Gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that manifests during pregnancy, is thought by scientists to be brought on by pregnancy’s hormonal changes as well as genetic and environmental factors.
All women experience insulin resistance in late pregnancy, which is a result of hormones the placenta produces. However, some pregnant women are unable to produce enough insulin to reverse insulin resistance. Insufficient insulin production by the pancreas leads to gestational diabetes.
Weight gain is related to gestational diabetes, just like type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance may already exist in pregnant women who are obese or overweight. Overeating when pregnant could also be a contributing issue.
Family history and genes
It is more likely for a woman to acquire gestational diabetes if her family has a history of the disease, which shows that genes may be involved. The increased prevalence of the illness in African Americans, American Indians, Asians, and Hispanics/Latinos may also be due to genes.
Diabetes with a single gene mutation is known as monogenic diabetes. Usually, these alterations are passed down through families, but occasionally a gene mutation occurs on its own. The majority of these gene mutations result in diabetes by reducing the pancreas’ capacity to produce insulin. Neonatal diabetes and juvenile diabetes with maturational onset are the two most prevalent forms of monogenic diabetes (MODY). Within the first six months of life, neonatal diabetes develops. MODY is frequently discovered by doctors in adolescence or the early stages of adulthood, however it can also be discovered much later in life.
The pancreas develops scarring as a result of the thick mucus produced by cystic fibrosis (NIH external link). The pancreas may be unable to produce enough insulin as a result of this scarring.
The body stores too much iron as a result of hemochromatosis. Iron can accumulate in the body and harm the pancreas and other organs if the condition is not treated.
The body overproduces some hormones as a result of several hormonal illnesses, which can occasionally lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.
When the body produces too much cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone,” Cushing’s syndrome develops.
When the body creates an excessive amount of growth hormone, acromegaly results.
When the thyroid gland generates too much thyroid hormone, hyperthyroidism develops.
Removal or harm to the pancreas
Trauma, pancreatic cancer, and pancreatitis can all damage beta cells or reduce their capacity to create insulin, which leads to diabetes. Diabetes will develop if the injured pancreas is removed since the beta cells will have been lost.
Some medications have the potential to damage beta cells or alter how insulin functions. These consist of
Several types of diuretics,
- often known as water pills or anti-seizure medications,
- contain the vitamin B3 niacin.
- psychiatric medications for the treatment of the HIV virus (HIV NIH external link)
- a medication used to treat a particular kind of pneumonia outside link
- drugs used to treat inflammatory conditions such rheumatoid arthritis
- lupus and ulcerative colitis
- as well as anti-rejection drugs that assist prevent the body from rejecting a donated organ.
Statins, which lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, can marginally raise your risk of developing diabetes. Statins, however, offer protection against heart disease and stroke. For this reason, the substantial advantages of taking statins outweigh the minuscule possibility of developing diabetes.
Speak with your doctor if you take any of these medications and are worried about their negative effects.