Type 2 diabetes has several causes: genetics and lifestyle are the most important ones. A combination of these factors can cause insulin. Do you know the causes of type 2 diabetes? WebMD helps you know if you are at high risk for this common type of diabetes. Overview. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose) — an important source of fuel for.
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After food is digested, the glucose is released and absorbed into the bloodstream. The glucose in the bloodstream needs to move into body tissues so that cells can use it for energy. Excess glucose is stored in the liver, or converted to fat and stored in other body tissues.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, which is a gland located just below the stomach. Insulin opens the doors the glucose channels that let glucose move from the blood into the body cells. It also allows glucose to be stored in the liver and other tissues. This is part of a process known as glucose metabolism.
There are two main types of diabetes — type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body's immune cells attack the insulin-producing cells. As a result, people with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin and need insulin injections to survive. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and affects 85 to 90 per cent of all people with diabetes.
While it usually affects mature adults, younger people are also now being diagnosed in greater numbers, as rates of obesity and people being overweight increase. Type 2 diabetes used to be called non-insulin dependent diabetes or mature onset diabetes. Gestational diabetes GDM is diabetes that occurs in and is diagnosed during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. However, women with GDM are at higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes later in life.
The risk of diabetes increases with age: Aboriginal people have one of the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in the world. Type 2 diabetes is sometimes described as a 'lifestyle disease', because it is more common in people who don't do enough physical activity, and who are overweight or obese.
It is strongly associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and an 'apple' body shape, where excess weight is carried around the waist. Type 2 diabetes often runs in families. With type 2 diabetes, the cells don't respond to insulin properly insulin resistance and the pancreas does not produce enough insulin for the body's increased needs.
If the insulin cannot do its job, the glucose channels do not open properly. Glucose builds up in the blood instead of getting into cells for energy. High blood glucose levels over time can cause damage to various parts of the body. Research shows that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed with early lifestyle changes. However, there is no cure for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes often has no symptoms. About half of those people who have type 2 diabetes have not yet been diagnosed.
Even if symptoms are present, they are often not recognised or are attributed to other reasons, such as being busy or 'getting older'. In many cases, blood glucose levels can be very high by the time a person sees their doctor. While there is no single cause of type 2 diabetes, there are well-known risk factors. Those most at risk of developing type 2 diabetes include:. You can assess your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by completing the Australian type 2 diabetes risk test.
People at risk need to have a laboratory blood glucose test not using a portable blood glucose meter ordered by their doctor to check if they have diabetes.
It is important not to wait for symptoms to develop, as these may not appear until the blood glucose is quite high. The fasting blood glucose test is the most common diagnostic test for diabetes. For this test , blood glucose levels are checked after fasting for at least eight hours but no more than 16 hours.
You can drink water during this time, but should strictly avoid any other type of drink. If your fasting blood glucose level is in the diabetes range but you have no symptoms of diabetes, it is recommended that a further test is done to confirm diabetes. Your doctor may recommend a test known as an oral glucose tolerance test OGTT.
A random blood glucose test does not require fasting and can be performed at any time of the day. The HbA1c test gives an average of your blood glucose levels over the past 10—12 weeks. You do not need to fast for it. Where a blood test shows results in the diabetes range but the person shows no symptoms of diabetes, a second pathology test is needed to confirm a diagnosis of diabetes. Depending on the test used, the level of blood glucose can be affected by many factors including:.
If you think any of the above may have influenced your result, then it is important to discuss this further with your doctor. If you don't have diabetes, but your glucose levels are higher than normal, this is called pre-diabetes and it includes one or both of:. If pre-diabetes is detected, at this stage diabetes can be delayed or prevented in some people. People with pre-diabetes can reduce their risk of developing diabetes by:. The aim of diabetes treatment is to keep you as well as possible, and reduce the risk of damage to various parts of your body that can happen over time.
Maintain blood glucose levels within the recommended range. You can help keep your blood glucose levels as near as possible to normal by:. Glucose-lowering medications, and insulin, may also be needed to manage blood glucose levels. Keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range can help prevent long-term problems that can affect your heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol within the recommended range is very important to help prevent long-term problems, especially to your heart, blood vessels and kidneys.
Regular diabetes checks of your eyes, feet blood supply and nerves , heart, blood pressure, kidneys and long-term blood glucose HbA1C are an important part of diabetes management. Your doctor and diabetes educator will help you arrange these tests. A lifelong condition like diabetes is best managed with the support of a diabetes healthcare team.
You are the most important member of your diabetes team. Other members are your doctor, diabetes educator, dietitian and podiatrist. Depending on your needs, the team may also include an endocrinologist diabetes specialist and other medical specialists such as a kidney specialist, exercise physiologist and counsellor.
The following content is displayed as Tabs. Once you have activated a link navigate to the end of the list to view its associated content. The activated link is defined as Active Tab. Diabetes and the build-up of glucose sugar in the blood can cause serious complications if left untreated It may take a while to find the right insulin dose to reduce your blood glucose to acceptable levels Healthy exercise is important for everyone. This video from Diabetes Australia — Victoria explores the importance of exercise when you have diabetes This health assessment questionnaire will identify which zones of your lifestyle are contributing to your personal health risk and provide actions you can take to make positive change When you have diabetes you need to take care of your feet every day.
This video from Diabetes Australia — Victoria explores footcare and diabetes Others can go for years without realising that they are living with the condition Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and usually disappears when the pregnancy is over Diabetes insipidus is characterised by extreme thirst and the passing of vast amounts of urine Pre-diabetes has no symptoms or warning signs, and is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes Exercise is an important lifestyle choice for everyone.
For people with diabetes or at risk of diabetes, exercise is still an important part of a healthy lifestyle Healthy eating is important for everyone. This video from Diabetes Australia — Victoria explores healthy eating and food choices The main thing is to choose physical activities that you enjoy and that you can stick to in the long term Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can increase your risk of heart attack, kidney failure and stroke Kidney failure means the kidneys can no longer remove waste and maintain the level of fluid and salts that the body needs Hypoglycaemia refers to symptoms caused by low blood glucose.
The most common reason for hypoglycaemia is diabetes medication This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website.
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This content does not have an Arabic version. Overview Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar glucose — an important source of fuel for your body. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Healthier and Happier After Bariatric Surgery For Candace Clark, bariatric surgery meant the difference between struggling with weight issues, including medical problems triggered by obesity, and enjoying renewed health and energy.
Lifestyle Changes Yield Positive Results for Wisconsin Woman With Diabetes When Debbie Hundley learned she had diabetes and realized what it was doing to her body, she was determined to make the adjustments needed to get the disease under control and keep it that way. References American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes — Type 2 diabetes mellitus adult.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; Cydulka RK, et al. Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine Manual. Melmed S, et al. Disorders of carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Department of Health and Human Services. Ueda P, et al. Sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors and risk of serious adverse events: Nationwide register based cohort study. Hyperglycemia high blood glucose. Papadakis MA, et al. Natural medicines in the clinical management of diabetes. Healthy living with diabetes: Getting the vaccines you need.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Castro MR expert opinion. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Does it affect blood sugar? Medications for type 2 diabetes Video: Get the facts on Type 2 diabetes Diabetes: Does alcohol and tobacco use increase my risk? Diabetes drugs and weight loss Diabetes prevention: Can it improve my heart health? Sodium nitrate in meat: Heart disease risk factor?
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Common Questions About Type 2 Diabetes
You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance. Read about type 2 diabetes, a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high. ANDREA CHAREST & KARINA METCALFPrevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes depends on correctly determining the cause of.