Diabetes mellitus is a disease accompanied by an increase in blood sugar levels, resulting from absolute or relative insufficiency of the hormone insulin. Insulin produces specific cells of the pancreas, called β-cells. Under the influence of any internal or external factors, the work of these cells is disturbed and insulin deficiency, that is, diabetes mellitus, occurs.
Genes are to blame
The main role in the development of diabetes is played by a genetic factor – in most cases, this disease is inherited.
- The development of diabetes mellitus type I is based on genetic predisposition along the recessive pathway. Moreover, this process is often autoimmune (i.e., the immune system damages β-cells, as a result of which they lose their ability to produce insulin). Identified antigens predisposing to diabetes. With a certain combination of them dramatically increases the risk of developing the disease. This type of diabetes is often combined with some other autoimmune processes (autoimmune thyroiditis, toxic goiter, rheumatoid arthritis).
- Type II diabetes mellitus is also inherited, but by the dominant path. At the same time, insulin production does not stop, but decreases sharply, or the body loses the ability to recognize it.
Factors triggering the development of the disease
In case of genetic predisposition to type I diabetes, viral infection (parotitis, rubella, Coxsackie, cytomegalovirus, enterovirus) is the main provocative factor. Also risk factors are:
- family history (if among close relatives there are cases of this disease, then the probability of getting sick in a person is higher, but still very far from 100%);
- Belonging to the Caucasoid race (the risk of becoming ill among the representatives of this race is much higher than that of Asians, Hispanics or blacks);
- the presence of antibodies to β-cells in the blood.
There are much more factors predisposing to type II diabetes. However, the presence of even all of them does not guarantee the development of the disease. However, the more of these factors in a particular person, the higher the likelihood that he will become ill.
- Metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance syndrome) and obesity. Since adipose tissue is the site of the formation of a factor that inhibits insulin synthesis, diabetes in overweight people is more than likely.
- Pronounced atherosclerosis. The risk of developing the disease increases if the level of “good” cholesterol (HDL) in venous blood is less than 35 mg / dL, and the level of triglycerides is more than 250 mg / dL.
- Arterial hypertension and vascular diseases (stroke, heart attack) in the anamnesis.
- A history of diabetes, first occurred during pregnancy, or the birth of a child weighing more than 3.5 kg.
- In the history of polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Elderly age.
- The presence of diabetes with close relatives.
- Chronic stress.
- Lack of physical activity.
- Chronic diseases of the pancreas, liver or kidneys.
- Taking certain medications (steroid hormones, thiazide diuretics).
Causes of diabetes in children
Children suffer mainly from type I diabetes. The factors that increase the likelihood of a child of this serious disease include:
- genetic predisposition (heredity);
- body weight of a newborn over 4.5 kg;
- frequent viral diseases;
- reduced immunity;
- metabolic diseases (hypothyroidism, obesity).
Which doctor to contact
A patient with diabetes must be supervised by an endocrinologist. Consultation of a neurologist, a cardiologist, an ophthalmologist, a vascular surgeon is necessary to diagnose the complications of diabetes. To clarify the question, what is the risk of diabetes in an unborn child, when planning a pregnancy, parents who have cases of this disease in their families should visit genetics.