What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?


Quick Answer

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce a sufficient amount of insulin or when insulin resistance develops. There is a genetic link to Type 2 diabetes, and physical and lifestyle traits are commonly seen, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

In some individuals, the body’s failure to use insulin efficiently is complicated by inadequate insulin stores. It is often a disease associated with overweight people over 45 years old, states WebMD. Genetics play an important role, and Type 2 diabetes is found among members of the same family. Some ethnic groups have a predisposition for this form of diabetes, including African and Asian Americans, Hawaiians and Alaskans, among others.

Variants of a particular gene, identified as the TCF7L2 gene, are considered markers of increased susceptibility to Type 2 diabetes, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. If genes for this are inherited from both parents, there is an 80 percent higher chance of their children developing Type 2 diabetes. Central obesity is linked to Type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance is high in those with increased abdominal fat. Under normal conditions, the pancreas secretes glucagon when glucose levels are low. This stimulates the liver to produce glucose. In diabetics, glucagon is continually elevated, and the liver produces unneeded glucose, adding to the problem.

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