Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar levels. When the insulin production in the body is hampered or the body is unable to utilise it properly, the blood sugar level in the blood increases, causing the person to suffer from diabetes. Sometimes, the symptoms may take some time to appear, which may delay the treatment causing more harm to the body. So, regular checkups, a healthy lifestyle, and consultations with the doctor are necessary.
With the changing lifestyle, many people are getting affected by diabetes. When diabetes is not controlled, it may lead to severe health complications, including multiple organ failures. The effects of diabetes get severe as time passes, so it is always recommended to check the blood sugar level and understand what causes diabetes.
What is Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease where the pancreas stops producing insulin or the body is not able to properly utilise the insulin being produced, leading to a rise in blood sugar levels. Sugar is found in the body as glucose, and when it is not utilised through insulin, it causes severe damage to the body.
When a person eats something, digestion breaks down the food into different nutrients. When carbohydrates are taken, it is broken down into glucose, which requires a catalyst to take it to its final destination. That catalyst is insulin, and when the body stops producing it, the glucose keeps depositing, increasing the blood sugar level in the body.
Causes of Diabetes
What causes diabetes? Let us have a look at them in detail.
- Type 1 diabetes – Type 1 diabetes is seen mainly because of family genetics. But doctors are still not sure about the cause of type 1 diabetes. Something attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells causing the blood sugar level to rise.
- Type 2 diabetes – Type 2 diabetes is a combination of genes and an unhealthy lifestyle. Being on the heavier side increases the risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes as the cells become more resistant to insulin effects because of the fat around the belly.
- Gestational diabetes – Gestational diabetes is caused because of hormonal changes during pregnancy. The placenta produces certain hormones that block insulin’s effects, causing high blood sugar during pregnancy.
For any type of diabetes, it is essential to maintain a good diet and consult a doctor regularly.
Who gets affected by diabetes?
Different factors could affect people with diabetes. So let us look at them in detail.
Type 1 diabetes
- Family history of type 1 diabetes
- Injury to the pancreas that produces insulin
- Presence of autoantibodies that attacks the body’s tissues or organs
- Physical stress
- Exposure to certain illnesses caused by viruses
Type 2 diabetes
- Family history of type 2 or pre-diabetes
- Having high blood pressure
- Having low HDL cholesterol and high triglyceride level
- Physically not active
- Above the age of 45. But this may not always be the cause as younger people are also affected by type 2 diabetes
- History of heart disease
- An active smoker
- Have suffered gestational diabetes or have given birth to a baby over 4 kgs
- Being overweight during pregnancy
- Family history of type 2 or pre-diabetes
Symptoms of Diabetes
After understanding what causes diabetes, let’s look at the symptoms of diabetes. Some symptoms may differ between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. For example, some people with type 2 diabetes do not feel the signs in the early stage, but those with type 1 feel it comes to them quickly. Let us look at the symptoms of diabetes.
- Increased thirst and hunger
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss
- Presence of ketones in the urine
- Blurred vision
- Frequent infections
- Gums or skin infections
- Vaginal infections
When someone faces these symptoms regularly, one should consult a doctor. The doctors would prescribe specific tests and medications, diet, and other lifestyle changes to keep diabetes in check.
Sometimes, people suffer from low blood sugar, otherwise known as hypoglycaemia. In this case, the blood sugar level drops below the prescribed level, causing a certain amount of damage to the body. So let us look at some of the low sugar symptoms.
- Excessive sweating
- Increased hunger
- Tingling lips
- Faster or pounding heartbeat
- Sudden mood changes like getting irritated, emotional, angry, anxious, or moody
- Turning pale
People should be aware of the causes of diabetes and should know the symptoms to look out for. If the symptoms continue for a long time, they should consult a doctor. Sometimes the symptoms are not recognisable, causing a delay in identifying the disease. The causes for type 1 and 2 are different, but the symptoms are more or less similar. However, there are some low sugar symptoms that should also be observed. So, it is always advisable to undergo annual health checkups to identify any issues in the body.