Table 3: Beliefs About Causes of Diabetes Mellitus

Main Analytical Category 1 Number of Statements (n) Subcategory Quotation
Factors Related to the Individual (38)
Intake of sugar ‘I didn’t know exactly, thought that it was because one used sugar or … ate too much chocolate or sweets … I used to drink coffee … with three spoons of sugar’
Heredity ‘has to do with the family, my mother had diabetes and my sisters and brothers … ’
Heredity. 2
Unhealthy dietary habits. 2
Obesity. 2
Pancreatic diseases. 2
Inactivity. 2
Infections. 2
Pregnancy. 2
Imbalance between warmth/cold or yin/yang. 2
Factors Related to Nature (3)
Decreased pancreatic function due to intake of margarine. ‘as the pancreas works less well and the production of insulin decreases. Since I came to Sweden 25 years ago and started to cook with margarine … it’s not good’.
Intake of diuretics. 2
Factors Related to the Social Sphere (12)
Disturbed relations to others, alive or dead. 2
Factors Related to the Individual and Social Sphere (3)
The physician has informed about the cause ‘… they said - the physician - it was this infection’
Experiences in the home country causing mental trauma ‘… what I experienced in my home country. Such shocks where horror is involved … can cause big changes in the organism … mental illness, depressions …’
Factors Related to the Supernatural Sphere (4)
Fate 2
Punishment from God 2
Don’t Know (1)
No cause 1 I can’t find any cause

1 Analytical categories according to the lay model of illness causation by Helman (2007) [15], in which causes of illness could be related to the individual, nature, social relations and/or the supernatural world.
2 Findings from discussions of a list of potential causes of diabetes mellitus.