Overall, diabetes comprises of several metabolic disorders that are characterized with the phenotype of hyperglycemia. This chronic disease is believed to be causes by a complex interaction of environmental factors, genetics and life-style choices (Tabish, 2007). However, it is worth noting that the causes exhibit variation depending with the type of diabetes. As such, a common diabetes cause for all the types of the illness has not yet been identified. Therefore, causes of diabetes can be said to be specific to each type of the disease, as well as the genetic nature of individuals. For instance, causes of type 1 diabetes differ considerably from those of type 2 diabetes. Similarly, the causes of gestational diabetes are distinct from those of other types of diabetes. Overall, the causes can be grouped depending with the type of diabetes involved. Therefore, this paper provides a comprehensive review on the causes and effects of diabetes on body systems.
Causes of Diabetes
1. Causes of Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 disease is usually caused by autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. In this type of diabetes, the immune system mounts immune response against insulin-producing β-cells, and this leads to the impairment of glucose regulation in the body (Sepa, Wahlberg, Vaarala, Frodi & Ludvigsson, 2005). According to clinical studies, there are several factors that may trigger the observed autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes. Foremost, it is predicted that an underlying genetic disposition may be responsible for most cases of type diabetes. This cause is related to gene alterations and chromosomal translocation that affect insulin-producing proteins. The second factor that may trigger the onset of type 1 diabetes is bacterial or viral infections. Moreover, chemical toxins in the environment and food are believed to be some of the triggers of autoimmune reactions in type 1 diabetes.
2. Causes of Type 2 Diabetes
In theory, it is apparent that the causes of type 2 diabetes are multifactorial. This is to imply that there are many causes involved. However, genetic factors are the principal causes of the disease. This conclusion has been reached because type 2 diabetes runs within family line in most cases. There are also other risk factors that increase the chances of developing this type of diabetes. Some of these factors include obesity, sedentary lifestyle, age, and poor nutrition.
Obesity has always been associated with the increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes. Ordinarily, the pathophysiology of obesity involved impaired glucose metabolism, and this leads to the onset of diabetes. On the other hand, sedentary lifestyle predisposes people to type 2 diabetes due to lack of physical activity. Similarly, the lack of a prudent diet increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. For instance, a high calorie dietary regime with low fibers and fruits, as well as high sodium causes the disease.
3. Causes of Gestational Diabetes
This type of diabetes occurs during pregnancy and its causes remain unknown. However, several risk factors have been identified. Some of these factors include family history, overweight or obesity, and polycystic ovary syndrome. Large baby weight, especially above 9lb has been found to increase the risk of gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
4. Disease-induced Causes of Diabetes
Clinical studies reveal the link between the development of diabetes with some diseases and therapies. For instance, pancreatitis and pancreatectomy are known to cause diabetes. Similarly, Cushing’s syndrome causes diabetes through increasing the production of cortisol which in turn increases blood glucose levels. It is also believed that glucagonoma causes diabetes due hormonal imbalance, especially the control of insulin and glucagon production in the body. Finally, steroid diabetes (steroid-induced diabetes) develops in patients who have been on glucocorticoid therapy for prolonged treatment (Hwang & Weiss, 2014).