What causes diabetes
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus
Diabetes mellitus is an umbrella term for various metabolic disorders. What they all have in common is that they lead to increased blood sugar levels because the patients lack the hormone insulin and / or the effect of insulin is reduced. Medically, one differentiates between different forms of diabetes. The main forms are type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In Germany, around 7.2 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 79 suffer from diabetes mellitus. About 90 to 95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes. Education and prevention are key to combating diabetes. Since 2016, the Federal Ministry of Health has provided budget funds of 3 million euros annually exclusively for diabetes projects.
Type 1 diabetes
is caused by an absolute deficiency of the hormone insulin, this type of diabetes is therefore also called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus,
is caused by an absolute failure of the cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin,
usually begins in childhood and adolescence,
is not curable so far, so that the patients have to inject insulin their entire life.
Type 2 diabetes
is caused on the one hand by a reduced sensitivity of the body cells to insulin (insulin resistance), on the other hand, years of overproduction of insulin lead to "exhaustion" of the insulin-producing cells (the pancreas cannot supply enough insulin for the increased need),
usually begins creeping,
Previously also known as "adult diabetes", but in recent years it has also increasingly affected young adults, even adolescents.
In addition to a hereditary predisposition, obesity and lack of exercise are considered to be the main causes of type 2 diabetes.
Various therapy modules are available. First of all, regular exercise, an adapted diet and a normal body weight are most important.
This improves the body's cells' sensitivity to insulin and can thus reduce the need for insulin. At the beginning of the therapy, therefore, an attempt is always made to get along with general measures, such as consistent lifestyle changes. If this is not successful, various medications are available that can be taken as tablets, for example. Type 2 diabetics only have to inject insulin when these drugs fail to get the disease under control.
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