Progesterone and Diabetes

A correlation between progesterone and diabetes may exist when pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. Research with hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy and the likelihood of some women to suffer from gestational diabetes is pointing the existence of high progesterone levels in pregnancies causing abnormal amounts of blood glucose to accumulate.

Additionally, menopausal women experiencing hormonal reductions involving estrogen and progesterone may also be at risk for acquiring diabetes as well, mainly because progesterone protects coronary heart disease and hypertension.

What is Progesterone?

Progesterone and DiabetesProgesterone is a hormone produced and released by the ovaries, adrenal glands and in placental material during pregnancy. It is also kept in reserve in adipose tissue, which partially explains why women who are anorexic or severely underweight have difficulty getting pregnant.

Some of the functions performed by progesterone within a woman’s body include:

  • Assists in preparing the uterus for implantation of a fertilized egg
  • Promotes development and health of embryos and fetuses
  • Acts as a precursor to testosterone
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease in older women
  • Regulates optimal response of the immune system
  • Behaves like an anti-inflammatory agent
  • Enhances vascular health and blood clotting

When an egg is successfully fertilized, progesterone production increases to almost 400 milligrams each day during the last three or four months of a woman’s pregnancy. Researchers think this substantial rise in progesterone levels may play a role in the emergence of gestational diabetes in some women who may harbor at-risk conditions prior to becoming pregnant. However, other hormones such as estrogen, prolactin, placental lactogen and especially cortisol may also exacerbate the development of GD not specifically mediated by progesterone and diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

Women never diagnosed with diabetes who develop high blood sugar when pregnant are affected by gestational diabetes. About 15 percent of all pregnancies result in GD. Most women, however, do not continue suffering from diabetes once the pregnancy is over.

Doctors are not entirely sure what provokes gestational diabetes, but they suspect it involves placental hormones and that fact that these hormones inhibit insulin action important in allowing cells to absorb blood glucose for energy. Because progesterone primarily enhances placental health, the association between progesterone and diabetes is more than just assumptive.

Gestational DiabetesWomen at risk for developing gestational diabetes are those who:

  • Are over 25 years old
  • Have relatives suffering from diabetes
  • Have given birth to large babies or to infants with birth defects
  • Are obese, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Have experienced stillbirth or miscarriage


Symptoms of gestational diabetes include;

  • Frequent bladder, skin or vaginal infections resulting from impaired immune system functioning
  • Increased fatigue, thirst, nausea and urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurry vision

When doctors suspect a progesterone and diabetes condition is creating an insulin-resistant problem in a pregnant woman, they will immediately implement a program of diabetes-friendly foods and appropriate exercise for the woman. Generally, an oral glucose tolerance test is given to pregnant women sometime between the 24th and 28th week. Obstetricians who think a woman may be at risk for developing gestational diabetes will give this glucose test even earlier in the pregnancy.

Menopause and Diabetes

Diabetic women approaching menopause will need to deal with additional problems due to fluctuations in progesterone, estrogen and other hormones exacerbating diabetes symptoms. Women suffering from moderate to severe medical issues resulting from menopause may choose hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to alleviate the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and increasingly serious, diabetic problems.

Knowing that progesterone and diabetes are correlated with each other’s development assists doctors in treating patients who are suffering lack of or excess of levels of progesterone. Doctors can now administer appropriate medications and/or hormone replacement therapy for women with abnormal blood progesterone levels that cause insulin-resistant conditions within the body.


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Can Fluoxetine cause Diabetes Symptoms?

Millions of people could ask can fluoxetine cause diabetes symptoms, as that many use fluoxetine under the brand name Prozac. With so many people taking it, doctors are aware of most of the side effects associated with Fluoxetine and whether these side effects mean that some people should avoid this drug.

History of Fluoxetine

The discovery of fluoxetine as a medicine dates back to 1974, and it got final market approval in December 1987 by the US Food and Drug Administration. Since then it has become the third most popular prescribed antidepressant in the USA with over 24.4 million annual prescriptions.

Main Uses

Since it came on the market, fluoxetine has become a popular treatment for a wide range of mental illnesses and depression, including:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Bulimia nervosa

For many people, fluoxetine can improve their condition and help them to live a normal life.

Side Effects

Like all medications, fluoxetine is not without side effects. Some of these can be quite serious, so anyone taking it should consult their prescribing physician as soon as they experience any of them. One common question that people ask is can fluoxetine cause diabetes symptoms, but that is only one of the possibilities of which people should be aware.

The most common side effect of Fluoxetine and other similar medicines is decreased sexual performance and anorgasmia. These side effects are very upsetting to anyone unfortunate enough to suffer from them, but are usually reversible. Both men and women can suffer sexual dysfunction while taking fluoxetine, as well as other common symptoms that include:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Somnolence
  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety

Many of these are symptoms of the illness for which doctors prescribe fluoxetine, so this might mean the physician must change the prescription to an alternative anti-depressant.

Using Fluoxetine for Diabetics

Using Fluoxetine for DiabeticsDiabetics have a problem with the production of insulin in the pancreas and the regulation of blood sugar. This can lead to serious conditions where the blood sugar peaks or drops that can lead to a loss of consciousness. Other side effects of diabetes are equally severe, so it is important that diabetics take any medication that their physician prescribes.

Any diabetics with symptoms of mental illness are at particular risk for neglecting their medication. This can exaggerate the symptoms of diabetes and potentially make them very ill. A recent study gave fluoxetine to diabetics and found that it helped to stabilize their mental health making them more likely to stick to their treatment plan. In this situation, the answer to the question can Fluoxetine cause diabetes symptoms is a resounding no.

However, some people have found that taking fluoxetine alters the effectiveness of their existing diabetes medication. It is important that regular blood sugar tests are carried out if this is suspected and it might require an adjustment to any diabetes medication. For these people, the symptoms of diabetes already exist and Fluoxetine reacts with other medicines rather than making the symptoms worse.

The final class of people who might wonder can Fluoxetine cause diabetes symptoms is those who have yet to be diagnosed with diabetes. Currently no evidence exists that a prescription to fluoxetine leads to the fluctuation of blood sugar levels associated with diabetes. However, it is difficult to know whether taking the medicine brings diabetes on quicker and this is an area needing more research.

Fluoxetine is a marvelous medicine that can really help anyone who suffers from depression and other mental illnesses. People taking it might wonder can Fluoxetine cause diabetes symptoms, but medical research has yet to find a firm link. It can react with diabetes medicine to increase blood sugars, so anyone taking it should check their levels on a regular basis.

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Return to Diabetes Causes FAQ

Can Stress Cause Diabetes?

Can stress cause diabetes is a viable question that is being closely examined by endocrinologists and neurobiologists. Stress immediately affects the body by throwing it into a “fight-or-flight” response, resulting in hormonal increases that cause large amounts of stored energy, specifically fat and glucose-o be made available to energy-hungry cells.

Researchers understand the mechanisms correlating stress with disease, and their research regarding diabetics and their response to stress indicate the “fight-or-flight” response exhibited by people at risk for developing diabetes or already suffering from diabetes does not function properly. Insulin, which is necessary to facilitate absorption of energy by cells, inhibits this vital process, which aggravates blood sugar levels by allowing excess glucose to accumulate in the bloodstream.

Effects of Chronic Stress

When under any kind of perceived danger, whether it is mental or physical, the human body releases certain neurotransmitters, which prepares the body to defend itself. Growth hormone, cortisol, norepinephrine and adrenaline are some of the more important hormones released when someone is experiencing a stressful situation. Events, which can produce high levels of stress hormones, vary from having surgery to suffering depressive episodes to welcoming a new grandchild.

The answer to can stress cause diabetes lies in the similarity of diabetic symptoms and symptoms resulting from high levels of stress hormones and factors promoting the risk of developing diabetes:

  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension directly causes by stress
  • Unnaturally heightened metabolism
  • Inability to access stored energy resulting in abnormally high glucose levels
  • A compromised immune system unable to resist diseases
  • Reduced pancreatic processes
  • Weight gain induced by unused energy converted into fat and cholesterol as well as eating more foods high in sugar

For many people suffering from constant stress, eating “comfort foods” or foods that elevate serotonin and endorphins often makes them makes them feel better, but only temporarily. Once sugar levels decrease in the body, the need to consume more high-sugar, high-fat foods overwhelms the stressed-out individual, compelling them to reach for another “fix”, much in the same way a drug addict needs drugs to feel good. As a result, insulin resistance and weight gain is enhanced, directly contributing to a positive can stress cause diabetes answer.

Ten Tips for Reducing Stress

Reducing StressIf you are at risk for developing diabetes due to living in chronically stressful conditions or already have diabetes and are experiencing stress, you can integrate methods of stress reduction into your life which effectively alleviates excessive hormonal levels disturbing optimal regulation of blood glucose levels. To reduce stress, you can:

  • Begin participating in a regular exercise program. For motivational purposes, join a gym which provides exercise classes or ask friends to start taking daily walks with you.
  • Volunteer your services at a nursing home, charity organization or other establishment needing people to help others who are less fortunate. Research indicates that volunteering promotes release of the same “feel good” endorphins found in those who perform moderate to vigorous exercise.
  • Learn something new, such as a new language, hobby, painting or other creative diversion. When bothered by mental stress, focusing on something other than your own thoughts is highly effective in reducing stress.
  • Talking helps – Find a friendly, listening ear and talk. You don’t have to talk to a professional counselor or clergy, friends and family often make the best listeners and provide a way for you to release some stress.
  • Taking time out to participate in meditation or yoga classes.
  • Play with your children or grandchildren. Research shows that to avoid stress, fatigue and depression you need to relax and spend some time having fun.
  • Reversing the answer to can stress cause diabetes means eliminating stressful people from your life. This may be the most difficult strategy to adopt when de-stressing your life but sometimes it is necessary, especially when certain people are causing undue chaos and strife, which is detrimentally affecting your health.
  • Avoid caffeine products.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Decrease working hours if possible.

Unfortunately, the answer to the question can stress cause diabetes is that stress definitely contributes to the complications of diabetes. However, people are fully capable of alleviating the harmful affects of stress as well as avoiding the struggle with potentially crippling symptoms and consequences of a life-long diabetic condition.


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Can Thyroid Disease Cause Diabetes

Answering the question can thyroid disease cause diabetes involves researching the several different kinds of thyroid diseases and how each disorder affects blood glucose levels. While developing thyroid disease does not automatically sentence an individual to a lifetime of insulin medication or injections, it does meant that the possibility of being diagnosed with diabetes in the future is higher than in those who do not have some type of thyroid disease.

About Thyroid Disease

Facts about thyroid disorders include:

  • Can thyroid disease cause diabetes in older people? Risk of developing a thyroid disorder increases with age, as does diabetes.
  • Hypothyroidism is a low-functioning thyroid; hyperthyroidism, also called Grave’s disease, is an overactive thyroid.
  • Hypothyroidism is the more common of the two, especially in women over 50.
  • Thyroid disease is an autoimmune disease.
  • Nearly four million people suffer from hypothyroidism in the U.S. Treatment consists of TRT, or thyroxine replacement therapy.
  • Around 30 percent of women who have type 1 diabetes also have some type of thyroid disorder.
  • Diabetic women who are postpartum are nearly three times more likely to develop thyroiditis than non-diabetic women.
  • Hypothyroidism frequently afflicts those with type 2 diabetes.

Thyroid disease is diagnosed with a blood test measuring the amount of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) circulating in the body. As hormones primarily responsible for regulating metabolic rate, having too much or too little of these hormones will cause correlating symptoms.

For example, hyperthyroidism will make a person feel hungry all the time as well as fatigued, nervous, sweaty and experience uncomfortable incidences of rapid heartbeat and hair loss. Alternatively, hypothyroidism causes extreme tiredness, paleness, weight gain, water retention, depression, voice hoarseness and aching muscles. Both conditions affect control of blood glucose and contribute to insulin resistance and other issues related to diabetes.

Watch this video and know about the causes, symptoms and treatment for hypothyroidism

Exactly How Can Thyroid Disease Cause Diabetes?

Disturbing the metabolic process responsible for breaking down fat and carbohydrates may result in the creation of insulin resistance, which directly provokes the emergence of diabetes. Fat or lipid metabolism needs sufficient amounts of insulin in order to be properly regulated. When someone suffers from hypothyroidism, metabolism rates are greatly reduced, allowing fats to remain in the blood and insulin to remain unused. As a result, excess lipids are stored as unhealthy triglycerides promoting weight gain, causing disregulated glucose levels and a probably development of type 2 diabetes.

When Can Thyroid Disease Cause Diabetes?

When Can Thyroid Disease Cause Diabetes

Hyperthyroidism is less likely to cause diabetes because it does not promote weight gain and fat accumulation, which are precursor conditions to developing diabetes. With hyperthyroidism, the thyroid secretes too much hormone, unlike hypothyroidism, which requires supplemental thyroxine for normal functioning to occur. Someone with diabetes who is further diagnosed with hyperthyroidism may suffer severe problems trying to control blood sugar levels due to excess thyroid hormone in the blood.

With a metabolism rate running twice as fast, the liver is forced to release large amounts of glucose into the blood in order to maintain sufficient energy for the body to continue operating. Unfortunately, this inevitably results in a case of hyperglycemia and the traditional symptoms of diabetes.

Treating Diabetes and Thyroid Disease

The most frequently used treatment for thyroid disease includes:

  • Medication to regulate hormone levels and inhibit autoimmune reaction
  • Radioactive iodine specifically for hyperthyroidism
  • Surgery utilized in cases of severe hypo- or hyperthyroidism that do not respond to other treatments
  • HRT hormone replacement therapy, specifically for hypothyroidism

Controlling thyroid disease is vital to reducing the risk of developing diabetes or diminishing the severity of an existing condition of diabetes. As far as answering can thyroid disease cause diabetes, the response by physicians is that it can, if not appropriately and expeditiously treated.


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Recognize The Causes Of Diabetes

A diagnosis of diabetes immediately causes most to think about recognizing the causes of diabetes. They may also ask how to control and successfully treat diabetes. With incidences of diabetes rates rapidly escalating in the U.S., as well as Great Britain and Australia, discovering and understanding the origin of diabetes facilitates creation of better medications to treat a potentially debilitating disease.

What Is Diabetes — The Process

What Causes Diabetes

Diagnostically referred to as diabetes mellitus, diabetes is fundamentally a metabolic disorder affecting digestive processes involved in the absorption and use of food for growth and energy. Normally food, once eaten, is converted to glucose by stomach enzymes and sent into the bloodstream. Cells gobble this glucose as long as insulin is available to facilitate this process. Without insulin, glucose cannot enter cells, causing glucose to accumulate in the blood. As a result, hyperglycemia develops and symptoms of diabetes begin affecting the person whose body does not carry sufficient amounts of insulin.

Insulin Resistance

Further details regarding the answer to what causes diabetes lies in a condition called insulin resistance. When cells do not respond to insulin anymore and refuse to absorb this sugar, blood glucose levels continue to rise unabated. However, the pancreas, which produces and excretes insulin, will continue to create insulin until blood glucose decreases. When insulin resistant cells exist, glucose will keep accumulating in the blood and the pancreas will keep pumping out insulin. The consequence of this vicious circle is diabetes.

Watch the video and understand what the insulin resistance is and what you can do about it

Other Possible Causes of Diabetes

Depending on an individuals’ particular body chemistry, it is possible that diabetic conditions can be provoked by a variety of foods, medication or other substances. People often wonder, in addition to what causes diabetes, if other specific elements may instigate a state of having no insulin, that is, Type I diabetes, or not enough insulin, that is, Type II diabetes, to allow cell absorption of glucose.

For example:

What Causes Diabetes Symptoms?

What Causes Diabetes Symptoms?

Symptoms of diabetes are the same regardless if someone is diagnosed with Type I, Type II or gestational diabetes, the kind that develops during pregnancy. Basic symptoms are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Being thirsty all the time
  • Being hungry all the time
  • Abnormal weight gain or loss
  • Vision difficulties
  • Wounds that do not heal in a timely manner
  • Gum disease
  • Tingling and numbness in extremities

These symptoms are occur because the body needs energy, that is hunger, because the body is attempting to eliminate excess sugar through thirst and urination and because the immune system is overwhelmed by a high-sugar environment that is highly conducive for bacteria and fungal proliferation. This is why cuts do not heal and oral bacteria go on a rampage in the mouth.

Treatment for Diabetes

Diabetes is not curable but usually responds well to treatments that include diet, exercise and medication. Individuals suffering from Type I diabetes need regular insulin injections as well as special diets. Those with Type II diabetes can usually treat with oral medication and adherence to a diabetic diet. However, when a diabetic fails to follow the program, dangerous complications can and will develop, such as ketoacidosis, hypoglycemia and nonketotic hyperosmolar coma. Without proper expedited care, these conditions may result in death.

While doctors know what causes diabetes and how to effectively control long-term problems, researchers are constantly working on better treatment methods, so that diabetics will be able to live long and healthy lives without having to worry about serious medical issues arising as a result of this disease.

More about what causes diabetes:

Diabetes Belt

A Diabetes Belt cuts through the southern states in the USA where a higher prevalence of diabetes exists than the rest of the country according to a CDC report. As many as 644 counties in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia have a higher than normal rate of diabetes. The rates are not similar in the counties, but vary a great deal.

Why is Diabetes More Prevalent in These Areas?

Diabetes Belt

In order to understand why the rates for diabetes in this region are higher than the rest of the country, you should look at the figures. Lawrence Barker, a mathematical statistician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, a co-author of the study that had these findings said that demographics suggest says people living in the Diabetes Belt:

  • Are obese, with 32.9 percent in the overweight range compared to 26.1 percent in other areas.
  • Are non-Hispanic African-American.
  • Lead a sedentary lifestyle, with 30.6 percent being less active than 24.8 percent in the rest of the country.
  • Have below-average education levels, with only 24.1 percent of people holding a college degree, compared with 34.2 percent in the rest of the country.
  • Have a diagnosed diabetic rate of 11.7 percent, compared with 8.5 percent of the general populace.

Among the increased risk factors for the prevalence of diabetes in these areas are:

  • Race – African Americans have a greater likelihood of developing diabetes and the Diabetes Belt has a greater proportion of African Americans.
  • Lower education levels – These increase the risk of diabetes and the southern states have more people with lower education levels.
  • Age – The area has more residents over the age of 65 and older people are at greater risk of developing diabetes.
  • Lifestyle factors – While you cannot do anything about race or age, you can take care of lifestyle factors which play an important role in developing diabetes and its management and control.

Cultural and historical factors could have contributed to this as the southern states were predominantly agricultural in earlier times. People who do physical labor need higher calorie food, but as the places became industrialized the eating pattern continued, without the accompanying labor.

What Can Be Done to Combat This?

When the research so clearly points to the higher prevalence of this disease in the Diabetes Belt, the government should take policy decisions, aiming to prevent diabetes this region and unleash healthy lifestyle, anti-obesity and active health campaigns so that people are more informed about their risks and what they can do to minimize the causative factors.

The study shows that 30 percent of the risk factors can be modified by people who start reducing weight and overcoming sedentary behavior by going in for exercise programs to increase their physical fitness. State governments and community leaders can come together and:

  • Encourage an active lifestyle by building sidewalks in residential areas where none exist so that people can walk.
  • Ask restaurants to put the calorie counts of foods served in the menu.
  • Offer cheaper gym rates so more people can go use the services.
  • Levy additional tax on high calorie beverages.
  • Provide screening for diabetes– many people are at risk for diabetes and the sooner the diabetes is diagnosed, the lower the long term risks associated with this illness.

While the government and local bodies can only do so much, it is important that if you live in the diabetes belt and have the lifestyle factors that increase the likelihood of developing diabetes, you should take care of your health by following a nutritional diet, losing excess weight and being physically active. If you have any symptoms, do not ignore them and get tested at the earliest and try and ensure that your family, friends and colleagues also take care of themselves.


Return to History of Diabetes

Return from Diabetes Belt to Home

Who Discovered Diabetes

Answering the question of who discovered diabetes does not focus on one particular individual but rather on medical insights developed by various sages or physicians over the past several thousand years. Considered one of the oldest diseases afflicting humans since the emergence of modern Homo sapiens, diabetes may have been referenced in an Egyptian manuscript dating around 1500 BCE. In it, the writer describes someone as suffering from “the passing of too much urine” which, according to historians, may or may not represent a symptom of diabetes.

Much later during the 6th century BCE, an Indian physician and sage named Sushruta actually determined that this disease, although not yet referred to as “diabetes”, was the result of being overweight and living an inactive lifestyle. Sushruta further gave his patients orders to exercise, thinking that this may alleviate symptoms such as excessive urination, fatigue and dizziness.

Ancient Indian doctors also made the observation that ants were extremely attracted to the urine of those who were diagnosed with this unnamed disease, leading them to dub diabetes as “sweet urine disease”.

Historians consider the individual who discovered diabetes, or at least gave it the name, to be Aretaeus, a 1st century Greek physician who used the Greek term “to siphon” to describe diabetes. He called this disease diabetes because he considered excessive urination to be a form of “siphoning” fluids out of the body.

Over ten centuries passed before a reference to diabetes is written down in an old English text describing numerous diseases. During this time, diabetes was diagnosed in a rather old-fashioned way by hiring “urine tasters” to determine whether someone’s urine tasted sweet enough to indicate the presence of the disease. A physician named Thomas Willis decided to rename the disease due to the sugary taste detected in urine, calling it “diabetes mellitus.” “Mellitus is simply the Latin word for “honey”.

Recent Discoveries

Although many astute individuals answer to the question of who discovered diabetes, genuinely scientific knowledge regarding the disease began occurring in the late 1800s. Oskar Minkowski and Joseph von Mering were the scientists who discovered the pancreatic component of diabetes. They did this by removing the pancreases of dogs that then developed diabetic symptoms.

Researcher Sir E.A. Sharpey-Shafter wrote a paper in 1910 suggesting that individuals who suffered from diabetes lacked a certain pancreatic chemical and decided to name this chemical insulin. Insulin is a derivative of the Latin word meaning “island” which refers to areas of the pancreas called “islets of Langerhans” which are implicated in producing insulin.

The early 1920s saw further discoveries regarding diabetes and the effects of insulin on blood glucose levels. Scientists Banting and Best are known for their research into the development insulin medication expressly for treating diabetics. Together they demonstrated that by giving diabetic dogs or dogs without a pancreas extract of the chemical produced by the Islets of Langerhans from dogs with pancreases, symptoms could be reduced and blood sugar levels regulated.

In fact, diabetic patients began using this form of treatment in 1922, leading Banting and Best to receive the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology. Today, November 14 is celebrated as World Diabetes Day, exclusively in honor of Banting.

In fact, diabetic patients began using this form of treatment in 1922, leading Banting and Best to receive the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology. Today, November 14 is celebrated as World Diabetes Day, exclusively in honor of Banting.

Who Discovered Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2?

Although he was not who discovered diabetes, Sir Harold Percival Himsworth, in 1936, described the differences between these two forms of diabetes, allowing more detailed diagnoses and treatment for diabetic patients. This also facilitated other discoveries beneficial to the advancement of diabetic therapies, such as:

  • Discovery of the amino acid sequence, leading to research and eventual disclosure of the diabetes gene;
  • Identification of metabolic syndrome and its relation to diabetes;
  • Determination that thiazolidinedione constitutes an applicable insulin sensitizer;
  • Development of biosynthetic human insulin by Genetech in 1980

As to the answer of why humans suffer from diabetes, it can best be explained by biological anthropologists who suggest that diabetes may have developed and began its genetic transmission around the time humans started living in groups, planting crops and leading more sedentary lifestyles nearly 10,000 years ago.

Learning who discovered diabetes presents a fascinating journey into shrewd awareness of ancient physicians as well as recent researchers who desire to investigate the evolution and treatment of diabetes.


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Causes of Diabetes Mellitus

Unlike diabetes symptoms, the causes of diabetes mellitus are numerous and may change from person to person. They will also be different depending on whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The final type, gestational diabetes, is triggered by a woman becoming pregnant and generally only lasts as long as the gestation period, but can leave her more susceptible to type 2 diabetes in the future.

Causes of Type 1 Diabetes

At a very general level, interactions between genetic inheritance and infections or viruses cause type 1 diabetes. The general theory of the causes of diabetes mellitus type 1 is that a person is born with a genetic disposition towards the disease but it is unlikely that a baby will have diabetes from birth. A virus or an infection generally triggers type 1 diabetes, which typically strikes during infancy or adolescence.

This disposition to diabetes means that any disease that attacks the immune system will affect the pancreas causing it to shut down. Sadly, no test exists for predisposition to type 1 diabetes at present, so the first that most sufferers know about it is when they are diagnosed with the illness.

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

The number of people suffering with type 2 diabetes drastically outnumbers the number of people with type 1. This is because the causes of diabetes mellitus type 2 are all due to lifestyle choices. Unlike type 1, type 2 diabetes generally strikes people in adulthood, although childhood obesity rates are on the rise as an increasing trend of young people are contracting the illness. The following is a sample list of causes of diabetes mellitus:

  • Diet – The links between diabetes and diet are obvious, as a poor diet tends to include foods high in carbohydrates and fats that break down into high blood sugar levels. These high blood sugar levels put a lot of stress on the pancreas to produce more insulin to break it down and like any body part the pancreas suffers from over use.
  • Obesity – Obesity is often linked to a poor diet as the body struggles to process the number of calories and the refined carbohydrate. Obesity comes as a result of excess fat being stored around the body, and while different people store their fat in different external areas, obesity causes fat to cover all of the major internal organs. This covering of fat impairs their function, which in terms of the pancreas prevents it from producing appropriate levels of insulin.
  • Alcohol and tobacco – Any drug that changes your mood or perception effectively acts as a poison on your system. The terrible feelings associated with a come down from nicotine and alcohol stems from your body having to process the toxins to get rid of the drugs. Like with any poisons, alcohol and tobacco affect the performance of internal organs, especially those charged with purifying and processing such as your pancreas.
  • Stress – The pace of life in the western world now means that everyone seems to juggle many different things daily, which can lead to emotional stress. Stress has a very strong causality with a range of illnesses and diseases because it reduces the effectiveness of your immune system. It can also affect your eating habits as many people resort to comfort eating to deal with the stress.

“John was a businessman and he was spending a lot of time working in his workshop. Because of out of control his work condition he was facing a stressful life and the things were getting out of control day by day.

While his regular checkup, his physician found that he is suffering from Type 2 diabetes. When he asked his doctor about the cause of the disease he told that the irregular eating habits and the stress are the two main reasons of having diabetes.”

Watch the video and know information about what is type 2 diabetes and causes it?

As you can see, the causes of diabetes mellitus type 2 are all controllable by making positive lifestyle choices. Sometimes you can contract type 2 diabetes with no symptoms whatsoever and the disease will only become a problem when your immune system is compromised. Your medical professional will test you for diabetes without any symptoms, if you feel that your current or previous lifestyle choices may have been conducive to contracting the illness.



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Return to History of Diabetes

Explore The History of Diabetes

The history of diabetes begins thousands of years ago when the ancient Greeks noticed some people passing large amounts of urine, as well as exhibiting what we now know as other telltale signs of diabetes, such as excessive thirst, increased appetite and vision difficulties.

Since written history tells us diabetes existed before the creation of high-calorie, processed foods, it definitely contains a strong genetic component resulting from random mutations occurring during the recombination process of reproduction.

Who Discovered Diabetes?

An ancient Egyptian physician named Hesy-Ra, practicing in 1552 BCE, is the first known person to document diabetic symptoms in individuals who he also noted were emaciated. Other doctors during this time noticed that the urine of people with this disease appeared to be very attractive to ants.

Sometime in the 1st century BCE, the Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia used the word “diabainein” when describing a patient who may have been suffering from diabetes. This word means “to siphon” in ancient Greek, which represents the constant passing of urine by diabetics. Hundreds of years later, in the early 1400s, the word “diabete” was first written down in old English medical documents, further delineating the history of diabetes.

Other high points of the history of diabetes include:

  • In 1900, Dr. Oskar Minkowski and Dr. Joseph von Mering determined that the pancreatic processes played a key role in the development of diabetes.
  • In 1920, Dr. R. D. Lawrency created the dietary exchange system which lead to the development of the current diabetes guidelines.
  • In 1921, scientists Charles Best and Frederick Banting found that insulin is an effective medication for treating diabetes.
  • In 1936, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes was discovered by Sir Harold Percival Himsworth.
  • In 1942, a drug considered to be the first sulfonylurea was produced and used to help those with Type 2 diabetes.
  • In 1961, the medical company Becton-Dickinson made the single-use syringe available for diabetics who need daily doses of insulin.
  • In 1979, blood sugar measurements were facilitated by the creation of the hemoglobin A1C test.
  • In 1988, metabolic syndrome was identified by Dr. Gerald Reaven, which extended the definition of diabetes and allowed preventive measures to be taken with those diagnosed with this syndrome.
  • In 2007, a new treatment involving diabetics being treated with stem cells taken from their own bone marrow produced positive results, with most diabetics no longer needing insulin treatments for lengthy time periods.

The answer to what is diabetes was technically given around the 6th century BCE, when Sushruta, a famous Indian physician, identified and classified diabetes as “Medhumeha.” He also noted that having a sedentary lifestyle coupled with obesity may aggravate such a condition and advocated exercise to “cure” symptoms.

Publishing pictures of diabetes complications such as gangrene, open sores that do not heal and emaciated bodies also provided the public with real-life implications of diabetic conditions that are not properly treated. As a result of this and advances in medicine, the risk of dying from diabetes was greatly reduced.

History of Diabetes–Today

treating diabetes

What doctors know about diabetes today is in part due to the insights of physicians practicing medicine thousands of years ago. However, with the increase of processed foods and ability to earn a living without engaging in physical activity, diabetes statistics reveal that individuals being diagnosed with diabetes is skyrocketing all over the world. According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse website, over 35 million people living in the U.S. have some form of diabetes. Additionally, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

Using the history of diabetes as a statistically significant form of information provides researchers with something called the diabetes belt, which tells us where the highest prevalence of diabetes presently exists in the U.S. If you live in any of the following states,in South Carolina, Alabama, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee or Virginia you are in fact, a part of the diabetes belt.

Many people could be at risk of developing diabetes and not even know it. See the video below and reduce the chances of developing diabetes.

Researchers suggest it is a combination of diet, lifestyle, culture and genetics which causes this cluster to occur in these specific states. Individuals living in these states need to dismiss cultural preferences for fatty, high-calorie foods and engage in more physical activity to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

More Diabetes Information

Signs of Diabetes

Signs of diabetes in children may often be missed by adults as thirst and frequent urination are common in children in any case. In the USA, as many as six million people have undiagnosed diabetes; per 100,000 children, 17 have diabetes. While 90 percent children have type 1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes, type 2 diabetes is on the rise among children. Juvenile diabetes is a serious disease and needs to be treated early as children are growing and their nutritional needs are different from that of adults.

Signs of Diabetes In Children

Signs of Diabetes

As a parent your child’s health is your responsibility since your child is too young to know about illnesses and their symptoms. You should watch out for

  • Extreme thirst that seems unquenchable
  • Frequent urination and passing large quantities of urine
  • Extreme hunger that makes the child eat a lot
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Behavioral changes
  • Stomach aches
  • Headaches
  • Vision changes
  • Fruity odor in the breath or urine caused by ketones
  • Yeast infection
  • Heavy and rapid breathing
  • Sores that don’t heal

You may miss these symptoms because children often have large appetites anyway and also have mood swings and are often perceived as being lazy so you may simply put it down to a growing up problem. However, diabetes is simple to diagnose as blood tests are all that take for a confirmed diagnosis.

Signs of Diabetes in Infants

Sometimes babies are born with diabetes or develop it shortly after birth. While you may notice changes in growing or older children, you may miss signs in small babies because you are a new parent or because you don’t have enough information at your disposal. On the flip side, you are more likely to take a baby to a doctor at the first sign of any illness. Some of the symptoms in babies are:

  • Extreme wetness in the diaper
  • Baby is always thirsty or hungry but never satisfied
  • Baby will be constantly crying and fussing even though it is clean, fed and dry
  • Weight loss which can be dangerous and affects growth
  • Sleeping a great deal
  • Yeast infection or diaper rash that does not go away

While signs are similar in toddlers or babies, your baby will not be able to communicate his or her distress, you have to watch for these symptoms.

Difference in Signs of Diabetes in Children and Adults

Difference in Signs of Diabetes in Children and Adults

The basic symptoms of a diabetic condition are the same in children and adults. However, in adults the disease will progress slowly and a pre-diabetic condition can last a long time. The disease will manifest much faster depending on the age of the child. In a baby, within a few days or weeks are all that it will take before you take a baby to a doctor. In older children, you may take some time as the symptoms are common with other ailments or may be missed.
An older child who is otherwise dry during the night, suddenly experiences night incontinence and you will notice this – it is an attempt by the body to flush out the extra glucose. In girls, the presence of yeast infection before puberty can be a symptom of diabetes. Sometimes in children the diabetes progresses at such a galloping rate that the child goes into a coma and must be rushed to hospital because it can be life threatening.

In adults, the symptoms of diabetes may take longer to manifest and often it takes you longer to connect the dots and figure out that something is wrong.

Diabetes in children can be managed, but you have to monitor them very carefully and look after their diet, exercise and insulin. Juvenile diabetes can be dangerous if undiagnosed and can cause complications and growth problems. As a child with diabetes grows older, he or she will be living with diabetes for a longer time which is another risk factor for many ailments. Now that you know the signs of diabetes in children, take action if you notice any of them.


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