Causes of Diabetes Mellitus

Causes of diabetes mellitus may very from your genetic make-up, family history, ethnicity background, health or environmental factors.

There is no common theme that cause of diabetes mellitus that fits everyone with diabetes.

The reason why there is not common definition of diabetes cause is because the cause of diabetes does very from person to person and the type.

For example; the causes for Type 1 diabetes may vary considerably from the causes of gestational diabetes.

Similarly,  the cause of type 2 diabetes is very different from the causes of type 1 diabetes.

Cause of Type 1 Diabetes

Causes of Diabetes Mellitus - The cause of type 1 diabetes is when the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that makes insulin. This  causes diabetes which does not leave your body without enough insulin to function normally.

This is called an autoimmune reaction or autoimmune cause, this mean that your body is attacking itself.


There are no known causes for type 1 diabetes, but the following might trigger it:

  • Viral or bacterial infection
  • Chemical toxins within food
  • Unidentified component causing autoimmune reaction

Also an underlying genetics may also cause type 1 diabetes.

Cause of Type 2 Diabetes

The cause of type 2 diabetes are usually multifactorial, which mean more that one diabetes causes are involved. The most overwhelming factor is a family history of type 2 diabetes.


This is the most common cause of type 2 diabetes.


There are other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, any or all will increase the chances of you developing this condition.


Theses include:

  • Obesity
  • Living a sedentary lifestyle
  • Increasing age
  • Bad diet

Other types 2 diabetes causes such as pregnancy or illness can be key factors.

Gestational Diabetes Causes

Gestational diabetes causes usually happens during pregnancy which is also unknown, but there are number of risk factors that increase the chances of getting this condition.

  • Family history of gestational diabetes
  • Overweight or obese
  • Suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Have had a large baby weighing over 9lb

Some other cause to gestational diabetes may be related to ethnicity, some ethnic groups have a higher chance of getting gestational diabetes.

Other Causes of Diabetes Mellitus

There are other variety of potential diabetes causes, which includes:

  • Pancreatitis or pancreatectomy as a cause of diabetes. Pancreatitis is known to increase the risk of developing diabetes, as is a pancreatectomy.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). One of the root causes of PCOS is obesity-linked insulin resistance, which may also increase the risk of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
  • Cushing’s syndrome. This syndrome increases production of the cortisol hormone, which serves to increased blood glucose levels. An over-abundance of cortisol can cause diabetes.
  • Glucagonoma. Patients with glucagonoma may experience diabetes because of a lack of equilibrium between levels of insulin production and glucagon production.
  • Steroid induced diabetes (steroid diabetes) is a rare form of diabetes that occurs due to prolonged use of glucocorticoid therapy.

For more diabetes information check out the Canadians Diabetes 


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