September 25, 2023

How does a person become diabetic?

weight gain progression is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body does not properly use the insulin it produces . Insulin is a hormone that regulates the concentration of sugar in the blood, defines the WHO (World Health Organization) (Source 1). Type 2 diabetes is the most common in the population (more than 90%), notes Inseam.

  • In a person who is not sick: after meals, the sugars from digested food pass into the blood: they raise blood sugar. In order to bring it back down to its normal level, the pancreas secretes a regulating hormone, insulin. This brings blood sugar to the muscles and the liver, which are big consumers of sugar;
  • In diabetics : for various reasons, insulin can no longer “do its job”. In order to prevent sugar from building up in the blood, the pancreas first works in overload. But after ten to twenty years, it wears out. Hyperglycemia (increased blood sugar) sets in. Poorly controlled, it risks causing complications in the heart, kidneys, eyes and nervous system.

What symptoms can you have?

You feel frequent urges to urinate, you suffer from repeated urinary tract infections , you feel very thirsty : this kidney damage may be a sign of diabetes. You must consult your doctor. Be careful though, as the signs can be silent. It is possible to live for several years with it, without feeling the slightest symptom.

Hypertension, smoking, pregnancy… Known risk factors

Several factors may be involved:

Genetic heritage : having a diabetic father or mother doubles the risk of the disease occurring. But heredity alone is rarely enough to trigger diabetes;

  • Age : from the age of 45, the risk increases;
  • High blood pressure ;
  • Tobacco ; _

A sedentary lifestyle associated with a diet that is too fatty and too sweet . The danger is overweight, a major risk factor in the development of diabetes.

Diabetes and pregnancy

Being pregnant sometimes causes what is called gestational diabetes  (glucose intolerance which in pregnant women results in an increase in blood sugar). In general, it disappears after birth. But it can be a later risk factor for diabetes in the mother , such as having a baby over four pounds.

Overweight, a risk factor and a consequence of diabetes

Type 2 diabetes deserves its nickname “fatty diabetes” . Because it is excess weight , caused by a diet that is too rich in fats and sugars , which promotes its development. Overweight people are five times more likely to have type 2 diabetes than those of normal build, and up to ten times more in obese people. On the other hand, no link has been established between dietary imbalances and type 1 diabetes .

Triggers of a genetic predisposition

Overweight and obesity act as triggers: “they represent major factors in the expression of type 2 diabetes, in the 10% of the French population genetically predisposed to developing it” , explains Professor Patrick Vexatious, head of dermatology at Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris.

In 2007, 80% of the 2.2 million French people with type 2 diabetes were overweight or obese , according to the Entered study published by the National Institute for Health Surveillance. Being overweight is thus “the major modifiable risk factor for type 2 diabetes”. As a reminder, a person is said to be overweight his BMI (body mass index which is calculated by dividing the weight (in kilos) by the height (in meters) squared) is between 25 and 29.9 . We speak of obesity when the BMI is greater than or equal to 30.