Type 2 Diabetes: Every Important Fact to Know About Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

By Brittany Risher | Prevention

What is type 2 diabetes?

The most common type of diabetes, type 2 diabetes occurs when your blood sugar (also called blood glucose) is elevated over a long period of time. At the same time, your body either doesn’t use insulin properly or doesn’t make enough insulin. Our bodies need insulin to move glucose into cells so it can be used for energy.

“The problem is one of supply and demand,” says David Nathan, MD, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center. “Lots of people can have insulin resistance. But people who have diabetes can’t make enough insulin to meet that demand.”

Although type 2 diabetes generally develops in adults 45 and older, the age of onset has dropped as rates of childhood obesity has risen.

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