What Causes Diabetes?

Doctor and patient

It's estimated that over 37 million Americans have some form of diabetes — a number that's only expected to increase in the coming years. Here at Viasox, diabetes education is one of the best methods of preventing and treating this common disease, which is why we've put together this resource.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with diabetes, prediabetes or are just curious to know the complexities surrounding what causes diabetes - one of the most prevalent health conditions in the United States, this guide is for you. Keep reading for more information about the causes of diabetes, what you can do to prevent diabetes, and the best ways to treat diabetes if it develops.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition when your body can no longer make or use insulin, a key hormone that helps change glucose into energy for your cells. When your body doesn't have or can't use insulin, it causes blood glucose levels to rise and can result in serious health complications.

There are several different types of diabetes, with the most common being:

While all kinds of diabetes share similar symptoms, each type has its causes, treatment options, and outcomes. Understanding your risk for a certain type of diabetes can help you better prevent or control it to enjoy a high quality of life.

What causes diabetes?

Every type of diabetes is slightly different. This is especially true when it comes to what causes diabetes. Below, we'll look at four of the most common types of diabetes and why they happen.

Type 1 diabetes 

The exact type 1 diabetes causes aren't known. However, it is likely caused by an autoimmune reaction that occurs when your body attacks and destroys your pancreatic beta cells, the primary producers of insulin. This means your body cannot make the right amount of insulin on its own and, therefore, must rely on outside sources.

Type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults, though it can still develop at any age. It is believed that type 1 diabetes is partially influenced by genetics or environmental triggers such as exposure to a virus. Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes is not determined by lifestyle or diet habits.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes. This condition happens when the body doesn't produce enough insulin or can't use the insulin it does produce.

This type of diabetes, predominantly seen in middle-aged or older adults, is heavily influenced by lifestyle factors such as physical activity and diet. Physical inactivity, a poor diet, obesity, and high blood pressure are all potential type 2 diabetes causes.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes can occur in any pregnant woman and is thought to be caused by certain hormones that are produced during pregnancy. These hormones can elevate a mother's blood sugar levels to the point where she develops diabetes. Unlike other forms of diabetes, however, gestational diabetes often resolves itself after the baby is born.


Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 3 American adults have diagnosed or undiagnosed prediabetes.

As with other types of diabetes, the exact causes of prediabetes aren't known, though it is assumed that genetics and lifestyle choices play a significant role. You are more likely to be prediabetic if you are overweight, older than 45, have a family history of type 2 diabetes, aren't regularly physically active, or have previously had gestational diabetes.

Can diabetes be cured?

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for diabetes. However, certain types of diabetes may not be lifelong if they are discovered early and managed properly.

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition requiring ongoing management with medication and other treatments. Type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes are different cases entirely. These three types of diabetes can sometimes be reversed — but only under the right circumstances.

Gestational diabetes will often resolve on its own after the baby is born and the mother's hormones normalize. Likewise, prediabetes can often be reversed with the proper lifestyle changes, which can keep it from developing into type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes has no cure, but in certain cases, remission is possible. Additionally, there are many things that people can do to treat and control their diabetes effectively. Some essential factors in managing diabetes include: 

  • Keeping blood sugar levels under control

Diabetic patients should check their glucose levels multiple times daily to ensure the sugar levels are controlled. This can be done using at-home testing kits.

  • Taking prescribed medications

If your doctor prescribes a certain medication — whether insulin or something else — it is important to take it regularly to help prevent diabetes from becoming worse and additional conditions from developing.

  • Getting regular exercise

Physical activity is important in managing weight, controlling blood sugar levels, and maintaining muscle. It can also help with stress and other negative feelings associated with diabetes, aid in quality sleep, and increase insulin sensitivity.

  • Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet

A good diabetes meal plan includes healthy, whole foods, lean proteins, plenty of vegetables, nutritious snacks, and appropriate portions.

  • Maintaining a healthy weight 

Overweight and obese individuals are more likely to develop diabetes and other serious health conditions. Thus, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent diabetes from occurring or progressing. Generally, this means combining good eating habits and daily exercise. However, some patients also benefit from elective surgeries such as weight-loss surgery, which can help normalize blood sugar levels.

Even though diabetes can't be cured, it's vital to try and manage the condition as much as you can. Untreated or poorly controlled diabetes can increase your risk of diabetic neuropathy, stroke, heart attacks, and other serious health complications.

Treating and managing different types of diabetes

Different types of diabetes may require different management tactics to ensure the patient can live a high-quality, fulfilling life.

Like other types of diabetes, type 1 diabetes management should involve making healthy lifestyle changes. Unlike other types of diabetes, however, type 1 diabetes requires lifelong insulin treatments. This is because type 1 diabetics can't produce enough insulin and therefore need an outside source to manage their insulin levels and stay healthy. 

Type 2 diabetics and prediabetics can benefit from making the above lifestyle changes — in some cases, these changes can slow down or even reverse diabetes. One of the most notable changes that a patient can make to help manage their diabetes is to lose weight. As mentioned, overweight or obese diabetics are more likely to develop diabetes and other dangerous conditions, such as peripheral neuropathy. Physical activity and diet adjustments are the best way to reach and maintain an ideal weight. However, some people have also found success by opting for bariatric surgery.

When it comes to managing symptoms of diabetes, there are many other treatment options. These include everything from acupuncture and massage to help treat neuropathic pain to diabetic socks that will help protect your feet from common diabetic foot problems

Find the best diabetic socks online at Viasox 

If you're looking for high-quality compression socks or non-binding diabetic socks in North America, Viasox is the place to go. We pride ourselves on being a leading provider of fancy, comfortable, and functional socks designed specifically with your feet in mind. 

Our socks are designed to:

  • Provide superior protection to help prevent foot injuries and dangerous infections.
  • Be extremely comfortable — their super-stretchy design won't leave you painful compression marks, aches, or other discomforts.
  • Wick away moisture to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
  • Keep odors at a minimum and help prevent infection with antibacterial materials.
  • Distribute a pleasant pressure to your feet and legs to help increase circulation, combat pain, and reduce swelling. 

Our socks are available in various sizes, lengths, and styles and can be purchased as a single pair or in bundle packs. Whether you want to add a little flair to your closet with a fun pattern or a more traditional design, we can help you find the perfect socks. 

Visit us online today to browse our entire collection and enjoy fast delivery anywhere in the country. If you need assistance placing your order, have questions about our products, or want to learn more about our team, please don't hesitate to contact us today!


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    Viasox are the worlds’ first special diabetic socks designed with two things in mind - fashion and practicality. We aim to provide you with high-quality socks that aren’t dowdy and boring like most diabetic socks currently on the market.

    Our socks come in a great variety of colors and patterns on the calf which really bring out your personality and make it easier to complete your outfit! Show off your fancy socks knowing that they’re made especially for you and say goodbye to the boring old black & white socks!

    Our goal is to give everyone the ability to live comfortably by promoting diabetes care, acceptance, and support.