I Don’t Eat Sugar – Why I Do Have Diabetes?

Dr. Ashok Venkatanarasu
MBBS, MD, DM (Endocrinology)

It is one of the statements often heard in people with diabetes.

Undoubtedly, taking foods containing a high amount of sugar will cause you to gain more weight and, eventually, diabetes.

It is just one of many reasons. Aside from the obvious, there are less common reasons why people get diabetes. A common type of diabetes in our community is Type 2 Diabetes, which contributes to around 90% of diabetes.

Other factors leading to the development of diabetes are:


  • It is more common in obese/overweight individuals that consume excessive sugar-related products leading to extra weight gain.
  • However, if you skip sugar-related foods but consume an excess amount of refined food items like refined wheat flour, polished rice, soft drinks, and fast foods, you could still be prone to having diabetes.
  • These processed food items can make you gain extra weight, making you likely to developing diabetes.

Physical activity level

  • Aside from diet, your physical activity level can also affect your susceptibility to having diabetes.
  • If you do not have regular physical activity for a minimum of 30-40 minutes per day, you will be more likely to develop diabetes.

Family history

Having a strong family history of diabetes or ethnicity mentioned below makes you more prone to diabetes.

  • African American
  • Alaska Native
  • American Indian
  • Asian American
  • Hispanic/Latino
  • Native Hawaiian
  • Pacific Islander

Existing medical condition

  • Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and gestational diabetes mellitus (pregnancy-induced diabetes) are more prone to Type 2 diabetes.
  • The same thing goes for people with high blood pressure, excess cholesterol, heart diseases, or having blackness around the neck and armpits (acanthosis nigricans).
  • Babies who are born to mothers (having gestational diabetes) are more prone to get type 2 diabetes.

Other less-occurring reasons include the following:

  1. The body’s immune system destroys insulin – producing beta cells in the pancreas, causing diabetes (type 1 diabetes).
  2. Excess production of hormones (steroid hormone: cortisol, aldosterone, adrenaline, growth hormone, thyroid hormones, etc.), which work in the opposite direction to insulin, also results in diabetes.
  3. The pancreas destroyed by pancreatitis, leading to sufficient production of insulin resulting in diabetes.
  4. The body fat is not evenly distributed throughout the body, which affects the function of insulin resulting in diabetes.

We hope you have got the answer. There are several reasons why a person gets diabetes.

Consuming more and more sugar-related products makes us more prone to developing diabetes.

Apart from this apparent reason, there are several other factors, as mentioned earlier, which can lead to the development of diabetes.