There are many different causes of diabetes. Some belief causes of diabetes are hereditary related while others may think diabetes is caused by unhealthy lifestyle, diet. In medical terms the causes of diabetes can be summarised as the abnormal functioning of the pancreas. Either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body does not respond to insulin. When this happens, glucose builds up in the blood that becomes toxic to nerves and blood vessels and at the same time the cells are starved of its energy supply and could not function well resulting in diabetes.
The beta cells in the pancreas are the ones making insulin – a peptide hormone that regulates carbohydrate metabolism. Normally, when there is a spike of blood sugar after eating a meal, the beta cells are activated to release insulin that will help the cells in the body absorb and use glucose for energy. Hormone production is reduced when the insulin-producing beta cells are damaged and destroyed by autoimmune disease as in the case of Type 1 diabetes or by invading bacteria and viruses.
Type 2 diabetes usually caused by obesity is an underlying cause for the abnormal functioning of the pancreas. In particular, the increase of adipose fatty tissues or excess abdominal fat – this is also known as central obesity – most often leads to insulin resistance, a condition that makes cells non-responsive to insulin. These fatty tissues can trigger a host of biochemical reactions in the body that inhibits cellular response to insulin and hastens the development of diabetes.
Although genetic susceptibility is currently being studied as a risk factor for developing diabetes, current understanding is limited to the role of genes on the rate of glucose metabolism among various ethnic groups and not yet as a particularly identified gene-defect or gene-specific disease. Other risks factors are being identified as diabetes causes, such as lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, vitamin deficiency, certain medications, and environmental toxins.