Diabetes Type2 develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). Diabetes type2 usually appears in people over the age of 40, though in South Asian people, who are at greater risk, it often appears from the age of 25. It is also increasingly becoming more common in children, adolescents and young people of all ethnicities. Diabetes type2 accounts for between 85 and 95 per cent of all people with diabetes and is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity.
In addition to this, medication and/or insulin are often required.
In Diabetes type2 there is not enough insulin (or the insulin isn’t working properly), so the cells are only partially unlocked and glucose builds up in the blood.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus most commonly develops in adulthood and is more likely to occur in people who are overweight and physically inactive.
Unlike diabetes type1
which currently cannot be prevented, many of the risk factors for diabetes type2 can be modified. For many people, therefore, it is possible to prevent the condition.
The International Diabetes Foundation highlight four symptoms that signal the need for diabetes testing:
Lack of energy
Causes of diabetes type2
Insulin resistance is usually the precursor to diabetes type2 - a condition in which more insulin than usual is needed for glucose to enter cells. Insulin resistance in the liver results in more glucose production while resistance in peripheral tissues means glucose uptake is impaired.
The impairment stimulates the pancreas to make more insulin but eventually the pancreas is unable to make enough to prevent blood sugar levels from rising too high.
Genetics plays a part in diabetes type2 - relatives of people with the disease are at a higher risk, and the prevalence of the condition is higher in particular among Native Americans, Hispanic and Asian people.
Obesity and weight gain are important factors that lead to insulin resistance and diabetes type2, with genetics, diet, exercise and lifestyle all playing a part. Body fat has hormonal effects on the effect of insulin and glucose metabolism.
Once diabetes type2 has been diagnosed, health care providers can help patients with a program of education and monitoring, including how to spot the signs of hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia and other diabetic complications.
As with other forms of diabetes, nutrition and physical activity and exercise are important elements of the lifestyle management of the condition.