Diabetes mellitus commonly called as Diabetes, currently affects more than 62 million Indians which contribute to more than 7.2% of the world’s adult population. Studies have also reported that nearly 1 million Indians die because of this dreadful disease every year.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that causes high blood sugar. In the disease, either body doesn’t make enough insulin or body is unable to utilize the excessively produced insulin. If the disease is left untreated, it may further cause damage to the nerves, eyes, kidneys and other vital organs.
Different types of Diabetes mellitus
• Type 1 diabetes mellitus
• Type 2 diabetes mellitus
• Gestational diabetes
What causes type 1 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune diseases. When the body’s immune system itself destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of pancreas, it leads to Type 1 diabetes. It is believed that Type 1 is caused by genes and environmental factors.
What causes type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes which happens due to lifestyle habits and genes. Factors like physical inactivity and obesity also contributes to this type of diabetes.
• Overweight and physical inactivity
If you are physically inactive and have obesity, Type 2 diabetes is most likely to occur. People with extra weight will suffer from insulin resistance and is common in diabetes type 2. Extra fat in the belly also adds to this problem because it is directly linked to insulin resistance.
• Insulin resistance
This is a condition where the liver, muscles and other cells is unable to utilize the insulin secreted. Because of this body will demand more insulin to facilitate glucose enter the cells. As a result, pancreas secretes insulin in high level. Over a period of time, pancreas fail to make enough insulin and the glucose levels in the blood rises.
• Genes and family history
Hereditary factor also contributes to the development of Type 2 diabetes. As in Type 1 diabetes, genes also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
What causes gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy when the pancreas cannot make enough insulin. This is very common and occurs due to changes in hormonal variations, genetic factors and life style factors.
The hormones produced by placenta contributes to insulin resistance, which is common in all women in the last trimester. Most of the pregnant women has the capability to overcome the resistance to insulin, but few cannot.
If the pregnant lady is overweight, they can easily develop insulin resistance. Gaining too much weight is a risk factor during the time of pregnancy.
Other causes are
• Genetic mutations – this leads to less production of insulin by the pancreas.
• Cystic fibrosis – this condition produces scars on the pancreas which prevents pancreas to make enough insulin.
• Hemochromatosis – this condition leads to storage of more iron in the body. Increased level of pancreas can cause damage to pancreas as well as other organs.
• Hormonal diseases – Excess production of hormones leads to insulin resistance and diabetes.
• Cushing’s syndrome
• Any damage caused or removal of the pancreas
• Pancreatic cancer
• Long term consumption of medicines like anti-seizure drugs, psychiatric drugs, pentamidine etc.
• Excessive usage of statins (used to treat bad cholesterol levels) can increase the risks of developing diabetes.
• Increased sensation of thirst and urination
• Sudden increase in hunger
• Blurred vision
• Tingling sensation in the feet or hands
• Numbness to the extremities
• Unexplained weight loss
• Wounds take more time to heal.