Causes of Type 2 Diabetes and Possible Treatments.

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What are the main causes of diabetes? Is type 2 diabetes caused by diet? Can type 2 diabetes be caused by stress? what food causes type 2 diabetes?

Several causes or triggers play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. These include:

  • hereditary factors
  • Overweight and sedentary lifestyle
  • decreased sensitivity to insulin (insulin resistance)
  • an impaired release of insulin

as well as impaired production of certain intestinal hormones.
To understand the development of type 2 diabetes, it is helpful to take a closer look at the sugar metabolism.

Blood sugar in healthy people
Carbohydrates are broken down by digestion to such an extent that they are taken up in the form of sugar or glucose by the mucous membrane cells in the small intestine and released into the blood. The blood first transports the glucose to the liver and then to the individual cells of the organs and tissues. If glucose gets into the blood, the blood sugar level rises and the pancreas releases more insulin. Insulin ensures that the glucose is channeled into the cells as a source of energy and that this lowers the blood sugar level again. All cells have many insulin receptors on their surface. Insulin is the “key” that unlocks the cells for glucose. Glucagon, the antagonist of insulin, is increasingly released by the pancreas, if there is little sugar in the blood (low blood sugar level). Glucagon causes more glucose to be formed in the liver (gluconeogenesis) and released into the blood, thereby preventing hypoglycaemia. Due to the interaction of the two opposing hormones, the body is normally able to supply the body with glucose, ie with energy, without major fluctuations.

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Blood sugar in diabetes
Type 2 diabetes develops slowly and usually over many years. In the early stages of the disease, the cells of the pancreas still produce enough insulin. Over time, however, the cells of the muscles, liver, and adipose tissue become less sensitive to insulin (insulin resistance). This means that the hormone is less and less able to smuggle sugar from the blood into the cells. As an “answer”, the pancreas tries to compensate for this disorder by increasing insulin production. The amount of insulin in the blood of those affected can therefore be normal, sometimes even increased, during this phase of the disease. First, there is an excessive and prolonged rise in blood sugar after the intake of carbohydrates (impaired glucose tolerance). At this stage, type 2 diabetes is with exercise, Weight loss and, if necessary, additional tablets can often still be managed well. After many years of constant excess production of insulin, the function of the insulin-producing cells increasingly declines and insulin production finally comes to a complete standstill. Then the person concerned has to supply himself with the insulin from outside, ie inject insulin. The relative insulin deficiency at the beginning of type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) turns into an absolute insulin deficiency. A lack of insulin means that less and less glucose is getting from the blood into the body’s cells, so that the blood sugar levels rise and ultimately diabetes is achieved. After many years of constant excess production of insulin, the function of the insulin-producing cells increasingly declines and insulin production finally comes to a complete standstill. Then the person concerned has to supply himself with the insulin from outside, ie inject insulin. The relative insulin deficiency at the beginning of type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) turns into an absolute insulin deficiency. A lack of insulin means that less and less glucose is getting from the blood into the body’s cells, so that the blood sugar levels rise and ultimately diabetes is achieved. After many years of constant excess production of insulin, the function of the insulin-producing cells increasingly declines and insulin production finally comes to a complete standstill. Then the person concerned has to supply himself with the insulin from outside, ie inject insulin. The relative insulin deficiency at the beginning of type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) turns into an absolute insulin deficiency. A lack of insulin means that less and less glucose is getting from the blood into the body’s cells, so that the blood sugar levels rise and ultimately diabetes is achieved. The relative insulin deficiency at the beginning of type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) turns into an absolute insulin deficiency. A lack of insulin means that less and less glucose is getting from the blood into the body’s cells, so that the blood sugar levels rise and ultimately diabetes is achieved. The relative insulin deficiency at the beginning of type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) turns into an absolute insulin deficiency. A lack of insulin means that less and less glucose is getting from the blood into the body’s cells, so that the blood sugar levels rise and ultimately diabetes is achieved.

Deficiency of intestinal hormones as a cause of a disturbed sugar balance
In type 2 diabetes, there is also the fact that certain endogenous intestinal hormones, such as GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), are not produced in sufficient quantities. GLP-1 is produced in the intestine and released into the blood when you eat. However, it is broken down relatively quickly in the body by an enzyme called DPP-4 (dipeptidyl peptidase-4). The GLP-1 hormone has a regulating effect on sugar metabolism by stimulating the production of insulin in the pancreas, inhibiting the production of glucagon, delaying the emptying of the stomach and stimulating the feeling of satiety. A shortage of GLP-1 is therefore the cause of impaired sugar utilization in the body.

 

The function of the kidney
The kidney fulfills three key functions in glucose metabolism: it produces glucose itself, but also uses glucose for its own metabolism and is responsible for recovering (reabsorption) large amounts of glucose from the urine.

The latter is the crucial point: in healthy people, this recovery is an important mechanism. Because it prevents the blood sugar from being excreted with the urine and thus being lost to the body as a valuable source of energy for maintaining the body’s functions.

However, people with type 2 diabetes are known to have an excess of sugar in their blood. In addition, paradoxically, in type 2 diabetics, the reabsorption of blood sugar is increased. The reason for this is that a transport protein called SGLT-2 (sodium-glucose-contransporter-2), which is responsible for recovering sugar from the urine, occurs more frequently in type 2 diabetics. In this way, the kidneys in type 2 diabetics help maintain the elevated blood sugar level.