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What are the main causes of diabetes?

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Quick Answer

The main cause of Type 1 diabetes is a destructive attack by the body’s immune system to the insulin-making cells in the pancreas, according to the New York State Department of Health. Type 2 diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to manufacture insulin.

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Full Answer

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes in which hormones produced by the placenta of a pregnant woman make body cells resistant to insulin, as reported by Mayo Clinic. In turn, the pancreas makes extra insulin to counter this resistance, but may not always succeed, effectively causing gestational diabetes.

Insulin is a hormone manufactured by the pancreas. When the body fails to produce enough of it, or when the body fails to utilize it appropriately after its production, known as insulin resistance, glucose accumulates in the bloodstream instead of being transported to the body’s cells, as stated by WebMD. While the accumulation causes damage, the cells’ lack of glucose causes them to function improperly.

Other causes of diabetes are obesity, little or lack of physical exercises, and genetic inheritance, as explained by WebMD. Similarly, certain environmental factors, certain viruses and infections may cause diabetes, as noted by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. There are no known cures for diabetes, but there are effective ways to manage the problem. Examples are maintaining normal blood sugar levels, eating healthy diets and doing regular exercises.

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