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Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

The article will delve into the causes and complications of Type 2 diabetes that you should be aware of.

  • 12 Oct 2023
  • 2 min read

Type 2 diabetes is one of the most serious and important health concerns in both developed and developing countries. This article will look to explore some of the possible sources that could be contributing to this prevalent illness in order to better equip individuals with knowledge about how best to approach their own personal health. We’ll discuss topics such as genetics, lifestyle choices, medications, hormones and more. So whether you have recently been diagnosed or know someone who has been affected by this condition, keep reading for an informative breakdown of some potential causes of type 2 diabetes! Additionally, check with your health insurance provider for diabetes specific coverage. 

How is Type 2 Diabetes Caused?

Before we dive into what causes type 2 diabetes, let us first understand the role of glucose in the body.

  • The main sources of glucose are food and the liver
  • Insulin aids in transporting glucose into cells via the bloodstream
  • The liver acts as the main glucose storage and production centre
  • On low glucose levels, the liver converts stored glycogen into glucose to maintain balance
  • In type 2 diabetes, sugar accumulates in the blood instead of entering cells
  • Rising blood sugar prompts the pancreas to release more insulin
  • As time passes, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas deteriorate, leading to insufficient insulin production.

The root causes of type 2 diabetes arise from problems with insulin production or utilisation in the body. This leads to an alarming inability to regulate blood sugar levels, causing them to skyrocket. The two causes of type 2 diabetes are:

  1. Insulin resistance: Cells in muscle, fat, and the liver resist insulin, leading to inadequate sugar absorption.
  2. Insufficient insulin production: The pancreas is unable to create sufficient amounts of insulin in the body to regulate blood glucose levels effectively.

Listed below are the main risk factors that contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes:

  1. Weight: Being obese or overweight is one of the most common reasons for developing diabetes. It is important to maintain a healthy weight by following a nutritious, low-fat diet and exercising regularly.
  2. Fat distribution: Storing excess fat in the abdomen raises the risk even further.
  3. Inactivity/Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity increases the risk significantly. It is important to exercise regularly, with the goal of performing aerobic exercises for at least 30 minutes a day for most days of the week.
  4. Family history: Having a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes increases your own risk of developing this disease.
  5. Blood lipid levels: Low levels of "good" cholesterol and elevated levels of triglycerides are linked to increased risk. Choose foods that are low-fat and avoid foods that are loaded with salt, including processed and deep-fried foods.
  6. Age: The risk of type 2 diabetes rises with age, especially after 35.
  7. Prediabetes: Elevated blood sugar levels can progress to type 2 diabetes if untreated.
  8. Pregnancy-related risks: Having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a large baby increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes after delivery.
  9. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): This hormonal disorder raises the risk due to its associated symptoms.

By understanding these risk factors of type 2 diabetes, you can take steps to regulate your blood glucose levels and maintain optimal health.

It is also important to know the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, which include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • The presence of fruity breath odour
  • Increased urination, especially during nighttime
  • Recurring genital itching or persistent thrush
  • Delayed healing of cuts, grazes, or bruises

If you or a family member are experiencing any of these symptoms, it could potentially signify the presence of diabetes. In such cases, it is advisable to seek consultation with your local GP. The GP can conduct tests to identify the underlying causes of type 2 diabetes symptoms.


Type 2 diabetes disrupts the body's energy conversion process and often arises from issues with insulin regulation. Understanding the causes of type 2 diabetes for timely medical intervention is thus crucial. Notably, the condition is linked to factors like inactivity, obesity, family history, and pre-diabetes. Diabetes symptoms include blurred vision, fatigue, excessive thirst, weight loss, and more. Effective diabetes management involves a balanced lifestyle of diet, exercise, and medication, depending on the severity. Regular monitoring, blood pressure, cholesterol control, and screenings are vital for effective type 2 diabetes care.

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