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Genetics and Lifestyle Choices Play a Role
Type 2 diabetes has several causes: genetics and lifestyle are the most important ones. A combination of these factors can cause insulin resistance, when your body doesn’t use insulin as well as it should. Insulin resistance is the most common cause of type 2 diabetes.
Genes do play a role in type 2 diabetes, but lifestyle choices are also important. You can, for example, have a genetic mutation that may make you susceptible to type 2, but if you take good care of your body, you may not develop diabetes.
Say that two people have the same genetic mutation. One of them eats well, watches their cholesterol, and stays physically fit, and the other is overweight (BMI greater than 25) and inactive. The person who is overweight and inactive is much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes because certain lifestyle choices greatly influence how well your body uses insulin.
- Lack of exercise: Physical activity has many benefits—one of them being that it can help you avoid type 2 diabetes, if you’re susceptible.
- Unhealthy meal planning choices: A meal plan filled with high-fat foods and lacking in fiber (which you can get from grains, vegetables, and fruits) increases the likelihood of type 2.
- Overweight/Obesity: Lack of exercise and unhealthy meal planning choices can lead to obesity, or make it worse. Being overweight makes it more likely that you’ll become insulin resistant and can also lead to many other health conditions.
Glucose builds up in the blood when you are insulin resistant, leading to the symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes.