An image of endocrinologist studying how diabetes mellitus develops

What is Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes Mellitus is a health condition in which your body has problems using the sugar you get from food.

In diabetes type 1, the body does not produce insulin altogether. Insulin is something that the body relies on for converting sugar into energy. In diabetes type 2, however, the insulin is there but not working the way it should.

How Diabetes Develops?

Scientists believe diabetes develops due to a number of reasons. Here are some factors that may contribute in the development of diabetes:

  • Defect in Genes: Before engineers make any building, they make a detailed blueprint of that building. Same goes for our bodies, they have a detailed blueprint. The blueprint is present in your bodies cells and in the forms of “genes”. Genes control your height, the color of your eyes, your hair length- in short, everything!

Similarly, genes also control the bodies glucose and insulin levels. Scientists believe these genes become defective and are not able to work the way they are supposed to. The result is diabetes.

  • Destruction of Cells in Pancreas: Pancreas is an organ in your body that deals with the formation and release of insulin. In diabetes, your body turns against the cells of your pancreas and destroys them. With the destruction of these cells, the insulin levels decline too. These things add up and the result is diabetes.
  • Obesity: This is particularly important in type 2 diabetes. When you are obese, you have a lot of fat in your body. This fat covers the cells in your body just like a blanket. So even if your body has insulin, the insulin fails to reach your body cells due to the blanket of fat in its way.
  • Physical inactivity: Exercise helps improve blood glucose and insulin levels. When you remain inactive for a long time, you gain weight and your levels of blood sugar increase.
  • Other factors: In addition, scientists believe the following factors may also contribute in the development of diabetes mellitus:
    • Viral infections
    • Deficiency of nutrients like vitamin D.

Diabetes is usually the result of a combination of some or most of the above mentioned factors.