Scientists find new causes of type 2 diabetes

Credit: Unsplash+

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose).

It’s a common disease, but its development can be influenced by a variety of factors ranging from genetics to lifestyle choices.

Understanding these causes can help in preventing, managing, and potentially reversing the condition. This review breaks down the common causes of type 2 diabetes in simple, easy-to-understand language.

Genetics: Family history plays a significant role in type 2 diabetes. If you have a parent or sibling with the disease, your risk of developing it is substantially higher.

Researchers have identified various genes that affect insulin production and glucose metabolism, which might contribute to the development of diabetes.

However, having these genes doesn’t mean you’re destined to develop the condition; lifestyle factors also have a large impact.

Weight: Being overweight is one of the most significant risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Excess fat, particularly when it’s carried around the abdomen, can increase the body’s resistance to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar.

More than 85% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Fat cells, especially those in abdominal fat, release pro-inflammatory chemicals that can make the body less sensitive to insulin.

Physical Inactivity: Regular physical activity helps control weight, uses up glucose as energy, and makes cells more sensitive to insulin. Lack of exercise is a major contributor to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Physical activity also helps muscle cells use blood glucose for energy and muscle contraction. If you’re inactive, you tend to gain weight, which increases your risk of developing diabetes.

Poor Diet: A diet high in calories, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Foods with a high glycemic index (which cause blood sugar levels to spike quickly) can lead to increased fat storage and weight gain. Diets low in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables but high in processed meats and unhealthy fats can also increase risk.

Age: Although type 2 diabetes can develop at any age, the risk increases as you grow older, particularly after age 45. This is often associated with decreased physical activity, loss of muscle mass, and increased body fat as you age.

Ethnicity: Certain ethnic groups, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans, have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes. The reasons might include both genetic and environmental factors.

Insulin Resistance: This is a critical aspect of type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance occurs when cells in muscles, body fat, and the liver start resisting or ignoring the signal that insulin is trying to send out—which is to grab glucose out of the bloodstream and put it into our cells.

As a result, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter cells. Over time, the pancreas can’t make enough insulin to keep blood glucose at normal levels.

Hormonal Changes: Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women can increase the risk of diabetes. PCOS is associated with insulin resistance and obesity.

High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol: These conditions often occur together with type 2 diabetes and can complicate the management of all conditions if they occur simultaneously.

History of Gestational Diabetes: Women who have had diabetes during pregnancy or who have given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Preventing type 2 diabetes involves a combination of making lifestyle changes, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and monitoring your blood glucose levels if you’re at risk.

While genetics play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, lifestyle modifications can significantly decrease the risk of its onset.

For those already diagnosed, these changes can mitigate the impact of the disease and lead to better overall health management. Understanding these factors can empower individuals to make informed decisions about their health.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies that flaxseed oil is more beneficial than fish oil to people with diabetes, and green tea could help reduce death risk in diabetes.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that blueberries strongly benefit people with metabolic syndrome, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.