Millions of people have too sweet blood: they suffer from Diabetes. This means that your body no longer produces Insulin or no longer responds to the hormone. This has serious consequences. Because normally, Insulin transports the sugar from food into the cells, where it is immediately transformed into energy. If this is not the case, the permanently increased blood sugar level can destroy veins, nerves and kidneys in the long term.
Professionals distinguish between the more than half a dozen different variants of metabolic disease, which have different causes. However, the most common are Diabetes Type 1 and Diabetes Type 2, which are presented below. The pregnancy diabetes is also taken into account.
Diabetes Type 1
When the body fights itself
The importance of Insulin is shown especially when it is missing. This is exactly the case in people with Type 1 Diabetes. Your pancreas can no longer produce the hormone because the cells responsible for it, the Beta cells, are almost completely destroyed. The result: the blood sugar rises to a life-threatening value.
Responsible for the mass extinction of Beta cells is the immune system of people with Diabetes Type 1. The body’s defense does not recognize the Beta cells as part of the body, but classifies them as harmful invaders and destroys the supposed pests. Such a misguided body defense is often seen in childhood or adolescence. Diabetes Type 1 doctors therefore also call “Juvenile Diabetes”. However, it can occur in any age.
Measles viruses could be the triggers
Some people with Diabetes Type 1 carry a genetic predisposition for the disease, which they can also inherit. However, an additional trigger is likely to be required for it to break out or advance further.
Some scientists believe that a virus infection can cause the immune system to fail in such a way that it can no longer distinguish between its own cells and intruders. Suspicious germs include measles, Mumps and rubella viruses. The so-called Coxsackie viruses are also suspected of being able to manipulate the body’s defenses. These agents usually cause colds, but can also cause scalp and heart muscle inflammation.
Diabetes Type 2
Insulin works as a door-opener: The hormone ensures that the body’s cells can absorb sugar from the blood. However, people with Diabetes Type 2 Need More and more Insulin over the years to get the sugar into the cells, because their cells become less sensitive to the hormone over time – until they no longer react to it. Some researchers believe that the Beta cells in the pancreas no longer withstand the constant overexertion at some point and subsequently produce less or no Insulin. To stay in the picture: the cell door then remains closed. 90 percent of all Diabetics suffer from this Form of Diabetes.
Fast food and Trouble cells to blunt
If the cells no longer react to Insulin, this usually has two causes. On the one hand, in Diabetes Type 2, inheritance plays a major role. If a parent is ill, the risk for the child to also become ill is around 40 percent. If mother and father have both Diabetes Type 2, the risk for the child increases to 80 percent. Parents, however, do not just inherit a diabetic gene. In recent years, scientists have been able to identify various metabolic genes involved in the development of Type 2 Diabetes.
In addition, an unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to this disease. The main risks are:
Overweight, especially abdominal fat: men with a waist circumference of more than 102 centimetres have a three and a half times higher risk of becoming diabetic than men with a normal waist circumference.
Too little movement: those who sit a lot will increase faster. And Obesity, type 2 Diabetes.
Cigarettes: smokers have a double risk of becoming diabetic than non-smokers.
Poor rest: sleep disorders,snoring or breathing interruptions during sleep increase the likelihood of Diabetes Type 2. Because if the sleep-wake rhythm is disturbed, the body releases stress hormones. Such messengers make body cells quickly become insensitive to Insulin.
Another explanation for the emergence of Diabetes Type 2 has the Lübecker researcher Achim Peters. He suspects that Stress, frustration or sadness can also make diabetes. Mental stress can mess up the metabolism in the brain and lead to obesity and Diabetes. This theory is not yet proven, but would explain some bad habits.
It begins when the abdomen begins to become thick, and it usually ends when the Baby is there: three to seven percent of all pregnant women in central Europe develop a pregnancy diabetes due to an altered metabolism.
The cause of this diabetic form is probably hormones that are produced in particularly high amounts during pregnancy. These include the female hormones estrogen, progestin and the so-called placenta Lactogen.
In addition, some women during pregnancy often have cravings, so that they take especially a lot of sweet to themselves. To cope with the large amounts of sugar, the pancreas is pouring out more and more Insulin. In some women, the Organ does not follow production, in others, the cells no longer react to the hormone. The result in both cases: The blood sugar value shoots up.
The risk of pregnancy diabetes increases in women who are overweight, who have already experienced Diabetes in their families, who have often had miscarriages and who are older than 30 years in delivery. It also increases, if the women have already got a Baby with more than four kilos of birth weight or if they had already in a previous pregnancy too high blood sugar values.
Most of the time, everything normalizes after birth: the blood sugar level drops, the symptoms disappear. However, about half of all women with a pregnancy diabetes suffer from Type 2 Diabetes over the course of their lives, or more rarely from Type 1 Diabetes.
Other causes of Diabetes
There are about a dozen different forms of diabetes. However, compared to Diabetes Type 1, Type 2 and pregnancy diabetes, the other forms are very rare. Some are inherited, others are caused by inflammation or tumors.
In a Form, for example, sufferers suffer from a certain genetic defect in the Beta cells of the pancreas. As a result, they produce too little Insulin. If other genetic fragments are damaged, there is enough Insulin, but the hormone misses its effect because the cells do not react to the messenger. This can also cause diabetes.
If the pancreas is inflamed for a long time or if a Tumor is growing in it, the source of insulin can also dry up. And if the insulin-producing Beta cells are already damaged, some drugs can make this even worse: then a weak insulin budget becomes a real shortage economy. The result: untreated, the blood sugar level rises to a dangerously high level.