Causes and Symptoms of Diabetes

Many people have a misconception that eating too much sugar causes diabetes. In fact it does not. It is just the inability of the body to process/manage sugar levels in the blood.

Causes of diabetes

  • Though the causes for Type 1 diabetes (click here to know about the types of diabetes) are not clear but few studies have shown that genetic and environmental factors like viruses, exposure to food borne toxins etc., may lead to this condition.
  • In Type 2, lifestyle and genetic factors play a major role. Sedentary lifestyle, obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, poor diet, and genetics are main causes of Type 2 diabetes.
  • Risks of developing pre-diabetes are overweight, hereditary, women having gestational diabetes during pregnancy, high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.
  • Causes of Gestational diabetes include family history of diabetes, increasing maternal age, obesity.

Signs and symptoms
If you are around 35-40 years and if you do have blood relatives who have suffered/are suffering from diabetes, then you have to be conscious about your health. Here are few symptoms of diabetes which are worth knowing in order to detect diabetes as early as possible.

  • Tiredness: Due to the lack of insulin production, body cells do not receive glucose, which makes them to metabolize fat in order to gain energy. Metabolizing fat requires more energy compared to glucose. Hence, body goes in negative calorie effect which results in fatigue or tiredness.
  • Frequent urination: When there is too much of glucose in the blood the body tries to dilute it with water. It draws extra water from the blood in order to dilute the glucose leading to frequent urination.
  • Increased thirst: This could be a result of frequent urination. Since more water is required to dilute excess glucose we feel thirstier.
  • Weight loss: Reduced weight can be found in the people with type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, since the pancreas discontinues producing insulin, body cells depend on muscle fats for energy, which leads to sudden weight fall.
  • Increased hunger: Insulin is also responsible for stimulating hunger. To control the excess sugars, the pancreas produces more insulin, which leads to increased hunger.
  • Poor wound healing: White blood cells (WBC) fight against disease causing infections and also helps in blood clotting. But in diabetes, elevated blood sugar levels prevent WBC to do their function.
  • Vision defects: At much higher sugar levels, diabetics may suffer blurry vision.
  • Tingling in hands and legs: Continuous exposure to the high blood sugars damages the nervous system whose signs are frequent numbness/tingling in hands, legs and feet.

Now that you are aware of the various symptoms of diabetes, read our next article to know about the impact of diabetes on a person’s health.

We strongly suggest you to read:
What is Diabetes
How to Manage Diabetes
Diabetic Diet Plan for Indians

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