What Causes Diabetes?

By jigsaw Latest Reply 2014-03-13 06:24:22 -0500
Started 2013-10-12 18:45:11 -0500

An interesting link that offers some interesting info and answers.
Be honest, why do you think you got diabetes? Maybe some good down to earth thinking about your answers, can help some of those with pre-diabetes prevent it.


20 replies

imonlymichaela 2013-10-17 12:17:17 -0500 Report

I got T1 diabetes when I was three and I had a rare case of strep throat and the antibodies struck my pancreas and shut it down completely.

AElkiness 2014-03-12 20:23:09 -0500 Report

My son was 9 when he was diagnosed with type 1, he also had strep throat and had it a lot. I believe he got type 1 diabetes from strep throat.

jigsaw 2014-03-13 06:24:22 -0500 Report

Maybe there is some sort of link with bacterial infections, the immune system and diabetes, Whatever the cause, I would love to see a cure. I think the reality of a cure is becoming more realistic everyday. Hopefully it will happen while your son is still young,

jigsaw 2013-10-22 08:36:34 -0500 Report

I'm sorry that you had that experience. Hopefully, you have been able to manage it successfully. I know it can be a very difficult road to go down, and we're all here to lend and share support where needed.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-10-16 17:23:39 -0500 Report

Why do we want to take the blame for our bodies not function properly?
If junk food causes T2 then why do only some people have it. Same with the its the excess sugar or high fructose corn syrup or genetically altered wheat that you consumed.
I ate basically the same foods as my sisters and parents growing up. Often I made better choices than them after leaving the nest. I could tell different foods made me feel better or worse.
I exercised daily with usually walking or bicycling to jobs that demanded physical activity.
In my case the tipping point seems to have been the nasty battle with MRSA.
After talking with Mom about childhood illnesses, I learned I always was the one who got sickest with the mumps, measels, chicken pox, etc.
Perhaps if our family Dr had checked I would have been tagged back then as a child with T2. Perhaps the epidemic we are told is happening now is just the knowledge and testing and awareness has improved.
Our knowledge is so limited. Perhaps T2 diabetes has more than one root cause. Perhaps as research continues it will be determined, as in cancer, it is many different types.
Sorry if I am not explaining coherently, my brain is fogged from staring death in the face once again with the loss of yet another one of my hospice residents. It always leaves me wishing we knew more about each and every disease.

jigsaw 2013-10-16 22:12:10 -0500 Report

I'm sorry to hear of your loss, but I believe you explained yourself quite clearly. What you have said makes a great deal of sense, and you are more than likely very accurate with what you have said. Certainly diabetes is an extremely complicated condition that involves more organs than just the pancreas. It is obviously a very complicated disorder that involves the entire metabolic process, and affects the entire human condition both physically and mentally. I suspect, as you do, that advances in medical technology and medicine in general, have brought about an increased awareness concerning diabetes as well as many other diseases.
There is one very important point however, that I would like to emphasize. In spite of the knowledge that we either have or lack about the cause of diabetes. You cannot go wrong with a healthy diet and lifestyle, even if you are pre-destined genetically to get diabetes. A healthy diet might simply prolong its occurance or even possibly stop it from happening altogether. I can say for sure, that it will subdue and even eliminate some of the effects of diabetes and in many cases, eliminate a host of complications once it shows its presence. One can have an excellent life in spite of having diabetes, and a better one without it. My point is, that its worth doing everything possible to avoid it, especially for those who find that they are pre-diabetic.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-10-16 23:02:41 -0500 Report

Thanks, jigsaw. Every time one of my residents passes it is hard. Takes me a few days to get centered again.
I agree what we eat can help, with the caveat that not in all cases will it help delay or prevent. For me, as I eliminate or at least limit some foods I am gaining better control. Some of the foods are foods I often avoided pre D diagnoses. While in 2nd grade I noticed that the mornings Mom feed us oatmeal with no meat on the side, I would be sleepier at school during the morning and would be watching the clock from 10:00 on just starving waiting for lunch hour. If she made us scrambled eggs and no oatmeal I would feel so much more awake and not even think about food until lunch time.
Subdue - that fits how I feel watching what I eat does. I can avoid the wild ups and downs that some foods cause. T2 is still there, waiting, but if I make wise choices it will be subdued. My wise choices may or may not be what is a wise choice for you or anyone else. We all need to try and figure out what works for us. This is the same as the quality of life discussions I have had with residents and some of their family members. We each and every one of us has to decide for ourself what works for "me". Right now I am choosing to limit certain foods over taking metformin. Other people may choose to use metformin over relying on diet changes alone. They are as correct in their decision as I am in mine.
Tomorrow I might find that food choices alone may no longer work to control diabetes for me. Then I am prepared to proceed with the next options. We each choose what life saving measure we want to prolong our lives.

jigsaw 2013-10-19 16:25:56 -0500 Report

I think you're right on! After all, diabetes is a progressive disease, so much is dependent on what stage or phase one is in. I guess that is what makes it so challenging and confusing at times.

Young1s 2013-10-16 23:38:41 -0500 Report

This is so true and something to keep in mind. This isn't a "one stop" answer site. We are all like snowflakes. No two are alike.

GabbyPA 2013-10-16 09:14:20 -0500 Report

The article nailed it for me. I used to eat a lot of processed foods and not much that was healthy. I worked at my computer for hours on end and the only physical activity I had was going from the couch to the kitchen. I also have a family history of it, everyone in my immediate family has or had it and now I am finding out that many of my outlying relatives have it as well. I take responsibility, as much as one can, for getting this crummy disease. I will never know if I ate better, slept more, exercised more if I would have gotten it anyway. I cannot change the past of how I got here. Only going forward.

However, what I would like to see studied more is not just the quantity of foods we eat, but what is in those processed foods that may be triggers for things. Are some of us more sensitive to the modifications of our foods? Are we more resistant because of build ups in our bodies from our environment? As with many diseases, they are very complicated and take many factors to come together to make it a problem.

jigsaw 2013-10-16 11:08:51 -0500 Report

Complicated and difficult to figure out for sure. I was never really overweight, but I did indulge in some poor eating habits in my younger days. On the other hand, I was always somewhat physically active (although there was probably room for improvement). I suspect that the worst thing I did was drink reg coca cola ( not sugarless ) quite frequently. Since coca cola contains about 14 teaspoons of sugar per 8 ounce serving, I'm sure it can tax the abilities of ones pancreas. Like you Gabby, I have relatives that had diabetes, so there's more than likely a genetic factor involved. I am not sure if I could have prevented getting diabetes with more awareness, but I would give it my all, if I had the opportunity again. As of now, I have learned to manage my diabetes successfully by staying informed and indulging in positive action.

Young1s 2013-10-16 12:38:15 -0500 Report

Yeah, I had completely forgotten about how much soda I used to drink too. I could easily go through a 64oz bottle in a day. And all the junk foods weren't helpful either. It's a little strange to think about my eating habits back then. So much has changed for the better, even just after 2 years, that I often wonder why I wasn't eating this way in the first place.

jigsaw 2013-10-16 15:32:33 -0500 Report

I think that many of us were exposed to oodles of junk food, while we were growing up. Especially as teenagers, it was probably to many burgers, and a lot of pizza. As a teenager, it seems when hunger would strike, everywhere I looked was either burger joints, or pizza joints. What did I know or even care about health foods back then? In those days, the in thing was to supersize, yum, yum! There was relatively little exposure to healthy eating, when compared to current times. I thought I was indestructible as a young guy. It seemed like my youth was forever! That's what being young was, for many of us, and in some ways it was tremendous fun, and maybe even completely worth it??? When you get right down to it, I had no reason (in those days to think about diabetes). Today, the media exposes almost every one to a great deal of valuable info concerning healthy foods and lifestyles in general. There is little reason to not be somewhat informed at the very least. In this day and age, info on health seems to be everywhere!

Caroltoo 2013-10-14 13:54:21 -0500 Report

Hi, Jigsaw!

Long time since we have talked! Interesting article and something I have thought a lot about because I didn't have the family history which would have made me wonder if I would develop D.

As with lots of health issues, I think it was a combination of things that were rather person specific. Since my mid-twenties I have shown responses to environmental pollutants. I grew up in S. California where my home was physically surrounded by citrus trees and the constant need to spray them for pests all year and light the smudge pots in winter to keep the trees from freezing. I think that and the L.A. basin smog, that was so thick it looked like a brown cloud obscuring the nearby mountain tops, was just too much for my body to process.

Then we entered the era where much was made about healthy carbs (old definition), and eating carbs before marathons, and having rice or pasta with every meal so we would get all the good B vitamins which we later learned were in the hulls which had been processed off anyway. Now we know, low- or unprocessed rice is better and I usually eat Black Japonica, Wild, or Mahogany rice instead of white fluffy. Just 10 years ago when first diagnosed my diabetes educator (who was quite helpful otherwise), dismissed Wild Rice as "Pha…just sticks!" So lots has been learned in just the last 10 years.

We've learned that the seed growers have increased the gluten in wheat so that it makes bread that stays on the shelf longer to help the bread industry make more profits, and in the process so increased gluten in pasta and bread that the US incidence of gluten intolerance is tripled what it was just a few years ago. Then there is the connection between gluten intolerance and the development of diabetes, which is true for type 1 (connection between type 1 and Celiac disease) and speculated for type 2 (between gluten intolerance and type 2). Bottom line connection here is possibly the inability to adequately absorb the nutrients in our food and, in the absence of optimal nutrition, begin a slide into diminished health, but that observation is my guess based on my condition.

I see the things in these last two paragraphs as leading to weight gain despite my continued physical activity. I perceive the weight gain as a marker on the path to diabetes, more than the cause because I had to turn these other issues around before I could begin to lose weight and really start to control my BGs again.

The other item on the list that I identify with is loss of sleep. Again, I think the cause is the real thing to identify and, in my case, it all happened at the time of menopause and sleeplessness or interrupted sleep was about the only symptom I had.

Yes, Jigsaw, I hope this may trigger some thought for others of things they can change to improve their current situation.


jigsaw 2013-10-15 09:49:04 -0500 Report

Hello Carol,

I have to say that DC has definitely introduced me to some interesting and enjoyable aquaintances. Hearing from both you and Young1 brings back some informative, interesting, and enjoyable memories.
The information and the experience that you share here, can be very helpful, I'm sure to many. I hope that it is read by many of the newer members that are currently here, as well as the earlier members.

Caroltoo 2013-10-15 11:27:25 -0500 Report

Does seem like a touch of old times and interesting conversations, doesn't it. I also noticed James was on this morning friending new people. Hope to hear more from all of us in the near future.

jigsaw 2013-10-16 07:16:35 -0500 Report

Maybe we can generate that past enthusiasm, and light the fire again, so to speak! I contacted James shortly after he faded from the site. In an attempt to add a bit of cheer to his situation. I informed a few of his friends, mainly Gabby and Tony of how to contact him, which they did. I hope he continues to come around more often.

Caroltoo 2013-10-16 14:18:07 -0500 Report

Glad you have heard from James. I knew Gabby had contacted him, because she commented on DC about it.

Yes, I'd like to see some of the old enthusiasm for LIFE as a person with diabetes. So ;much of today's expressions seem to be so clinical in nature. That's am important side of DC also, so I guess I'm just pleading for a little more balance. There is LIFE after a diagnosis of D! Let's figure out how to live it and share those tips and experiences with each other!!!

Young1s 2013-10-12 21:49:47 -0500 Report

Hey Jigs!

Well dangit…all of those factors apply to me. I was doomed. Lol.

Seriously though, with the exception of the last two years, poor eating habits, too much tv time, lack of physical activity, poor sleeping habit and genetics were all part of my daily life. Now granted, I can't do anything about the genetics part but everything else can be worked on, and have been for the most part. Still need some major improvement in the exercise and tv time departments.

But to be perfectly honest, I have to add in there my issues with drinking. It was so bad that I ended up in the hospital on 3 separate occasions with a pancreatitis flare up. The third one was so bad, I was laid up in the hospital for a week. That's when and where I found out about being type2 and where things changed for me.

jigsaw 2013-10-13 08:02:12 -0500 Report

I think "all those factors" apply to many, if not most of us! I definitely had some poor eating habits in the past, along with a lack of exercise and a genetic pre-disposition to diabetes to top it off. Of course I still cheat with my diet (just a little) , but I do my best not to get lazy with my exercise routine to often.
It's good to hear from you!