Pete Etchells answered on 20 Apr 2012:
Thanks for the question! There are different types of diabetes, and so different ways in which it can be acquired. Very generally, diabetes occurs because you have very high levels of blood sugar – this can either be because you aren’t producing enough insulin (which is involved in taking sugar out from the blood), or because cells in your body aren’t responding in the right way to the insulin.
Type 1 diabetes, which is when you aren’t producing enough insulin, partly occurs because or your genes. It doesn’t mean that you’re definitely going to get it, it just means that certain types of infection might make it more likely to start.
Type 2 diabetes, in which the cells in your body aren’t responding in the right way to insulin, can occur due to a combination of genetic causes and lifestyle factors. The main one, as you’ve rightly said, is eating unhealthy things, such as foods with a high saturated fat content or lots of sugar (for example, cheeseburgers and fizzy drinks). Not being very active makes it worse too, as does being overweight.
I hope that answers your question!
Martin Lindley answered on 20 Apr 2012:
Petes answer is correct so I dont have much to add really.
However I would say that recently (last few decades) the rates of diabetes (especially type 2) in the UK and in the western world (Europe and the USA) have been rising !
This is generally agreed to be due to the diet and lifestyle we have become used to.
There are many examples of Olympic Gold Medalists being diabetic Sir Steve Redgrave being a famous one ! so having diabetes does not have to stop you exercising or taking part in sport you just need to control it properly ! (Always seek medical advive from your GP or sports medicine doctor about this).
However if you can reduce the chances of developing diabetes through a good diet and an active lifestyle then that would seem like a pretty good idea 🙂
Faye Didymus answered on 20 Apr 2012:
Hi again kieranscottiee…another great question 🙂 Some people are born with diabetes and others may develop it over the course of their lifespan. Both Pete and Martin have provided some great information but I would add that diet is really important if you haven’t had diabetes from birth. Your risk of Type 2 diabetes is increased if you eat lots of sugary foods such as sweets and chocolate. Keep active with plenty of sports and exercise and eat a balanced, healthy diet to reduce your chances 🙂
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