Causes of Diabetes

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My desire to obtain information related to the causes and effects of diabetes has been of interest to me because of my own experience with Type II diabetes. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2001. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity, drinkers, smokers and lack of exercise appear to play roles. In the United States alone there are approximately 23.6 million people that have been diagnosed with diabetes and about 5.7 million people that have it and don’t know it. Diabetes is the third leading cause of death, just behind heart disease and cancer. There are three types of diabetes, Type I, Type II and Gestational diabetes. Type I is also known as insulin dependent or juvenile-onset diabetes, this is caused by lack of insulin or non functioning insulin; sometimes patients with this type of diabetes require insulin injections in order to bring the blood sugar levels to normal standards. Type I diabetes is believed to be an autoimmune disease. The body's immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. A predisposition to develop Type I diabetes may run in families, but genetic causes are much more common for Type II diabetes. Environmental factors, including common unavoidable viral infections, may also contribute. Type I diabetes is most common in people of non-Hispanic, Northern European descent, followed by African Americans, and Hispanic Americans. It is relatively rare in those of Asian descent. Type I diabetes is slightly more common in men than in women. Type II diabetes tends to run in families. Several genes have been identified and more are under study which may relate to the causes of Type II diabetes. Risk factors for developing Type II diabetes...
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