Causes of Diabetes, Is Diabetes Genetic or Environmental

Published: 15th June 2009
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If you have been paying attention to the news at all, you know that diabetes is quickly becoming one of the most common ailments in the United States and many parts of Europe. Some have even said that the prevalence is reaching epidemic proportions. Why? What causes diabetes?

We know that diabetes develops as a result of your body's cells not getting enough insulin (a hormone which helps convert blood sugar/glucose into energy). This is usually because your pancreas fails to generate enough insulin or because your body's cells start to resist insulin. Although we know what leads to the development of diabetes we do not currently know why this happens in certain individuals and not others.

One of the questions that needs to be answered first is; "is diabetes hereditary?" this will help researchers develop treatment programs that can help prevent or cure this killer disease. While researchers are still not clear as to what causes diabetes there are many factors they have identified that provide a common link in the diabetes question.

Another factor is the inappropriate diet. If you eat too much sugar, proteins, fats and refined carbohydrates, which transform into sugar, you can unleash the diabetes. Studies have shown that in the poor countries, people are not affected of diabetes in such a large number because they do not overeat. The most dangerous stuff is: biscuits, chocolate, bread, cookies, candies, pudding and ice-cream.

There are some common diabetes causes that include genetic causes as well as environmental causes. The risk of diabetes is higher if there is a family history of diabetes. Environmental factors that can lead to the onset of diabetes include poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, and stress. Diabetes is a disease that can be prevented -or controlled once a diagnosis has been made.

Obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes, but both populations were similarly obese. About eight percent of the Pima men and 20 percent the Pima women suffered from obesity. However, the Mexican Pimas were far more active than the American ones and ate far fewer refined carbohydrates. This study show that diabetes is more an environmental disease than just a genetic one. Your genes determine how you respond to the environment

The leading cause of diabetes, however, is being overweight. When you are overweight, your body becomes more resistant to insulin. This is particularly true if your BMI, or Body Mass Index, is greater than 30%. If you don't know your BMI, measure your waist. If you are female and your waist is bigger than 35 inches, or if you are male and your waist is bigger than 40 inches, you are at risk of developing diabetes.

Frequent smoking can eventually lead to diabetes. Stress is also a major factor. The body's metabolism is directly influenced by its lifestyle. This includes the amount of daily stress; grief, and excessive worrying, that can cause the metabolism to react differently to insulin and the person to become a diabetic.

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