How Does Type 2 Diabetes Develop?

How Does Type 2 Diabetes Develop
It’s caused by problems with a chemical in the body (hormone) called insulin. It’s often linked to being overweight or inactive, or having a family history of type 2 diabetes.

How does type 2 diabetes develop over time?

How diabetes progresses – Diabetes is considered a progressive condition, which is why the first step you take to manage your diabetes will not stay effective long-term. Scientists understand the basics of type 2 well, including how the body makes and uses insulin.

  • When beta cells in the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to keep your blood sugar (blood glucose) from raising too high, the result is diabetes.
  • First, your body stops making enough insulin or using insulin it does make properly.
  • When your body doesn’t use insulin properly, it’s called insulin resistance.

Your beta cells increase the amount of insulin they produce to make up for the insulin resistance. Over time, the body works even harder to make more insulin and eventually it can’t keep up. Unlike people with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 still have functioning beta cells.

  1. They usually have no idea there is a problem until a doctor tests their blood sugar levels.
  2. Because symptoms can be minimal and go unnoticed, many people can have type 2 diabetes for a long time before it’s diagnosed.
  3. Sometimes, type 2 diabetes can be managed with an eating plan and physical activity.

Exercise and weight loss have been shown to improve how your body uses insulin. In addition to these lifestyle changes, medications can be prescribed. Many times, the first medication prescribed is metformin, which decreases amount of glucose produced by the liver.

The body becomes resistant to its own insulin Beta cells pump out more insulin to make up for insulin resistance Beta cells can’t keep up with insulin needs and blood sugar levels rise to levels high enough to diagnose diabetes Lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) and medications (oral or injectable) are used to manage blood sugar Your body can’t keep up with the amount of insulin needed to manage your blood sugar and more medications are needed over time

What are the top causes of type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes Causes and Risk Factors Although not everyone with is, obesity and an inactive lifestyle are two of the most common causes of, These things are responsible for about 90% to 95% of cases in the United States. When you’re healthy, your (an organ behind your ) releases insulin to help your body store and use from the food you eat.

  • Your pancreas doesn’t make any insulin.
  • Your makes very little insulin.
  • Your body doesn’t respond the way it should to insulin

Unlike people with, people with make insulin. But the insulin their pancreas releases isn’t enough, or their body can’t recognize the insulin and use it properly. (Doctors call this insulin resistance.) When there isn’t enough insulin or the insulin isn’t used as it should be, glucose (sugar) can’t get into your cells.

It builds up in your bloodstream instead. This can damage many areas of the body. Also, since cells aren’t getting the glucose they need, they don’t work the way they should. is believed to have a strong genetic link, meaning that it tends to run in families. If you have a parent, brother, or sister who has it, your chances rise.

Several genes may be related to type 2 diabetes. Ask your doctor about a diabetes test if you have any of the following risk factors:

  • High blood (fat) levels. It’s too high if it’s over 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
  • Low “good” level. It’s too low if it’s less than 40 mg/dL.
  • or to a weighing more than 9 pounds
  • . That means your level is above normal, but you don’t have the disease yet.
  • High- and diet. This can sometimes be the result of food insecurity, when you don’t have access to enough healthy food.
  • High intake
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • or being overweight
  • (PCOS)
  • Being of an ethnicity that’s at higher risk: African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans are more likely to get type 2 diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.
  • You’re over 45 years of age. Older age is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The risk of type 2 diabetes begins to rise significantly around age 45 and rises considerably after age 65.
  • You’ve had an, After an organ transplant, you need to take for the rest of your life so your body doesn’t reject the donor organ. These drugs help organ transplants succeed, but many of them, such as (Astagraf, ) or, can cause diabetes or make it worse.
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A proper and healthy lifestyle habits, along with medication, if you need it, can help you manage type 2 diabetes the same way you manage other areas of your life. Be sure to seek the latest information on this condition as you become your own health advocate.

To understand why insulin is important, it helps to know more about how your body uses food for energy. Your body is made up of millions of cells. To make energy, these cells need food in a very simple form. When you eat or drink, much of the food is broken down into a simple sugar called glucose. It moves through your bloodstream to these cells, where it provides the energy your body needs for daily activities.

Insulin and other hormones control the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. Your pancreas is always releasing small amounts of insulin. When the amount of glucose in your rises to a certain level, the pancreas will release more insulin to push more glucose into the cells.

  1. This causes the glucose levels in the blood (blood glucose levels) to drop.
  2. To keep blood glucose levels from getting too low (, or ), your body signals you to eat and releases some glucose from the stores kept in the,
  3. It also tells the body to release less insulin.
  4. People with diabetes either don’t make insulin or their body’s cells can no longer use their insulin.

This leads to high blood sugars. By definition, diabetes is:

  • A blood glucose level of greater than or equal to 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood after an 8-hour fast (not eating anything)
  • A non- glucose level greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL, along with
  • A glucose level greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL on a 2-hour glucose tolerance test
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A1c greater than or equal to 6.5%. Unless the person is having obvious symptoms of diabetes or is in a, the diagnosis must be confirmed with a repeat test.

  • SOURCES:
  • American Diabetes Association: “Insulin and Low Blood Glucose.”
  • American Diabetes Association: “Stomach Fat and Insulin Resistance.”
  • National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: “Your Guide to Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.”
  • Diabetologia : “The threshold for diagnosing impaired fasting glucose: a position statement by the European Diabetes Epidemiology Group.”
  • Journal of the American College of Cardiology : “Comparison of the 1997 and 2003 American Diabetes Association Classification of Impaired Fasting Glucose: Impact on Prevalence of Impaired Fasting Glucose, Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors, and Coronary Heart Disease in a Community-Based Medical Practice.”
  • American Diabetes Association (ADA): “Type 2 Diabetes,” “Diabetes Risk Test.”
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Framingham Heart Study.”

Diabetes Care : “Obesity, inactivity, and the prevalence of diabetes and diabetes-related cardiovascular comorbidities in the U.S., 2000-2002.”

  1. The New England Journal of Medicine : “A Toggle for Type 2 Diabetes?”
  2. Lancet : “Type 2 diabetes: principles of pathogenesis and therapy.”
  3. Circulation : “Trends in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus From the 1970s to the 1990s: The Framingham Heart Study.”
  4. CDC: “About Chronic Disease.”
  5. Feeding America: “Child Nutrition Programs.”
  6. Food Research and Action Center: “Hunger & Health: The Impact of Poverty, Food Insecurity, and Poor Nutrition on Health and Well-Being.”
  7. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: “Food Insecurity.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture: “Food Security in the U.S.: Measurement,” “Definitions of Food Insecurity.”

  • National Kidney Foundation website.
  • United Network for Organ Sharing website.
  • United Network for Organ Sharing’s “Transplant Living” website.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Partnering with Your Transplant Team: The Patient’s Guide to Transplantation, 2004.” Bihl, G. Dialysis and Transplantation, 2004. Carithers, R. Liver and Pancreas Transplantation, ACP Medicine, November 2003.

Is type 2 diabetes reversible?

Here’s how healthier habits may help some people reverse or better manage the disease. – Diabetes is a very common but serious medical condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 34 million Americans have it, with about 90-95% of them having type 2 diabetes. About 88 million people have prediabetes, a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

  • There is no cure for type 2 diabetes.
  • But it may be possible to reverse the condition to a point where you do not need medication to manage it and your body does not suffer ill effects from having blood sugar levels that are too high.
  • Making positive lifestyle changes such as eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting down to a healthy weight (and maintaining it) are the key to possibly reversing or managing type 2 diabetes.
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Other lifestyle changes may also help, including not smoking, getting enough sleep, limiting alcohol and managing stress. However, for some people this is still not enough and medication is needed to manage the condition.

Can type 2 diabetes develop overnight?

Many miss prediabetes wake-up call – Harvard Health ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Type 2 diabetes doesn’t usually appear all of a sudden. Many people have a long, slow, invisible lead-in to it called prediabetes. During this period, blood sugar levels are higher than normal. However, they’re not high enough to cause symptoms or to be classified as diabetes. It’s still possible at this stage to prevent the slide into full-blown diabetes.

Think of prediabetes as a wake-up call. Unfortunately, few people ever hear the alarm. A new shows that among Americans age 20 and older, only 10% of those with prediabetes know they have it. Given that as many as, that’s a lot of missed opportunities to prevent the ravages of diabetes.

One reason many people don’t know that they may be headed toward diabetes is they’ve never had their blood sugar tested. This simple test isn’t part of routine preventive care. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends blood sugar “screening” only in individuals with high blood pressure. (Screening means hunting for hidden disease in the absence of any outward signs or symptoms.) That’s important, because recommendations from the Task Force, an independent panel of experts, are used by many health-care organizations to determine preventive care.

In addition, Task Force recommendations will help determine what services are covered under the Affordable Care Act.

When does type 2 diabetes usually appear?

Healthy eating is your recipe for managing diabetes. More than 37 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes most often develops in people over age 45, but more and more children, teens, and young adults are also developing it.

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