Why Do Some People Get Diabetes?

By May 24, 2022 May 26th, 2022 No Comments
Woman consulting with Doctor about Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that happens because of the body’s inability to use blood sugar (glucose) properly. In general, this means that your blood sugar levels are too high. Although researchers have not found the exact cause of diabetes, genetics and environmental factors play a significant role.1 In this article, we will discuss the different factors that make it so that some people get diabetes and some don’t. 

Different Factors That Can Influence Diabetes


Your risk of developing some type of diabetes increases if you have a parent or sibling with diabetes. Your genes can make you more receptive to developing type 2 diabetes, which has a stronger link to family history than other forms of diabetes. The increased risk is partly due to shared genetic factors, but it is also related to lifestyle choices (such as eating and exercise habits) that members of the same family share. Research is not conclusive, but some ethics groups have a higher chance of developing diabetes:

  • African-Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Asians
  • Pacific Islanders
  • Hispanic Americans

Some genetic mutations have also been linked to a person’s likelihood of developing diabetes. Most of these mutations cause diabetes by making the pancreas unable to produce insulin.2 

In conclusion, even though genetic testing is possible, it’s essential to pay attention to your family history and risk factors for diabetes.

Environmental Factors: 

Lack of exercise, poor eating habits, stress, etc., are all a part of the environmental factors that can contribute to your chances of developing diabetes. 

According to researchers, weight loss from healthy eating habits and exercise enables muscle cells to use insulin and glucose more effectively, lowering your diabetes risk. So a lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits can cause muscle cells to lose their sensitivity to insulin, increasing your chance of developing diabetes. 

A study conducted by The National Institutes of Health shows that diet and exercise can affect the development of diabetes. The study proved that a half-hour of walking or other low-intensity exercises daily, combined with a low-fat diet, reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.3

In the United States, 9 out of every 10 cases of diabetes can be avoided if individuals make healthy life choices like maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly.4

Just because someone experiences periods of stress does not mean that they will automatically develop diabetes, but research has shown that high levels of stress hormones can reduce the amount of insulin in your body and as well as stop the insulin from working properly.5

Treasure Valley Metabolic Medicine: The Diabetes Specialists 

Whether you have concerns about your genetics or lifestyle choices that may contribute to your chances of developing diabetes, we can help! We are dedicated to supporting the metabolic health of our patients by providing individualized comprehensive care for weight management and healthy living for long-term results.

Contact us at (208) 274-9580 today to begin your journey.



  1. Healthline. 2022. Diabetes Causes: How Do You Get Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes-causes [Accessed 16 May 2022].
  2.  National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 2022. Symptoms & Causes of Diabetes | NIDDK. [online] Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/symptoms-causes [Accessed 16 May 2022].
  3.  Johnmuirhealth.com. 2022. Preventing Diabetes. [online] Available at: https://www.johnmuirhealth.com/health-education/conditions-treatments/diabetes-articles/preventing-diabetes.html#:~:text=The%20National%20Institutes%20of%20Health,2%20diabetes%20by%2058%20percent. [Accessed 16 May 2022].
  4. Gavin, M. L. (Ed.). (2022, February). What is type 2 diabetes? (for teens) – Nemours kidshealth. KidsHealth. Retrieved March 24, 2022, from https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/type2.html#:~:text=In%20type%202%20diabetes%2C%20the,to%20make%20even%20more%20insulin.
  5. Diabetes UK. 2022. Stress and diabetes. [online] Available at: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/emotions/stress#:~:text=Stress%20alone%20doesn’t%20cause,amount%20of%20insulin%20they%20make. [Accessed 16 May 2022].
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