What causes Diabetes Mellitus?
Whilst the different types of diabetes share a number of common symptoms, the causes of each type of diabetes can vary quite considerably.
Note that there is a subtle difference between causes and risk factors. For example, high blood pressure is a condition closely linked with type 2 diabetes that is a risk factor but not an actual cause.
Read more on diabetes causes below:
Causes of type 1 diabetes
A reliable cause of type 1 diabetes has yet to be proven by research although there are some strong candidates that have been proposed.
Researchers believe that type 1 diabetes results from a genetic susceptibility plus one or more environmental factors that trigger the start of the disease.
Environmental factors that have been hypothesized include:
- Viral infection
- Low exposure to vitamin D
- Early introduction of cow’s milk
Causes of type 2 diabetes
A lot of research has gone into understanding what causes type 2 diabetes to develop and a number causal factors are known.
Obesity is a particularly strong risk factor and research indicates that it is indeed one of the causes of the condition.
However, there are also a number of other factors which have been shown to be contributing factors, including:
- Genetic susceptibility
- Prolonged high dose usage of certain medications, such as corticosteroids
Causes of gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes which occurs during pregnancy and usually recedes after the pregnancy is over.
The principal cause of gestational diabetes is down to higher levels of certain hormones produced by the placenta which lead to a decreased sensitivity to insulin.
Research has linked gestational diabetes with increased incidence of type 2 diabetes and so those at greater risk of type 2 diabetes are also more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
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Last reviewed: March 3, 2015 at 14:51
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