Causes of Diabetes

Research on diabetes has developed considerably during the last century. The causes of diabetes are still being investigated. Particularly risk factors for type 1 are currently unknown. Having a family history of the disease may slightly increase the possibility of developing it. Moreover, some environmental factors and the exposure to some viral infections have been connected with the risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

The situation with type 2 diabetes is different. There are several risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes, such as:

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Being overweight
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Increasing age
  • High blood pressure
  •  Ethnicity
  • Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT)* –  blood glucose levels are higher than normal but below the threshold for diabetes diagnosis
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • Poor nutrition during pregnancy

There are also some social reasons for an increase in the prevalence of diabetes. Rapid societal development has resulted in changes in diet and physical activity. This is true especially for western countries, where the number of people developing diabetes has increased dramatically.