Type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar, a key source of fuel typically found in carbohydrates. With type 2 diabetes, your body either doesn’t use insulin effectively (called insulin resistance) or your pancreas, which secretes insulin into your bloodstream, doesn’t produce enough of it to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Insulin is a hormone, and it’s needed to regulate the movement of sugar into your cells. Without it, high levels of sugar build up in your blood. (People with type 1 diabetes are unable to produce any insulin.)
As blood sugar levels increase, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas try to pump out more insulin, but over time these cells become damaged and can’t make enough to meet demand.
Know Diabetes Risk Factors
International Diabetes Federation
Exactly why this happens to some people and not others isn’t clearly understood, but it’s known that certain factors increase the risk, including:
Being overweight. There’s a connection between fatty tissue and insulin resistance.
Belly fat. If you carry fat in your abdomen rather than your hips and thighs, your risk of type 2 diabetes is greater.
Inactivity. The more sedentary you are, the greater your risk.
Family history. Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is higher if a parent or sibling has it.
Race. People of certain races, including blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Asian-Americans, are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than others.
Age. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases as you get older, especially after 45. But type 2 diabetes is also rising among young adults and even kids because of obesity and not enough exercise.