Diabetes Type 2 Causes
What are the Causes of Diabetes Type 2?
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The epidemic rise in the prevalence of diabetes is associated with aging populations, cultural and social changes effecting dietary habits, physical activity levels and increasing urbanization. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. Early on in the disease process, the body no longer handles the amount of glucose eaten throughout the day. A combination of factors are involved:
- The pancreas slowly begins to not produce enough insulin
- The liver releases glucose when it should not
- The cells throughout the body cannot take in the glucose to relieve the blood stream of its extra glucose load.
Pre-diabetes is often referred to as borderline diabetes, “a touch of sugar”, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. A diagnosis of pre-diabetes is a sign that the body is not processing glucose well enough to have normal glucose levels and abnormal levels lead to some cell damage.
Type 2 diabetes generally occurs in adults but, due to the rise in obesity in all ages, is occurring in children as well. The increased incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in children may be due to the effect of High Fructose Corn Syrup, a engineered sweetener found prevalently in soft drinks. This form of diabetes begins with the individual exhibiting slightly higher than normal blood glucose levels after eating. It can be many years before the fasting blood glucose ever appears above normal. An abnormal fasting blood glucose level will result in a diagnosis of diabetes. However, at the time a person's fasting blood glucose level is found to be abnormal they have had years and years of silent toxic levels of glucose coarsing through their veins. As insulin levels drop the body is also resisting the action of the existing insulin, a state called insulin resistance. The combination of less than optimal insulin and it’s resistance at the cell level results in higher blood glucose levels. The high levels of glucose continue to be toxic throughout the body’s delicate cellular system.
Additionally, the anti-seizure medicine valporate (brand name: Depakote) used to treat mania in adults (and sometimes children) can cause obesity and diabetes along with PCOS.
The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) concluded in 2002 found that when a person with pre-diabetes made lifestyle changes (modest weight loss and increased physical activity) their risk for developing type 2 diabetes was sharply reduced by 58%.
- Fonseca, V.A. (2006). Clinical Diabetes: Translating Research into Practice. Philidelphia: Saunders.