Type 2 diabetes is different from Type 1 in that people with Type 2 can still produce insulin. The body may not respond to the insulin's action, or there is just not enough insulin to go around (too much body for the amount of insulin that is made). Either problem leads to the same outcome: high levels of glucose in the blood.
Genetics appears to play a role in how Type 2 diabetes develops. It appears to "run" in families, and it is most likely due to the inheritance of certain genes.
The most important environmental factor leading to Type 2 diabetes is obesity. Obesity is defined as weighing more than 20 percent of your desirable body weight. Having too much body fat promotes resistance to insulin. That is why, for so many years, Type 2 diabetes has been treated with diet and exercise. Losing weight and increasing the amount of muscle while decreasing the amount of fat helps the body use insulin better. People with body fat around the abdomen have a higher risk than those with their excess weight on the hips and thighs.
One of the fastest growing age groups for Type 2 diabetes is 6-11! Our children are developing diabetes at a young age because of the factors just mentioned: obesity, eating lots of high-fat, high-sugar foods, and lack of exercise. Children sit around the house more as a result of activities like video games, television, and computers.
You can manage Type 2 diabetes by many methods. Not everyone with Type 2 diabetes needs pills or insulin. Most people who are newly diagnosed are put on a new eating and exercise plan. Whether you should take oral medications, insulin, or any medication at all, depends on how your body is dealing with the glucose it makes.
Reprint Ohio State Extension