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Causes of Diabetes

The body’s immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. A predisposition to develop Type I diabetes may run in families, but genetic causes are much more common for Type II diabetes. Environmental factors, including common unavoidable viral infections, may also contribute. Type I diabetes is most common in people of non-Hispanic, Northern European descent, followed by African Americans, and Hispanic Americans. It is relatively rare in those of Asian descent. Type I diabetes is slightly more common in men than in women. Type II diabetes tends to run in families.

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Several genes have been identified and more are under study which may relate to the causes of Type II diabetes. Risk factors for developing Type II diabetes are, high blood pressure, high blood triglyceride (fat) levels, gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds, high alcohol intake and obesity or being overweight. Ethnicity, particularly when a close relative had Type II diabetes or gestational diabetes: certain groups, such as African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Japanese Americans, have a greater risk of developing Type II diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.

Increasing age is a significant risk factor for Type II diabetes. Risk begins to rise significantly at about age 45 years, and rises considerably after age 65 years. Type II diabetes, caused by the body being insulin resistant. This type of diabetes occurs gradually and is often associated with obesity. Most Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have Type II diabetes. Gestational diabetes is similar to Type II diabetes and affects some pregnant women. It is cause by the body being unable to use insulin appropriately. Gestational diabetes is when changing hormones and weight gain are part of a healthy pregnancy.

But both changes make it hard for your body to keep up with its need for a hormone. When that happens, your body doesn’t get the energy it needs from the food you eat. Diabetes glucose levels fall outside the normal range. A normal glucose reading is lower than 110 mg/dL upon waking in the morning and lower than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating. There are simple blood tests that are used to diagnose diabetes. Once diagnosed, a person will work with their doctor to determine a treatment plan. Treatments can include diet changes, pills, or injections.

All can cause harmful effects on the body if not taken care of. Long term effects of diabetes are usually due to a patient letting their glucose levels remain elevated for long periods of time. That is why early detection is important. Excess blood sugar levels have a horrible effect on the body. Some common effects from diabetes include vision problems or loss, kidney damage, nerve damage, circulation and heart problems. A person with diabetes is at a higher risk for these types of conditions, but a person who does not control their diabetes is even more likely to develop one of these conditions or even death.

There are currently many organizations and companies out there that are finding new and better ways to treat and fight diabetes. With the new technologies coming and better understanding of the disease and the conditions that cause diabetes, we can only hope that one day diabetes will be a disease of the past. With more than 29. 3 millions people (whether they know they have it or not) in the United States with diabetes and the third leading cause of death in the United States, we need to develop new and better ways in treating this disease and hopefully one day find a cure for it.

The effects of the disease and not listening to my doctor when I was first diagnosed, was a very hard lesson for me to learn. I was first treated with pills. Now a few years later, I still take a couple of pills and I just started taking insulin. I never took this disease as a joke but, I wish I had been more serious about diabetes in the beginning. Now the long term effect of this disease could be knocking at my door.

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