Diabetes causes

One disease, two sources ...

Diabetes is a chronic disease revealed by too much sugar in the blood (hyperglycemia). There are two types: type 1 and type 2, which are under different mechanisms.

The type 1 diabetes represents 10-15% of all diabetes cases. It occurs on young people before the age of 25, with two peaks around 4 years or around 15 years old. It affects more boys than girls and its origin is still unknown. Genetic causes are involved but do not represent the major reason.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. For unknown reasons, the immune system cells (lymphocytes) attack cells of the pancreas specialized in insulin secretion, which gradually leads to their demise. When 80-90% of these cells are destroyed, insulin is not produced in sufficient quantities. It cannot play anymore its regulatory role.

The type 2 diabetes is caused by a progressive resistance to insulin. Initially, organs such as muscle and liver, who need insulin to accommodate the removal of glucose needed for body energy expenditure, are no longer responding adequately to the presence of insulin. Therefore the pancreas must produce more Insulin, this exhausts him, resulting destruction of certain cells. Insulin is then no longer produced in sufficient quantity and rate of glucose rises abnormally, this is chronic hyperglycemia.

Type 2 diabetes is considered an epidemic expanding. It is by far the most common and represents over 92% of cases treated. It usually begins between 40 and 50 years old. A peak was observed between 75 and 79 years old group in which 20% of men and 14% of women were affected. Diabetes type 2 is linked to the interaction of familial predisposition and environmental factors (diet, physical inactivity, tobacco). From this point of view, it is favored by the “Western” lifestyle: more sedentary than before and linked to an aging population. The increase of obesity is also a major factor in the onset of diabetes. Age and environmental factors also increase the risk of disease in susceptible individuals. The maintenance of a balanced diet and regular physical activity significantly reduces the risk to get type 2 diabetes.