Causes of Diabetes Mellitus


Many different factors may play a role in the development of the disease commonly known as diabetes. We will discuss the Causes of Diabetes Mellitus and Treatments.

The medical term for diabetes is diabetes mellitus or DM.

Diabetes mellitus is the term used when a person experiences impaired glucose tolerance. Glucose, or sugar, may become elevated in the bloodstream if the hormone insulin fails to allow body cells to absorb the glucose.

Anything which affects the production or effectiveness of insulin is a factor in the development of diabetes.

Causes of diabetes may be either genetic or environmental, or they may even be a combination of both genetic and environmental factors.

Normal Insulin Function

Insulin is largely in charge of regulating the metabolism of glucose, or sugar, within the body. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas, an organ in the endocrine system.

Proper insulin function is vital to maintaining normal glucose levels in the bloodstream. With the aid of insulin, glucose is taken up and absorbed by cells in the body.

Cells in the liver, fat, and muscle tissue take up glucose from the bloodstream and store it as glycogen; glycogen functions as stored energy within the body. Glycogen is used when blood glucose levels get low.


Pathophysiology of Diabetes

In order to come to an understanding of what causes diabetes, it is important to understand the physical manifestations of the disease in relation to underlying physiological disturbances.

Pathophysiology of Diabetes

Normally, as a result of increased glucose in the bloodstream, insulin is released via beta cells which are found in the Islets located in the Langerhans portion of the pancreas.

People with diabetes experience either insufficient insulin production or a lack of insulin response. As a result, glucose is not properly absorbed by the body cells.

Metabolic disturbances can then occur such as higher than normal blood glucose levels, lack of proper protein synthesis, as well as ketoacidosis; ketoacidosis is characterized by a build-up of ketone bodies which are formed by the breakdown of both fatty and amino acids in response to the need for a respiratory substrate.

Glucose in the blood may rise above the renal threshold which is usually 10 mmol/L.

Once beyond the renal threshold, glucose cannot be reabsorbed by the kidneys, therefore resulting in sugar in the urine, or glycosuria. Glycosuria leads to inhibited water reabsorption by the kidneys.

This is evident with an increased need to urinate, or polyuria. This increased fluid loss causes dehydration and thirst.


Causes of Diabetes

We now know what diabetes is and how it works, but what causes this disease? Each of the three main types of disease has different causes. The most known types of diabetes mellitus are type 1, type 2, and gestational.

Type 1 Diabetes Causes

Type 1 diabetes is classified as insulin-deficient diabetes.


This form of diabetes appears to result from a genetic predisposition for the disease plus environmental factors which destroy the body’s ability to produce sufficient insulin.

These environmental factors may include autoimmune responses triggered by a virus such as

German measles

The autoimmune response against cow’s milk proteins

Deficient vitamin D production in early childhood.


Type 2 Diabetes Causes

Type 2 diabetes is classified as insulin resistant diabetes.

causes of diabetes mellitus

Both genetics and lifestyle factors have a negative effect on the body’s insulin response.

Factors which contribute to the causes of type 2 diabetes include

Poor Diet

Sedentary Lifestyle

Chronic Obesity


High Cholesterol

Metabolic Syndrome

Childhood obesity


Alcohol Consumption.


Gestational Diabetes Causes

Gestational diabetes is classified as pregnancy diabetes due to the fact that this form of the disease is only present during pregnancy.

Gestational Diabetes Causes

Gestational diabetes is caused by impaired glucose tolerance in response to pregnancy.

Factors that are the main causes of Gestational Diabetes include

Having the disease in a previous pregnancy

A family history of type 2 diabetes

Advanced maternal age, ethnic background


A previous high birth weight pregnancy


PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

Don’t hesitate to speak with your physician if you have any of the risk factors associated with the development of diabetes. Diabetes is a serious medical condition with many adverse effects on the body.


Also Read: Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus

Causes of Diabetes in Brief

In most cases, the precise cause of diabetes is not clear. There are a number of different reasons that may be responsible for the disease.

Each year research is conducted that finds new links that were not known before. Even though the precise cause of diabetes mellitus may not be known, there are different risk factors that can be directly linked to the two types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes Cause Factors

The first kind, Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that results in the destruction of beta cells.

The pancreas stops producing insulin in the body altogether.


Risk factors may include a genetic link, a poor diet, or even a virus from the environment. During childhood, for instance, severe illness can cause the cells in the pancreas to be attacked by the immune system.

This can lead to an insulin deficiency, which can become the cause of Type 1 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes Cause Factors

The second kind, Type 2 diabetes, occurs when the body produces insulin, but cannot effectively utilize it. It is fewer called as Adult-onset Diabetes.

stress main cause of diabetes

It usually develops in middle-age and most commonly occurs among those who are obese, have had a family history of diabetes, or among those who have had gestational diabetes.

Other causes for Type 2 diabetes include high blood pressure, a diet that’s high in fat, high alcohol intake, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Although heredity plays a major role in diabetes, there are precautions that people can take to overcome many of the risk factors.

Diet, for example, should be monitored.

Eating too many fats, carbohydrates, or even protein can be bad for the body.

Eating too much can stop the pancreas from performing insulin secretion.

Therefore, it is essential to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Exercise is also required on a daily basis.

Those who are obese or overweight have a much greater chance to develop diabetes.

Exercising regularly, along with a healthy diet, can greatly reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

Another risk factor that can be avoided is smoking.

People who smoke frequently can be highly susceptible to developing diabetes.

Diabetic patients that keep smoking also have a much higher chance for premature death than those who do not smoke. So, it is important to not light up.


A final risk factor to avoid is emotional stress. People tend to live busy lives that can be extremely high-stressed. This can deeply influence the body’s metabolism, though.

Things such as grief, anxiety, and worry can alter blood sugar levels and that can become the main cause of diabetes. So, it is crucial to reduce stress from daily routine whenever u get time.

Other risk factors that cannot necessarily be avoided include race and age. Certain ethnicity’s, such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Japanese Americans, are on higher risk in developing Type 2 diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.

As for age, as one grows older, their chance to develop diabetes increases. Those above forty-five years have a higher chance than those that are younger.

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