When it comes to type 2 diabetes, there’s not a single cause. In fact, it may be a combination of factors that lead to type 2 diabetes. Here’s a look at certain factors that are associated with type 2 diabetes.
Genetics and family history
Genetics seem to play a significant role in a person’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, the link between type 2 diabetes and family history is stronger than the link between type 1 diabetes and family history, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Normally, your body uses a hormone called insulin to help glucose in your bloodstream enter into your cells so it can be used for energy. But you can develop a condition called insulin resistance when the cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to the action of the insulin. That makes it harder for the glucose, or sugar, to get into your cells.
As a result, you have too much sugar remaining in your bloodstream. Your pancreas works hard to compensate by producing more and more insulin, but it gets progressively harder to keep up, and your blood sugar levels remain elevated. This sets you up for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
A certain type of fat, called visceral fat, can increase risk for type 2 diabetes.
You can’t see it, but its fat that surrounds your internal organs, like your liver and your intestines, deep inside your midsection. While visceral fat is only about
In fact, research suggests that people with larger waistlines who may have more of this belly fat are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes.
Sitting for long periods of time can raise your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It has been shown that regular physical activity can help you better keep your blood sugar levels in check.
It’s possible that a medication you’re taking for another medical condition could predispose you to developing type 2 diabetes.
For example, corticosteroids like prednisone are often used to treat inflammation, but they’re also associated with a risk of developing diabetes, according to research. High doses of statins, which are used to treat high cholesterol, may also increase your risk.
Other drugs that have been associated with an increased risk for developing diabetes in some cases include:
Other drugs may also raise your blood sugar levels, so it may be worth having a conversation with a medical professional if you start taking a new medication, especially if you have other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
It’s important to note that medications should not be stopped without consulting a medical professional.
Certain medical conditions
If you have prediabetes, your blood sugar levels are elevated but not quite enough to qualify for a diabetes diagnosis. More than 84 million adults in the United States have prediabetes. You can take steps to get your blood sugar levels back into a healthy range, typically through eating nutrient-rich foods and exercise.
Other conditions that may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes include:
Some people mistakenly believe that just eating sugar will cause you to develop type 2 diabetes. However, that’s not true.
Whether someone will develop diabetes depends on many other factors, such as those mentioned above.
Eating a nutrient-dense diet and getting regular physical activity will improve your health on many fronts, including decreasing the likelihood that you’ll develop type 2 diabetes.