While type 2 diabetes is greatly affected by obesity, it is not the sole underlying cause of diabetes. Causes and risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
Genetics – Studies have shown that a person’s future risk of developing type 2 diabetes has a significant heritable factor associated with specific genetic features like age and race (NIDDK, 2016).
Obesity – Being obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more can affect how your body reacts to insulin and can even lead to the development of insulin resistance or prediabetes (NIDDK).
Metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance) – People with insulin resistance often experience other groups of conditions including high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and triglycerides (American Heart Association)
Excess glucose from your liver – Your blood sugar levels may rise from your liver not effectively controlling how much glucose it produces by producing excess glucose (Diabetes UK)
Prediabetes – Those with prediabetes are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome– those with PCOS are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to symptoms such as prediabetes and insulin resistance (CDC, 2020).
- Gestational Diabetes – Those with gestational diabetes or have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes (CDC, 2019).
Type 2 diabetes symptoms may include:
- Urinating often
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling very hungry—even though you are eating
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurry vision
- Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
- Weight loss—even though you are eating more (type 1)
- Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)
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