Type-2 diabetes is the most widespread kind. Its onset may be delayed or avoided by adopting a healthy lifestyle (healthy nutrition, physical exercise and weight watching). Type-1 diabetes, on the other hand, cannot be prevented.
Causes of Type-1 diabetes
Type-1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease: the body itself destroys the pancreatic cells.
The pancreas is therefore unable to produce sufficient insulin, a hormone which enables the sugar to be distributed to the cells, so regulating the levels of sugar in the blood.
Type-1 diabetes is the result of an interaction between a genetic susceptibility and an environmental cause which is still not understood and, so far as we know at present, is not avoidable.
Causes of Type-2 diabetes
Type-2 diabetes occurs when the body is no longer able to use insulin properly.
The pancreas continues to produce insulin but the body has become resistant to it:
- the cells are less sensitive to the action of insulin
- the pancreas compensates and produces too much insulin (reactive hyperinsulinaemia)
- progressively the pancreas becomes exhausted and the production of insulin decreases
- blood glucose levels rise.
The mechanism of Type-2 diabetes has a complex and multifactorial origin.
Various factors can increase the risk of getting Type-2 diabetes:
- age (from 45 years)
- overweight and obesity
- abdominal fat
- a lack of physical exercise
- high glucose levels
- pregnancy diabetes