Type 2 diabetes causes vary, but the most common is insulin resistance. The purpose of insulin is to transport the glucose in the blood to the cells of the body to allow them to convert it to energy. When the body becomes insulin resistant, the insulin is no longer doing its job. Glucose starts to build up in the blood which brings with it all kinds of problems.
Now, it is possible to be type 2 diabetic and not be insulin resistant, but that happens very rarely. In such cases, your pancreas may not be producing enough insulin. The result is the same, as the glucose content of your blood remains high since the insulin production is not adequate.
If you’re someone who is suffering from type 2 diabetes, then there is a good chance you are not sure what caused it. What is it that causes insulin resistance or lack of insulin production? The answer is not as clear cut as you’d like.
They are many type 2 diabetes causes that have been identified, but these are primarily risk factors. In other words, the presence of these factors puts you at a higher risk of getting the disease, but there is no sure thing. The following type 2 diabetes causes are the most important ones:
- Lifestyle Choices
Genetics and Type 2 Diabetes
Genetics, as in a lot of diseases, plays a huge role in the development of diabetes. It is still not known just which genes may cause type 2 diabetes. But the risk of contracting it is much higher if you have a family history of the disease.
The thing about genetics is that it’s almost sheer luck. Both your parents could be diabetic, and you might never have it. On the contrary, you might get it because it is in your genes, having passed on from generation to generation and maybe even having missed your parents and grandparents.
Genetics may be one of type 2 diabetes causes, but it is something beyond your control. Something that is in your control is certain lifestyle choices that can minimize the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
So what is it in your lifestyle that makes your susceptible to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes? Some lifestyle choices that can lead to type 2 diabetes include:
- Being Overweight: Being overweight i.e. having a BMI of over 25 increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. This is down to the fact that your body has excess fatty tissue which increases the chance of insulin resistance.
- Inactivity: Inactivity or lack of exercise has been earmarked as one of the primary type 2 diabetes causes due to lifestyle. Exercising burns glucose as energy, making the cells more sensitive to insulin.
- Imbalanced Diet: A good healthy diet can reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. If your diet consists of a high quantity of fat and low fiber, there is a good chance that the glucose in your body would not get digested properly, leading to insulin resistance.
Other Risk Factors
Other type 2 diabetes causes include:
- Age: As you age, the risk of getting type 2 diabetes increases depending on your lifestyle. The risk starts to grow at 45, and by 65 the risk has increased exponentially.
- Prediabetes: Sometimes your blood sugar spikes but is not high enough to be classified as diabetes. If left untreated, this could progress to type 2 diabetes.
- Gestational Diabetes: During pregnancy, some mothers develop gestational diabetes. This may progress to type 2 diabetes later.
- Giving Birth to a baby over 9 pounds: This one is a little harder to explain, but it is believed that a mother who gave birth to an overweight baby (9 lbs or over) is at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
- PCOS: Polycystic ovarian syndrome has been identified as a precursor to type 2 diabetes.