Type 2 Diabetes

(Diabetes Mellitus Type 2; Insulin-Resistant Diabetes; Diabetes, Type 2)

Animation Movie AvailableRelated Media: The Importance of Healthy Eating When You Have Diabetes

Definition

Glucose is a type of sugar. It comes from food, and is also created in the liver. Glucose travels through the body in the blood. It moves from the blood to cells with the help of a hormone called insulin. Once glucose is in those cells, it can be used for energy.Diabetes is a condition that makes it difficult for the body to use glucose. This causes a buildup of glucose in the blood. It also means the body is not getting enough energy. Type 2 diabetes is one type of diabetes, and it is the most common.Medication, lifestyle changes, and monitoring can help control blood glucose levels.

Causes

Type 2 diabetes is often caused by a combination of factors. One factor is that your body begins to make less insulin. A second factor is that your body becomes resistant to insulin. This means there is insulin in your body, but your body cannot use it effectively. Insulin resistance is often related to excess body fat.

Risk Factors

Type 2 diabetes is more common in people who are aged 45 years and older. It is also common in younger people who are obese and belong to at-risk ethnic groups. Other factors that increase your chance for type 2 diabetes include:
  • Prediabetes—impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose
  • Metabolic syndrome—a condition marked by elevated cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure, and central obesity
  • Excess weight or obesity, especially central obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor diet—high intake of processed meats, fats, sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, and calories
  • Family history of type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Depression
  • History of gestational diabetes, or having a baby that weighs over nine pounds at birth
  • Endocrine disorders, such as Cushing’s syndrome, hyperthyroidism, acromegaly, polycystic ovary syndrome, pheochromocytoma, or glucagonoma
  • Conditions associated with insulin resistance, such as acanthosis nigricans
  • Certain medications, such as glucocorticoids or thiazides
  • Certain ethnic groups, such as African American, Hispanic, Native American, Hispanic American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander

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