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What Causes Diabetes? What You Need to Know

A burning question arises as cases of diabetes ramp up: what causes diabetes? It was commonly thought that type 2 diabetes was caused by eating too much sugar, but research has shown it’s not as simple as that. Here are some possible causes of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 Causes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system destroys the cells of the pancreas that make insulin. Some of the causes of type 1 diabetes could be:

  • Viral or bacterial infection
  • Chemical toxins within our food
  • A disturbance of microorganisms in the gut
  • An unidentified factor that causes an autoimmune reaction
  • A family history of type 1
  • Genetics
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Type 2 Causes

Type 2 diabetes, when your body is insulin-resistant or doesn’t produce enough insulin, usually has more than one cause. Possible causes and risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Obesity
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Being older
  • Eating an unhealthy diet
  • Having a family history of diabetes
  • Having high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels
  • Smoking
  • Genetic mutations

Other causes of diabetes

Other causes of diabetes include:

  • Problems with the pancreas such as pancreatitis or pancreatectomy.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  • Cushing’s syndrome, which leads to an increase in cortisol, which in turn increases blood glucose levels.
  • Acromegaly, a hormonal condition in which the body makes too much growth hormone. This can lead to weight gain and diabetes.
  • Hyperthyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, leading to excessive weight gain and diabetes.
  • Glucagonoma, which causes an imbalance between levels of insulin production and glucagon production.
  • Steroid diabetes, which can occur due to long-term using of glucocorticoid therapy.
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Many Factors

As you can see, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have many causes and risk factors. There isn’t just one clear-cut cause of diabetes. Until researchers discover more about what causes diabetes, it’s important to follow your doctor’s plan for managing your diabetes and to live a healthy lifestyle.