8 Causes of Type 2 Diabetes and How to Manage It
Common Health Issues

8 Causes of Type 2 Diabetes and How to Manage It

Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of death all around the world as a survey in 2017 showed that there are about 1.4 million diabetics in the US alone. But the question arises, what is type 2 diabetes? According to the International Diabetes Federation, it is a disease in which the body is unable to use insulin the way it should.  


People suffering from this type are said to have insulin resistance. This means insulin is produced in the body but it is unable to make any use of it. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas in the body. It is the main anabolic hormone of the body responsible for regulating the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. 


Type 2 diabetes is also referred to as adult-onset diabetes since it mostly occurs in middle-aged or older adults. However, childhood obesity might become a cause of type 2 diabetes in kids and teens. In this article, we’ll systematically discuss what is Type 2 diabetes, its causes, treatment, and what you need to know to overcome this disease. 


What are the Causes and Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes?

There are several causes and risk factors for type 2 diabetes. They are as follows:

1.Environmental Factors

Lifestyle habits such as overeating, especially when combined with obesity, certainly act as a type 2 diabetes cause. Obesity increases the resistance to the action of insulin. 


2. Pancreatic Pathologies

Three pathological features are seen in Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus:

  • There may be a reduction in the insulin-secreting cells
  • A delay in insulin secretion in response to oral glucose
  • Resistance to the action of insulin


3. Genetics

If a Type 2 diabetes patient has identical twins, the chances of twins acquiring the disease are dramatically increased to almost 60%. More than 25% of diabetes type 2 patients have a first-degree relative already suffering from it. 

There are several genetic risk factors for type 2 diabetes as well. These are:

  • Parents being overweight
  • Type 2 diabetes running in family
  • Having recurrent pre-diabetes
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Belonging from a race or ethnic group in which type 2 diabetes is common
  • Age exceeding 45 years
  • Acquiring other metabolic diseases like high cholesterol, triglycerides or blood pressure


If a person acquires any of the aforementioned risk factors, he or she should take more caution as they are relatively at a higher risk of suffering from diabetes. 


4. Lifestyle Factors That Increase the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

The lifestyle factors have been mentioned separately because these factors can be modified in order to evade this deadly disease. 


5. Sweetened Products

The products that are sweetened artificially or sugar-sweetened increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 26-67% depending on your health and various other factors.


6. Overweight 

If you are obese, there is a high chance that you may acquire this disease as your metabolism is not working properly.


7. Stress 

Stress is a major factor in developing diabetes. This is the reason why people with low-income and socio-economic stress are more prone to diabetes.


8. Sedentary Lifestyle

Watching TV all day long and not doing any exercise is a major lifestyle factor.

 People who want to live a better and healthy life should act accordingly. Losing your weight, avoiding sweet products, and exercising daily might put you in a better state to combat diabetes.


What are the Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

Since diabetes is directly related to high blood glucose levels, the signs and symptoms of this disease also attribute to those of hyperglycemia. Following are the Type 2 diabetes signs and symptoms:


Acute Diabetes Symptoms

Acute symptoms are those occurring rapidly and do not have a long history. These are:

  • Frequent thirst and urination
  • Blur vision
  • Feeling tired by doing the least amount of work


Chronic Diabetes Symptoms

Chronic symptoms have a long history contributing to other diseases as well:

If you experience any of these symptoms, do have a word with your doctor and consult with him thoroughly about your case. 


How to Check Your Blood Glucose Level?

To check if you have diabetes or not, you may need to test your blood glucose level. A single sample of blood is drawn after fasting for about 8 hours and sent for analysis. In home or clinic, a blood glucose meter can also be used to accurately assess the blood glucose level of the patient.


The following results indicate if a person has acquired diabetes or not:

  • If a test results in blood glucose level being less than 100 mg/dL, it is indicated as normal
  • A person is considered pre-diabetic if results show in between 100-126 mg/dL
  • Glucose levels higher than 126 mg/dL indicate diabetes
  • If a person does not fast and his random blood glucose level exceeds 200 mg/dL, he is also considered diabetic


Complications That Arise with Type 2 Diabetes

With time, if you don’t consider changing your sedentary lifestyle and avoiding sweet products, there is a high chance that you may end up with the following complications:


Prevention and Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes

Treating type 2 diabetes is hard but if you want to live a good and healthy life, you should consider the following:


Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

The steps you can take for prevention of diabetes are lifestyle modifications such as:

  • Maintaining a normal weight
  • Staying active
  • Monitoring blood glucose level regularly
  • Refraining from smoking
  • Taking a good amount of sleep regularly
  • Applying a bandage to wounds
  • Relieving stress
  • Eating a healthy diet like whole grains, nuts, beans, citrus fruits, vegetables, berries, tomatoes, fish, milk, and yogurt as proposed by the American Diabetes Association.
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Visiting the doctor regularly


Type 2 Diabetes Treatments

Following are the treatments of type 2 diabetes:

  • Make a diabetic eating plan
  • Lose weight
  • Treat your stress and sleeping problems
  • Use dietary supplements
  • Oral or injectable drugs like metformin, thiazolidinedione’s, glimepiride, sulfonylureas, or insulin can be prescribed by the doctor.


Managing diabetes is often a challenging task but to prevail over this disease, you need to follow the prevention and treatments very strictly. 

Sources and References

Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Elderly Twins by Pernille Poulsen, Kasper Pilgaard et al

American Diabetes Association


Dr. Charles Imogie

Global Health Management

Charles Imogie is a medical doctor and public health expert with vast experience in healthcare management and leadership.