ZocdocAnswersWhat causes diabetes?

Question

What causes diabetes?

I'm 28 years old. Yesterday I was diagnosed with diabetes. Type 2. What causes this?

Answer

Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a chronic condition in which the body does not use glucose correctly, resulting in hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels). Your primary care physician and endocrinologist can help manage and discuss your concerns and questions regarding this diagnosis. There are two main types of DM - Types 1 and 2. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes and is due to a combination of both insulin deficiency (pancreas not making enough insulin) and insulin resistance. It is highly related to excess weight and obesity and also has a genetic component. Insulin is a hormone that is made and secreted by pancreatic beta cells and is essential in the metabolism of glucose. Without insulin, glucose cannot be used by the body and builds up in the blood, thus leading to high blood sugar levels. Since in Type 2 DM there is not an absolute insulin deficiency, often patients with this kind of diabetes can be treated with oral hypoglycemics instead of requiring injected insulin therapy. However, many patients lose their pancreatic cell function in the long term and require insulin therapy. There are many different oral medication classes and insulin therapy regimens and you can discuss the differences with your physician. You should follow up with your primary care physician and endocrinologist to discuss this diagnosis, diabetes management, and possible complications.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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