Diabetes is a disease which is often misunderstood. The causes of diabetes can vary so greatly that many people are not even aware they are at risk for the disease. But diabetes is one of the largest causes of death in the western world, so it is quite important to understand its causes so that it can be managed appropriately.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to properly produce and/or regulate the hormone insulin. This hormone secreted by the pancreas is responsible for regulating glucose in the human body. When insulin production is impaired or your body stops responding to it, sugar tends to build up in the blood stream and is not utilized efficiently for energy. This causes many problems in the body.
Let’s look at some of the contributing factors to the development of diabetes…
One of the main causes of diabetes includes a family history of the disease. If a close relative in a family is stricken with diabetes, other members are approximately ten percent more likely to become affected. This is due to the fact that within a family, many members have the same or similar body types.
Diabetes is more common in people who are above average weight. The more fat that is stored on the body, the more likely this body is to become resistant to insulin. Larger people also tend to require larger quantities of insulin to regulate blood sugar. This means that the pancreas has to work harder to achieve its goal of balance within the body.
Age is also a contributing factor when it comes to this disease. People over the age of forty-five are more likely to develop diabetes than younger people. There is a specific type of diabetes that is more common in young people, but only about ten percent of the population is affected. A much larger portion of adults over the age of forty-five are likely to have diabetes.
Poor Diet Choices & Lack Of Exercise
Diets that are high in processed wheat, flour and sugar are also thought to be a contributing factor for diabetes. Eating large meals which are high in sugar can cause the pancreas to push large amounts of insulin into the bloodstream at one time. This process becomes and up and down yo-yo of sugar and insulin within the body. Eventually, the pancreas is unable to keep up with the demand for insulin and the body becomes resistant.
What You Can Do To Prevent And Overcome Diabetes
A healthy diet and plenty of exercise are a great way to reduce your chances of getting this disease. People who maintain an ideal body weight and limit their intake of sugar can actually reverse some of the disease process. As diabetes progresses, more and more systems of the body become affected. This includes the circulatory system, vision and respiration and even healing factors.
Exercise and good nutrition slow the progression of diabetes and help to shield areas of the body from this damage. People with diabetes who are able to change their diet, begin exercising and quit smoking are much less likely to suffer from diabetes-related nerve damage or loss of vision. In fact, type 2 diabetes is one of the few diseases that can actually be completely reversed in many instances by taking the right steps.
Even though diabetes is considered a disease of heredity, there are many options to decrease a person’s chances of getting this terrible disease.