it is something of a mystery.
The end result, however, is that the body’s immune system turns on the insulin-producing cells that are in the pancreas.
As insulin is the chemical in the body responsible for breaking down blood sugar, without it, the sugar builds up in the bloodstream and can cause severe health problems.
What Is Type 2 Diabetes And What Causes It?
Type 2 diabetes is often called “adult onset” diabetes, because it tends to come on later in life and for a long time, nobody understood what caused Type 2 diabetes either.
However, research at Newcastle University in the UK in recent years has shown it is caused by the buildup of fatty deposits which press on the pancreas.
It is worth noting that while obese people are most at risk from Type 2 diabetes, you do not have to be obese to develop such fatty deposits.
The end result, however, is that your body’s cells become resistant to insulin and this makes it hard to break down blood sugar.
And due to the pressure on the pancreas, the pancreas is unable to increase the production of insulin to help reduce the amount of sugar in the sufferer’s blood.
What Are The Symptoms Of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?
Because both types of diabetes lead to the same end result – too much sugar in your blood, the symptoms of the conditions are similar (though they may vary from individual to individual).
The symptoms include:
- High levels of thirst even when drinking plenty of water
- High levels of urination
- High levels of hunger
- You may lose weight without any clear reason for doing so
- Ketones in the urine (this is because your body starts to break down the proteins and fats in your body when it can’t break down blood sugar for energy)
- Blurred Vision
- Slow healing sores
- Regular infections (in your gums, skin or vagina)
What Should You Do If You Suspect You Have Diabetes?
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of diabetes, you should immediately consult your physician.
Some of these symptoms may be “prediabetic” and it is easier to learn how to prevent diabetes than it is to learn how to cure diabetes.
It is also worth noting that in the long-term diabetes can be very damaging to the body and can cause heart problems, cancers and more.
The earlier you get a diagnosis the easier it is to manage and treat.
Final Thoughts On What Is Diabetes And What Causes It?
Diabetes is the presence of high levels of sugar in your blood that is not being broken down by insulin.
There are two types of Diabetes but both result in similar problems.
While you cannot avoid type 1 diabetes as we do not know what causes it, you can both prevent and cure type 2 diabetes and it’s worth doing so.