Type 2 Diabetes Causes & Risk Factors
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which either insulin levels become too low than necessary level to maintain a normal blood sugar level or body cells cannot respond to insulin and do not absorb glucose. Both the above phenomena lead to rise in the blood sugar levels. Multiple factors can influence the development of type 2 diabetes – especially genetic and environmental. Exact reasons for type 2 diabetes development are less understood, but there has been evidence showing some common factors that are likely to increase risk for type 2 diabetes. These are:
A person can have higher chances of becoming type 2 diabetic, if any or more of the close family members have it. The reason is that genetic susceptibility of an individual is strongly correlated with the condition because the genes responsible for protecting or predisposing a person to diabetes are carried genetically from the family members. A chart showing the chances of a person’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes depending on the family history is given below:
Apart from the genetic factors, some modifiable risk factors like physical inactivity and obesity are also strongly associated risk factors for type 2 diabetes. When a person adapts a sedentary lifestyle or doesn’t engage in regular physical activity, or gains more weight with a high body mass index (BMI), the person may eventually develop insulin resistance. Particularly, excess belly fat is the primary cause of insulin resistance. The term refers to a state where the body becomes less responsive to insulin, especially, muscle, liver and fat tissues. The cells gradually lose their ability to absorb glucose, thus retaining more sugar in blood itself. To maintain a normal sugar level, compensating the sugar, pancreas produces high amounts of insulin. But due to many factors, production of insulin decreases, leading to the conditions pre-diabetes and diabetes.
A diagrammatic overview of these changes is given below: