Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Diabetes health centre

Select An Article

Causes of type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is caused by the body not making enough insulin or not being able to use it well enough to help turn food into energy.

The pancreas is an organ behind the stomach that makes the hormone insulin. Type 2 diabetes happens when this is not producing enough insulin to regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels, or the person is not able to use insulin effectively, called insulin resistance.

It isn't clear why the pancreas doesn't work as well as it should for some people, or why a person develops insulin resistance.

However, doctors do know these changes are more likely for people with certain risk factors.

The main ones are:

  • Your age (over 40)
  • Close family history of diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese with a body mass index (BMI) over 30
  • Having south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African ethnic origins

Other risks are linked to these main factors, including not taking enough exercise and eating an unhealthy diet, which in turn can cause people to put on weight.

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on October 17, 2017

Diabetes newsletter

Tips for managing your diabetes.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman_holding_head_in_pain
How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
79x79_causes_of_fatigue_and_how_to_fight_it.jpg
Causes of fatigue & how to fight it
period_questions_answered
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
woman sleeping
Sleep better tonight
girl_sneezing_into_tissue
Treating your child's cold or fever
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning and organising tips
adult man contemplating
When illness makes it hard to eat
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition
cold sore
What you need to know