Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Type 2 Diabetes - Cause

    Causes of diabetes

    Type 2 diabetes occurs when your blood sugar (glucose) levels get too high because:

    Your weight, how much physical activity you get, and your family history may affect the way your body responds to insulin.

    Recommended Related to Diabetes

    Foods and Drinks That Can Cause Blood Sugar Swings

    Just when you think you're making all the right food choices, your blood sugar takes a leap or dive. Foods and drinks can have an impact you might not expect, and these surprise blood-sugar changes can be harmful (potentially causing low or high levels). Here are some things you should consider: Don't let bagels betray you. Counting carbs is a way of life when you have diabetes. Bread can really rack up those carbs, but not all bread is created equal. Think there's no difference between a bagel...

    Read the Foods and Drinks That Can Cause Blood Sugar Swings article > >

    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 medicines that raise blood sugar as a side effect, such as sleeping pills, some anti-inflammatory medicines (corticosteroids), and some decongestants.
    • Are stressed or ill, especially if you aren't eating or drinking enough. Plan ahead with your doctor and write down sick-day guidelines, which may include testing 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 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 oral medicines that can cause low blood sugar. You may get low blood sugar if you:

    • Take too much diabetes 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 alcohol, especially on an empty stomach.
    • Take 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 Addison's disease or hypothyroidism.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 29, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
     
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
     
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Video
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Article
     
    Middle aged person
    Tool
    jennie brand miller
    Video
     

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    Article
    type 2 diabetes
    Slideshow
     
    food fitness planner
    Tool
    feet
    Slideshow