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What leads to diabetes?

What leads to diabetes?

Diabetes is a common health issue, affecting over 38 million Americans. This condition can lead to serious health complications like heart attacks, kidney disease, strokes, and more. 

The dangerous health implications of diabetes mean understanding the common causes of diabetes and how to avoid it is so important. At Integrative Primary Care in Katy, Texas, our providers want you to understand what diabetes is, what causes it, and how to prevent it. 

Our practice offers a variety of services for patients with diabetes and prediabetes, as well as preventive advice and care as part of our integrative approach to healthcare. Take a moment to learn more about diabetes and what can cause it. 

Understanding diabetes and its effects on your body

To best understand the causes of diabetes, it’s important to appreciate exactly what diabetes is and how your body is affected by it. Here’s a closer look at this often-misunderstood disease:

Your body breaks down the foods you eat, turning them into blood sugar, also called glucose, for energy. In order to use the glucose, your body needs the hormone insulin. Your pancreas is in charge of releasing insulin. However, when you have diabetes the process is more difficult. 

With type 1 diabetes, your pancreas struggles to make enough insulin. With type 2 diabetes, your body can’t use insulin in the right way. 

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have different root causes and are often managed in different ways. In both types, the result is too much blood sugar that can’t be converted into energy. Without treatment, diabetes can result in many different problematic conditions, the most serious of which include coma and death. 

Common causes of type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes affects about 5% of all Americans with diabetes and develops in childhood or young adulthood. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system attacks your pancreas, stopping your body from producing insulin. 

Blood sugar can build up to dangerous levels and cause serious side effects when insulin isn’t present. People with type 1 diabetes have to take insulin to live. 

Unfortunately, researchers don’t know what causes type 1 diabetes or what triggers the immune system to attack the pancreas. The most likely cause is genetics combined with exposure to triggering factors, like viruses. 

Common causes of type 2 diabetes

About 95% of Americans with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. With this type of diabetes, your body produces too much insulin rather than none at all. 

When your body has too much insulin, you can become resistant to insulin. Insulin resistance means you’re unable to convert glucose to energy, leaving that glucose in your bloodstream. 

This leads your body to call for more insulin to convert the glucose, but insulin resistance leaves too much glucose in your blood. 

DNA alone isn’t the sole trigger for type 2 diabetes, but some people have a genetic predisposition for it. There’s a combination of factors that affect your body, and certain factors can help your provider identify if you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes. These include:

In many cases, type 2 diabetes can be fully reversible. Making lifestyle changes to help your body balance blood sugar naturally can end insulin resistance and help you avoid developing more serious conditions. 

Personalized diabetes management

To create a personalized diabetes management plan, your Integrative Primary Care provider conducts an evaluation and reviews your medical history. Depending on your needs, they may recommend diabetes medication or insulin. 

An important part of managing diabetes is staying aware of your body’s blood sugar levels. Doing so allows you to take action if levels get too high. 

Your Integrative Primary Care provider helps you measure your blood sugar levels through Medtronic sugar monitoring, regular A1C blood tests, and finger stick tests. 

They also work to develop a lifestyle plan, the other key part of managing diabetes. that helps you lose weight, exercise more, and eat better. If you have more questions about diabetes, we’ve got answers. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Integrative Primary Care in Katy, Texas, today.

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