What we call diabetes is actually characterized by the body’s inability to control its blood sugar levels. High blood sugar is known as hyperglycemia and is controlled by the hormone insulin, and therefore diabetes interferes with the creation and secretion of insulin.
[Read: Who is at Risk for Diabetes]
There are three types of diabetes that have been found, and these disrupt the normal secretion of insulin in different ways. These are known as Diabetes type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes, we will take them one by one.
The type 1 diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin; this insulin is needed to control the amount of glucose in the blood. When you eat food, your digestive system breaks down the food and it passes the nutrients into the bloodstream.
The pancreas which is a small gland behind the stomach usually produces insulin and this then transfers any glucose out of the blood and into the cells, and here it is converted into energy. In type 1 diabetes the pancreas is unable to produce any insulin, and therefore the glucose cannot be moved out of the bloodstream into the cells.
A combination of genetic position and additional factors which are yet to be identified, provoke the above mentioned situation.
[Read: Ways to Control Type 1 Diabetes]
The type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not really produce enough insulin in order to maintain the normal blood glucose level, or so the body is unable to use the insulin that is produced, this is called insulin resistance.
There are several reasons for which the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin in type 2 diabetes. These are as follows:
• Age: your chances of getting type 2 diabetes increases with the increase in age, this can be due to the fact that with age people tend to gain weight and become less active with age. Also it gets difficult to maintain a balanced diet.
• Genetics: one of the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes, you increase the risk if your close relative like a parent, brother or sister is too suffering from type 2 diabetes. A child whose parent has type 2 diabetes has a one-third chance of developing it.
• Overweight: being overweight puts you at a greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes, and this is especially true for people who have fat around the abdomen. It releases the chemicals that can upset the body's cardiovascular and metabolic systems.
Now because the type 2 is about insulin resistance, no matter how much or how little insulin is made the body can’t use it. Overtime, the excess sugar in the blood slowly poisons the pancreas causing it to make less insulin.
[Read: How to Control Type 2 Diabetes]
This is the type of diabetes that happens during pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones to sustain the pregnancy. These hormones make the cells even more resistant to insulin, and as the placenta grows larger in the second and third trimesters, it secrets more of these hormones. Therefore, this makes it even harder for the insulin to do its job.
Your pancreas responds by producing extra insulin in order to overcome the resistance, but at times it can’t keep up. This results in too little glucose to go into the cells and too much stays in the blood; this is known as gestational diabetes.
Read more articles on Diabetes Causes and Risks