Who Gets Type 2 Diabetes
What makes people more likely to develop type 2 diabetes? No one knows for sure. But experts have a few ideas about what puts a person at greater risk:
- Most people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight.
- People with family members who have diabetes get diabetes more often.
- People who are older than 10 are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than younger kids.
If You Have Chronic Complications
When you have one chronic complication, youre much more at risk of developing other complications of diabetes. So if your blood vessels are damaged in your feet for example, the damage can happen to other parts of your body like your kidneys and heart too. This means you need to stay on top of your health checks and blood sugar levels when youre managing other problems.
This is serious, thats why we want you to have all the facts so you can prevent complications from getting worse.
Overweight Obesity And Physical Inactivity
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 and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out these Body Mass Index charts.
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Risk Factors For Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes 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:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Being of an ethnicity thatâs 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.
- Youâve had an organ transplant. After an organ transplant, you need to take drugs for the rest of your life so your body doesnât reject the donor organ. These drugs help organ transplants succeed, but many of them, such as tacrolimus or steroids, can cause diabetes or make it worse.
A proper diet 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.
What Causes Complications Associated With Diabetes
High sugar levels in your blood over a long period of time can seriously damage your blood vessels. If your blood vessels arent working properly, blood cant travel to the parts of your body it needs to. This means your nerves wont work properly either and means you lose feeling in parts of your body. Once youve damaged the blood vessels and nerves in one part of your body, youre more likely to develop similar problems in other parts of your body. So if your feet are damaged, serious heart problems can follow.
We know that the higher your HbA1c level, the more youre at risk of developing complications. HbA1c is is glycated haemoglobin. This is made when glucose, which we call sugar, sticks to your blood cells and builds up in your blood. It’s measured by a blood test that shows your average blood sugar levels over the last three months. A high HbA1c means you have too much sugar in your blood.
Even a slightly high HbA1c increases your risk.
But its not just about blood sugars. High blood pressure, smoking and a lot of fat in your blood can all damage your blood vessels and put you even more at risk.
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Favorite Resource For Diet Advice
Giving up some of the foods you once loved is arguably the biggest bummer about receiving a diabetes diagnosis. But with this Harvard-affiliated organizations expert diet guidance, you dont have to.
For more on “bad” foods you can eat in a diabetes diet, check out our article “5 ‘Bad’ Diabetes Foods You Can Enjoy in Moderation.”
Want to get involved? The IDF, which reaches 168 countries, makes it easy with their advocacy network page. Youll find different organizations that you can work with to help propel diabetes research, legislation, and awareness.
How Is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed
The following blood tests help your healthcare provider diagnose diabetes:
- Fasting plasma glucose test: checks your blood glucose level. This test is best done in the office in the morning after an eight hour fast .
- Random plasma glucose test: This lab test can be done any time without the need to fast.
- Glycolated hemoglobin testing measures your average blood sugar levels over three months.
- Oral glucose tolerance testing checks your blood sugar levels before and after you drink a sugary beverage. The test evaluates how your body handles glucose.
|Type of test|
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What Causes Type 2 Diabetes
When you’re healthy, your pancreas releases insulin to help your body store and use sugar from the food you eat. Diabetes happens when one or more of the following occurs:
- Your pancreas doesn’t make any insulin.
- Your pancreas makes very little insulin.
- Your body doesnât respond the way it should to insulin
Unlike people with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes make insulin. But the insulin their pancreas releases isnât enough, or their body can’t recognize the insulin and use it properly.
When there isn’t enough insulin or the insulin isn’t used as it should be, glucose 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.
Prediabetes And Diabetes Prevention
A person with blood sugar levels of 100125 mg/dl will receive a diagnosis of prediabetes. This means that their blood sugar levels are high, but they do not have diabetes. Taking action at this stage can prevent diabetes from developing.
According to a 2016 report published in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 33.6 percent of people aged 45 years and older had prediabetes in 2012.
The CDC estimate that around
Diabetes may cause a number of health complications if people do not manage it properly. Many of these are chronic, or long-term, but they can become life-threatening. Others need immediate medical attention as soon as they appear.
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The Role Of Insulin In The Cause Of Type 2 Diabetes
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 blood rises to a certain level, the pancreas will release more insulin to push more glucose into the cells. This causes the glucose levels in the blood to drop.
To keep blood glucose levels from getting too low , your body signals you to eat and releases some glucose from the stores kept in the liver. It also tells the body to release less insulin.
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 of blood after an 8-hour fast
- A non-fasting glucose level greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL, along with symptoms of diabetes
- A glucose level greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL on a 2-hour glucose tolerance test
Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Cured
Type 2 diabetes cannot be cured, but people with the condition may be able to manage their type 2 diabetes through lifestyle changes and, if needed, diabetes medications to control blood sugar levels.
Its also emerging that some people who are overweight or obese can put their type 2 diabetes into remission by losing a substantial amount of weight, especially early in their diagnosis. Their blood sugar measurements return to healthy levels below the diabetes range. Its not a permanent solution, and diabetes could come back, so it needs to be maintained. However, many people were still in remission 2 years later. This should only be tried under the supervision of your doctor.
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Type 2 Diabetes Causes
Type 2 diabetes has several causes: genetics and lifestyle are the most important ones. A combination of these factors can cause insulin resistance, when your body doesnt use insulin as well as it should. Insulin resistance is the most common cause of type 2 diabetes.
Genetics Play a Role in Type 2 DiabetesLifestyle Is Very Important, Too
Genes do play a role in type 2 diabetes, but lifestyle choices are also important. You can, for example, have a genetic mutation that may make you susceptible to type 2, but if you take good care of your body, you may not develop diabetes.
Say that two people have the same genetic mutation. One of them eats well, watches their cholesterol, and stays physically fit, and the other is overweight and inactive. The person who is overweight and inactive is much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes because certain lifestyle choices greatly influence how well your body uses insulin.
- Lack of exercise: Physical activity has many benefitsone of them being that it can help you avoid type 2 diabetes, if youre susceptible.
- Unhealthy meal planning choices: A meal plan filled with high-fat foods and lacking in fiber increases the likelihood of type 2.
- Overweight/Obesity: Lack of exercise and unhealthy meal planning choices can lead to obesity, or make it worse. Being overweight makes it more likely that youll become insulin resistant and can also lead to many other health conditions.
Insulin Resistancenot Type 2 Risk Factors
What Are The Acute Complications Of Diabetes
Acute complications of type 2 diabetes
In patients with type 2 diabetes, stress, infection, and medications can also lead to severely elevated blood sugar levels. Accompanied by dehydration, severe blood sugar elevation in patients with type 2 diabetes can lead to an increase in blood osmolality . This condition can worsen and lead to coma . A hyperosmolar coma usually occurs in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes. Like diabetic ketoacidosis, a hyperosmolar coma is a medical emergency. Immediate treatment with intravenous fluid and insulin is important in reversing the hyperosmolar state. Unlike patients with type 1 diabetes, patients with type 2 diabetes do not generally develop ketoacidosis solely on the basis of their diabetes. Since in general, type 2 diabetes occurs in an older population, concomitant medical conditions are more likely to be present, and these patients may actually be sicker overall. The complication and death rates from hyperosmolar coma is thus higher than in diabetic ketoacidosis.
Blood glucose is essential for the proper functioning of brain cells. Therefore, low blood sugar can lead to central nervous system symptoms such as:
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You Feel Indigestion Nauseous Or Very Full After Meals
Diabetes can affect the function of the vagus nerve, which controls how food moves through your digestive tract. When this nerve doesnt work properly, food takes longer to leave your stomach, which can lead to a host of uncomfortable type 2 diabetes complications, such as heartburn, nausea, vomiting, bloating, feeling full after meals, and lack of appetite. If you have gastroparesisa condition where your stomach cant empty properlyyour doctor might recommend eating-habit tweaks such as having smaller meals or avoiding high-fat or high-fibre foods. You might also need to change or adjust your medications, including the timing and dosage of insulin.
Heart And Blood Vessel Disease
People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart disease or a stroke compared to people without diabetes. Over time, uncontrolled blood glucose levels can damage your blood vessels. Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, and related blood vessel diseases encompass several different health conditions.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
People who have type 2 diabetes may not know it because the symptoms aren’t always obvious and they can take a long time to develop. Some people don’t have any symptoms at all.
But when a person gets type 2 diabetes, he or she may:
- pee a lot because the body tries to get rid of the extra blood sugar by passing it out of the body in the urine
- drink a lot to make up for all that peeing
- feel tired all the time because the body can’t use sugar for energy properly
Also, people whose bodies are having problems using insulin or who are overweight may notice something called acanthosis nigricans. This can cause a dark ring around the neck that doesn’t wash off, as well as thick, dark, velvety skin under the arms, in between fingers and toes, between the legs, or on elbows and knees. This skin darkening can lighten over time with improvement in insulin resistance.
In addition, girls with insulin resistance may have polycystic ovary syndrome . In PCOS, the ovaries get bigger and develop fluid-filled sacs called cysts. Girls with this condition often have irregular periods or may stop having periods, and they might have excess facial and body hair.
Genes And Family History
As in type 1 diabetes, certain genes may make you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The disease tends to run in families and occurs more often in these racial/ethnic groups:
- African Americans
- Native Hawaiians
- Pacific Islanders
Genes also can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by increasing a persons tendency to become overweight or obese.
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Below Is A List Of The Top 8 Habits That Can Cause Type 2 Diabetes:
This can lead to weight gain. Being overweight or obese is one of the greatest risk factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes. The more adipose tissue you have, the more inflammation you have and the more likely your cells are at becoming resistant to the action of insulin leading to high blood glucose.
A meal that lacks fiber and is rich in refined sugar and processed carbohydrates can easily lead to weight gain, insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes. Meal planning is essential to making healthy diet choices.
Physical activity is needed to regulate blood glucose levels. Lack of physical activity is associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. This is because regular activity reduces blood glucose when the bodys cells use it for energy. Additionally, it helps to make the cells more sensitive to insulin and helps to manage normal weight.
High blood pressure is linked to an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes. It has been shown that people with high blood pressure are 50% more likely to develop this disease. Theres a strong link between high blood pressure and diabetes.
Symptoms In Children And Teens
Type 2 diabetes is more likely to appear after the age of 45 years, but it can affect children and teens who:
- have excess weight
- slow healing of cuts or wounds
- numbness or tingling in hands and feet
- itchy skin
If caregivers notice these symptoms, they should take the child to see a doctor. These are also symptoms of type 1 diabetes. Type 1 is less common but more likely to affect children and teenagers than adults. However, type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in young people than it was in the past.
Learn more here about how diabetes affects children and teens and how to spot the symptoms early.
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You Can Get More Urinary Tract Infections
People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to get urinary tract infections than people without diabetes. Those infections are also likely to be more severe and have worse outcomes, including the chance that theyll lead to hospitalization, according to a study published in 2015 in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity.
Sugar in the urine becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Diabetes also contributes to nerve damage in the bladder, which can allow urine to pooland bacteria to grow. Urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics.