Type 2 Diabetes
Causes of diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your blood sugar (glucose) levels get too high because:
- Your body isn't able to use Reference insulin Opens New Window the right way. This makes it hard for your cells to get glucose from blood to make energy. This is called Reference insulin resistance Opens New Window.
- Your Reference pancreas Opens New Window doesn't make enough insulin to make up for the insulin resistance. As type 2 diabetes gets worse, your pancreas may make less and less insulin. This is called insulin deficiency.
Your weight, how much physical activity you get, and your family history may affect the way your body responds to insulin.
Causes of high blood sugar
High blood sugar can happen if you:
- Skip a dose of your type 2 diabetes medicine or skip a required dose of insulin.
- Eat too much.
- Exercise less than what you are used to doing.
- Are taking Reference medicines that raise blood sugar as a side effect, such as sleeping pills, some anti-inflammatory medicines (Reference corticosteroids Opens New Window), and some decongestants.
- Are stressed or ill, especially if you aren't eating or drinking enough. Plan ahead with your doctor and write down Reference sick-day guidelines, which may include testing your Reference urine for ketones.
Being pregnant can also make your blood sugar levels go up.
If you take insulin, you may have some mornings when your blood sugar level is very high, even if it was low when you went to bed. This could be caused by Reference the dawn phenomenon or the Somogyi effect. Talk with your doctor if this happens. You may need to check your blood sugar during the night to find out why your levels are high in the morning.
Causes of low blood sugar
You aren't likely to get low blood sugar unless you take insulin or some kinds of Reference oral medicines that can cause low blood sugar. You may get low blood sugar if you:
- Take too much oral medicine in a day, take your doses too close together, or take your full dose of medicine when you aren't going to eat your usual amount of food.
- Exercise too much without eating enough food.
- Skip a meal.
- Drink too much Reference alcohol, especially on an empty stomach.
- Take Reference medicines for other conditions that can lower blood sugar, such as large doses of aspirin and medicines for mental health problems.
- Have problems with your kidneys.
- Start to have other problems with your glands and hormones, such as Reference Addison's disease Opens New Window or Reference hypothyroidism Opens New Window.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 28, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism