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What Causes Type 2 Diabetes

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes – And How To Fight It

A combination of lifestyle and genetic factors are what causes Type 2 diabetes. Unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical activity, being overweight or obese, toxin exposure, and smoking increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

Genetics plays an important role in developing type 2 diabetes. If other family members have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, one has a higher risk of developing the condition. Certain ethnic and racial groups are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to other populations.1

Ultimately though, it is important to take steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes – Sugar

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder caused by too much sugar in the body. The body either does not respond properly to insulin or does not produce enough of it. A high intake of simple sugars and carbohydrates can lead to insulin resistance. Eating too much sugar causes a spike in blood glucose levels, which the body has difficulty controlling. This causes the pancreas to overproduce insulin, leading to a condition known as hyperinsulinemia. Over time, this causes an increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes.2 3

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes – HFCS

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a type of sweetener commonly added to food and drinks. It has been linked to an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes due to its high sugar content. Scientists believe that the rapid rise in blood sugar levels caused by consuming large amounts of HFCS may cause cells in the body to become resistant to insulin, leading to Type 2 Diabetes. 

Additionally, HFCS has been linked with weight gain, which in turn can increase the risk of developing diabetes. It is important to limit your intake of products containing HFCS and instead focus on eating a healthy balanced diet, as this will help reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.4 5

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes - Sugar And HFCS

How To Avoid Sugar And HFCS – Eating Whole Foods

The best way to avoid consuming sugar and high fructose corn syrup is by eating whole foods. Whole foods are less processed and usually don’t contain added sugars or HFCS, making it easier to keep your diet free of these unhealthy ingredients. Eating more fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, grass-fed dairy, nuts, and other unprocessed foods can significantly reduce the intake of sugar and HFCS.

Ideally, consume foods that don’t contain a nutritional label, as that indicates they haven’t been processed. If consuming lightly processed foods, read food labels when shopping, as some foods that seem healthy may contain added sugars or HFCS. For instance, many yogurts are loaded with added sugars, even if they don’t taste sweet. Be sure to look for products labeled “no added sugars” or “unsweetened.”

Finally, try to avoid processed snacks and sweets. Foods like chips, cookies, cakes, and candy are usually high in sugar and HFCS. Instead of these foods, choose healthier snacks such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Eating these types of snacks can greatly reduce the intake of excess sugar and HFCS.

Read more about a healthy diet.

Type 2 Diabetes And Exercise

Exercise is a key part of managing type 2 diabetes. It helps to control blood sugar levels, reduce stress and improve overall health. Regular physical activity also reduces the risk of complications such as heart disease, stroke, and nerve damage that can develop with this condition.

Physical activity helps the body respond better to insulin by increasing the cells’ sensitivity to it. This means that the body will be able to use the insulin it produces more efficiently, which helps to keep blood sugar levels under control. Exercise also helps to promote weight loss and can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first place.6

Read more about losing fat.

Type 2 Diabetes And Exercise

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes – Toxins

There are a number of known diabetogenic pollutants that include persistent organic pollutants (POPs), bisphenol A (BPA), arsenic, phthalates, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Studies have shown that exposure to these toxins can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.7

These toxins enter the body through ingestion, inhaling, or skin contact in small amounts and accumulate over time. Many are found in consumer products like plastics and processed foods. They disrupt normal functioning by interfering with hormones that regulate metabolism, leading to increased insulin resistance and higher levels of glucose in the blood.

Exposure to toxins is linked to chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and impaired insulin production, all of which can lead to type 2 diabetes. It’s important to limit exposure to these toxins through smart choices like avoiding processed food with added preservatives and eating organic when possible. Additionally, reducing the use of plastic containers for food storage is another great way to reduce your exposure.8

By reducing the amount of toxins we are exposed to, we can help lessen the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It’s important to be aware of these risks and take the necessary steps to reduce unnecessary exposure. Remember, prevention is always the best medicine.

Read more about common toxins we are exposed to.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes – Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemicals that can cause endocrine disruption and have been linked to the development of Type 2 Diabetes. POPs, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins, are extremely persistent in the environment and accumulate in fatty tissues over time. These fat-soluble compounds are able to cross the placental barrier and are capable of being transferred into breast milk. As a result, infants are exposed to POPs even before birth and continue to be exposed throughout their lives via food, air, and water.

Studies have found that exposure to higher levels of PCBs is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, research suggests that there may be a link between exposure to POPs and obesity, which is one of the primary risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.9

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes – Bisphenol A (BPA)

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a man-made chemical used to make certain hard, clear plastics and resins. It is found in many everyday products, including food packaging, water bottles, baby bottles, and microwaveable plastic containers. Studies have linked BPA exposure to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Research suggests that the body confuses BPA with hormones and, as a result, insulin production is affected. Additionally, research suggests the chemical may also cause inflammation and other changes in the body that lead to an increased risk of diabetes.10

It is important to note that BPA can be found in many everyday items and it can be difficult to avoid exposure completely. However, it is possible to reduce your risk by opting for food products that come in glass and cardboard containers, instead of those packaged in plastic. Additionally, it is also important to be mindful of how you store food and drinks. Avoid microwaving or washing plastic containers, as this can cause BPA to leach into the food.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes - Bisphenol A (BPA)

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes – Arsenic

Arsenic poisoning is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Studies have found that long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water, food, or soil can increase the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Arsenic is an element found naturally in the environment and can also be released through industrial processes such as mining and metal smelting. It has been linked to a number of health problems, including cancer and type 2 diabetes. Symptoms of arsenic poisoning include vomiting, stomach pain, dark urine, and fatigue. If exposed to arsenic for an extended period of time, it can damage cells and increase the risk for type 2 diabetes.11

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes – Phthalates

Phthalates are another potential cause of type 2 diabetes. Phthalates are a group of chemicals found in many plastics, such as those used to make beverage bottles and food packaging. These chemicals can act as endocrine disruptors, interfering with the body’s hormones. Studies have shown that exposure to these phthalates could be linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.12 Research suggests that pregnant women exposed to higher levels of phthalates may be more likely to have children who later develop type 2 diabetes.13

To reduce exposure to phthalates, avoid using plastic containers to store food and drinks, and opt for glass or stainless steel instead. You should also limit the amount of processed foods you consume, as these often contain high levels of phthalates. Finally, try to avoid products with “fragrance” listed as an ingredient, as this can be a sign that the product contains phthalates.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes – Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are industrial chemicals that were widely used in the past to make electrical equipment. They were banned from production in the United States in 1979, but still remain a major environmental pollutant, contaminating soil, water, and air. Studies have linked exposure to PCBs with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. PCBs can accumulate in the body over time and interfere with the metabolism of insulin, leading to increased blood sugar levels and diabetes. Additionally, PCBs have been linked to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Minimize exposure to PCBs by avoiding contaminated food sources and fish from polluted waters.14

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes – Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of chemicals found in the environment, primarily from burning fossil fuels. These chemicals can accumulate in the human body over time and have been linked to an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes. PAHs are also linked to other health issues such as certain types of cancer or heart disease. People who are exposed to higher levels of PAHs through their environment or lifestyle, such as those who live in areas with high air pollution, may be more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes.15

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes – Smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that smoking increases your chances of developing the disease by up to 30 percent. Not only does it increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, but it also has other serious health consequences associated with it.16

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes – And How To Fight It With Fasting

Fasting can be an effective way to fight type 2 diabetes. Fasting helps to reduce body fat, which can decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It also reduces inflammation in the body, which is linked to a variety of chronic diseases including diabetes. Furthermore, fasting boosts metabolism and helps regulate the hormones that control blood sugar levels. It has been shown that intermittent fasting reduces blood sugar levels.17

Read more about the benefits of fasting.


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2 Wang M, Yu M, Fang L, Hu RY. Association between sugar-sweetened beverages and type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis. J Diabetes Investig. 2015 May;6(3):360-6. doi: 10.1111/jdi.12309. Epub 2014 Dec 11. PMID: 25969723; PMCID: PMC4420570.

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6 Amanat S, Ghahri S, Dianatinasab A, Fararouei M, Dianatinasab M. Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2020;1228:91-105. doi: 10.1007/978-981-15-1792-1_6. PMID: 32342452.

7 Pizzorno J. Is the Diabetes Epidemic Primarily Due to Toxins? Integr Med (Encinitas). 2016 Aug;15(4):8-17. PMID: 27574488; PMCID: PMC4991654.

8 Burgos-Morón E, Abad-Jiménez Z, Marañón AM, Iannantuoni F, Escribano-López I, López-Domènech S, Salom C, Jover A, Mora V, Roldan I, Solá E, Rocha M, Víctor VM. Relationship Between Oxidative Stress, ER Stress, and Inflammation in Type 2 Diabetes: The Battle Continues. J Clin Med. 2019 Sep 4;8(9):1385. doi: 10.3390/jcm8091385. PMID: 31487953; PMCID: PMC6780404.

9 Lee DH, Lee IK, Song K, Steffes M, Toscano W, Baker BA, Jacobs DR Jr. A strong dose-response relation between serum concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and diabetes: results from the National Health and Examination Survey 1999-2002. Diabetes Care. 2006 Jul;29(7):1638-44. doi: 10.2337/dc06-0543. PMID: 16801591.

10 Wang T, Li M, Chen B, Xu M, Xu Y, Huang Y, Lu J, Chen Y, Wang W, Li X, Liu Y, Bi Y, Lai S, Ning G. Urinary bisphenol A (BPA) concentration associates with obesity and insulin resistance. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Feb;97(2):E223-7. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-1989. Epub 2011 Nov 16. PMID: 22090277.

11 Liu S, Guo X, Wu B, Yu H, Zhang X, Li M. Arsenic induces diabetic effects through beta-cell dysfunction and increased gluconeogenesis in mice. Sci Rep. 2014 Nov 4;4:6894. doi: 10.1038/srep06894. PMID: 25367288; PMCID: PMC4219158.

12 Zhang H, Ben Y, Han Y, Zhang Y, Li Y, Chen X. Phthalate exposure and risk of diabetes mellitus: Implications from a systematic review and meta-analysis. Environ Res. 2022 Mar;204(Pt B):112109. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.112109. Epub 2021 Sep 23. PMID: 34562484.

13 Chen W, He C, Liu X, An S, Wang X, Tao L, Zhang H, Tian Y, Wu N, Xu P, Liao D, Liao J, Wang L, Fang D, Xiong S, Liu Y, Tian K, Li Q, Huang J, Yuan H, Chen X, Zhang L, Shen X, Zhou Y. Effects of exposure to phthalate during early pregnancy on gestational diabetes mellitus: a nested case-control study with propensity score matching. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2023 Mar;30(12):33555-33566. doi: 10.1007/s11356-022-24454-y. Epub 2022 Dec 8. PMID: 36480145.

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17 The Endocrine Society. (2022, December 14). Intermittent fasting may reverse type 2 diabetes, according to study: Study finds people with diabetes who fast intermittently may no longer need medication. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 14, 2023 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/12/221214092433.htm

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