Health Questions and Answers

What are the causes of diabetes?

The two types of diabetes are type 1, or insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM), and type 2, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM). Type 1 diabetes, which accounts for approximately 10% of cases, is believed to be the result of an autoimmune process in which a progressive destruction of pancreatic beta cells results in insulin deficiency. Its onset is typically in childhood. This form of diabetes was uniformly fatal until insulin was discovered in the 1920s.
Type 2 diabetes represents the remaining 90% of cases. Its is also known as adult-onset diabetes. Obesity is present in 80-90% of individuals with type 2 diabetes and contributes to the insulin resistance, which is thought to be a key element in the pathogenesis of this condition. Impairment in insulin secretion is also a factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. It is not strictly true that type 2 diabetes is non-insulin-dependent, because patients with type 2 may require insulin to control their diabetes

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