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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

I Don’t Eat Sugar – Why Do I Have Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how the body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is an important source of energy for the cells that make up the muscles and tissues. It’s also the brain’s main source of fuel.

There are different types of diabetes, such as type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Each type has different causes and risk factors. But no matter what type of diabetes you have, it can lead to excess sugar in the blood. Too much sugar in the blood can cause serious health problems.

What causes type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system, the body’s system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose enter the cells. Without insulin, glucose builds up in the bloodstream.

Scientists think type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that might trigger the disease. Type 1 diabetes can start at any age, but it often starts during childhood or teen years.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t make enough insulin. As a result, glucose stays in the blood and doesn’t reach the cells.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by several factors, including lifestyle factors and genes. Some of the lifestyle factors that can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes are:

  • Being overweight or having obesity

  • Being physically inactive

  • Having a family history of diabetes

  • Being older than 40

  • Belonging to certain racial or ethnic groups

Some of the genes that can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes are related to how your body makes or responds to insulin.

What causes gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It usually goes away after the baby is born. However, women who have had gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Scientists believe gestational diabetes is caused by the hormonal changes of pregnancy along with genetic and lifestyle factors. Some of the factors that can increase your risk of gestational diabetes are:

  • Being overweight or having obesity before pregnancy

  • Having a family history of diabetes

  • Having had gestational diabetes before

  • Being older than 25

  • Belonging to certain racial or ethnic groups

What else can cause diabetes?

Some other conditions or factors that can cause diabetes are:

  • Pancreatic diseases, such as pancreatitis or cancer

  • Hormonal disorders, such as Cushing’s syndrome or acromegaly

  • Medications, such as steroids or antipsychotics

  • Genetic syndromes, such as Down syndrome or Turner syndrome

How can I prevent or manage diabetes?

The best way to prevent or manage diabetes is to keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range. This can help you avoid complications.

Some of the steps you can take to control your blood sugar levels are:

  • Eating a balanced diet that is low in sugar, fat and salt and high in fiber, fruits and vegetables

  • Getting regular physical activity, at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week

  • Losing weight if you are overweight or have obesity

  • Taking medications as prescribed by your doctor

  • Checking your blood sugar levels regularly and keeping track of them

  • Seeing your doctor regularly for check-ups and tests

If you have any symptoms of diabetes, such as increased thirst and urination, fatigue, blurred vision or slow-healing sores, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. The earlier you get diagnosed and treated, the better your chances of living a healthy and happy life with diabetes.

Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist

Kify Hospital



Phone : 85000 23456


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