Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone. Your pancreas produces it and is released when you eat. Insulin assist transport sugar from your bloodstream to cells throughout your body, where it’s being used for energy.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body gets resistant to insulin. Your body is no longer using the hormone efficiently. This forces your pancreas to work harder to make more insulin. Over time, this could damage cells in your pancreas. Eventually, your pancreas may not be able to produce any insulin.
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If you don’t generate enough insulin or if your body doesn’t use it efficiently, glucose builds up in your bloodstream. This leaves your body’s cells starved for energy.
Doctors don’t know exactly what triggers this series of events.
It may actually have to do with cell dysfunction in the pancreas or with cell signaling and regulation. In some people, the liver generates too much glucose. There may be a genetic predisposition to developing type 2 diabetes.
There’s also a genetic predisposition to obesity, which increases the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. It could also be an environmental trigger.
Most likely, it’s a combination of factors that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Research into the causes of type 2 diabetes is ongoing.