Type 2 diabetes develops when your body's cells are unable to take in and process the insulin your pancreas produces. You develop what is called "insulin resistance." In some cases, your body may not be able to produce enough insulin to get the needed glucose into your cells.
Causes of Type 2 Diabetes
- Medical ConditionsPeople who have the following medical conditions are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes:
- Unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- High blood pressure (Hypertension). People who have consistent readings of 140/90 mm Hg or higher.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome. Women with this disorder have problems that may include infertility, lack of menstrual periods, obesity and insulin resistance.
- HeredityGenetics plays a major role in type 2 diabetes. Having a parent or sibling with diabetes is one of the strongest risk factors. However, you must also have environmental risk factors. People who have strong family histories without environmental factors may not develop the disease.
- EnvironmentSome of the environmental triggers for type 2 diabetes include:
Written by award-winning health writer Bobbie Hasselbring
Reviewed by Beth Seltzer, MD
Last updated June 2008