Causes of Diabetes

Janey WillisHello, I am Janey Willis, ISN Guide to Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease, and Type 2 Diabetes is caused by risk factors such as lifestyle, ethnicity, age, and pregnancy. The majority of diabetics have Type 2. See Disclaimer.

Overview of Causes of Diabetes
Environmental Factors
Physiological Factors

Overview of the Causes of Diabetes

Causes of Diabetes KaleidoscopeCauses of diabetes includes genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes include obesity, inactivity, poor diet, age, ethnicity, and pregnancy. (Also see Autoimmune Diseases and Overview of Diabetes)

Causes of Type 1 Diabetes. Both genetic factors and your life experiences and exposures (called environmental factors) seem to be involved in causing this disease. InteliHealth.


T-Cell Costimulation — Biology, Therapeutic Potential, and Challenges. CTLA-4 is involved in the induction and maintenance of T-cell tolerance. CTLA-4 polymorphisms in humans have been linked to susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes and autoimmune thyroid disease. The New England Journal of Medicine. Vol 355:973-975,10. [2006]. (Also see Causes of Scleroderma: T-Cells and Thyroid Disease)

Environmental Factors

Sitting Really Can Kill You, Heart Experts Say. Evidence is building that sitting for too long can cause heart disease and diabetes – even in people who exercise, the American Heart Association said Monday. NBC News, 08/15/2016. (Also see Cardiac (Heart) Involvement)

Study asks whether artificial sweeteners may drive diabetes. Scientists studying the effects of artificial sweeteners in mice and humans say they have found that eating them may increase the risk of developing glucose intolerance, a risk factor for diabetes. Reuter's Health, 09/17/2014.

Environment Influences Type 1 Diabetes Risk. Improved standards of living and hygiene may be contributing to the rising rates of type 1 diabetes, a population-based study suggested. The hygiene hypothesis suggests that improvements in hygiene and living conditions have led to fewer early-life infections, resulting in modulation of the developing immune system and increased susceptibility to autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes. MedPage Today.


Research Finds Shared Genetic Susceptibility for Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes - Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign. A genetic susceptibility to both type 1 diabetes and celiac disease shares common alleles which suggests that common biological mechanisms, such as autoimmunity-related tissue damage and intolerance to dietary antigens, may be etiological features of both diseases. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Physiological Factors

Reduced muscle mass and accumulation of visceral fat are independently associated with increased arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Reduced muscle mass and increased visceral fat are independently associated with increased arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women with T2DM. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 11/05/2016.

Is "Fat Cell Expansion" a Cause of Obesity? When fat cells are subjected to sustained pressure, they develop more fat. Diabetes Health. 3/27/2014.


Enterovirus Infection and Type 1 Diabetes: Closing in on a Link? The present findings make it more likely that enteroviral (and maybe other) infections are a critical trigger to push an already dysfunctional metabolic equilibrium over the brink, resulting in a rather rapid and cataclysmic loss of -cells around the time of diagnosis. American Diabetes Association, Diabetes 2015 May; 64(5): 1503-1505.

Go to Diagnosis of Diabetes

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