What causes type 2 diabetes
People with diabetes type 2 have a problem with the insulin in their body. They are either resistant to insulin. Diabetes type 2 can progress slowly. It’s possible for people to have diabetes for many years without knowing it. A combination of genetic and lifestyle factors can lead to diabetes type 2. There are certain factors increasing the risk of getting diabetes type 2.
The role of insulin in diabetes type 2
Usually, the pancreas (a small organ behind the stomach) secretes the hormone insulin. The body needs insulin to get energy that comes from the glucose from food intake. Glucose is very important for the human body. It is the main source of energy for the cells that build up muscles and other tissues.
Glucose travels through the bloodstream and insulin helps it get to the cells. In type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to use the insulin properly. As a result, glucose cannot reach the body’s cells and builds up in the blood. The blood glucose level increases and causes damage to the body. Furthermore, since the cells are not getting the glucose they need, they won’t function properly.
Risk factors of diabetes type 2
There are certain factors that increase the risk of getting diabetes type 2. These include:
- Being overweight: the more fatty tissues in the body, the more resistant the cells become to insulin. Furthermore, if the body stores fat primarily in the belly area, the risk of diabetes type 2 is bigger than if the fat is stored in hips and thighs.
- Age: the risk of getting diabetes type 2 is significantly higher after the age of 45. However, the number of children, adolescents and young adults that have diabetes type 2 is increasing dramatically.
- Ethnic groups: people of certain races like black people, Latin Americans, Asians, Americans and American Indians are more likely to develop diabetes type 2.
- Lifestyle: being inactive increases the risk of diabetes type 2. Exercising helps control weight and uses up glucose as energy.