What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that disrupts the body’s normal glucose and insulin balance. Glucose is a simple sugar that circulates in the blood and is the primary source of energy for the body’s cells, while insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas and helps to keep glucose levels within a healthy range. Affected individuals have consistently high blood sugar, insulin resistance and a relative lack of insulin. Type 2 diabetes can contribute to life-threatening disorders, including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and poor blood flow.
Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in the 21st century, affecting 422 million people worldwide. Type 2 diabetes is generally associated with an unhealthy lifestyle and extra body weight, but genetic variations can also increase the risk, regardless of lifestyle. This test identifies multiple genetic variants that can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes
- Genetic variation
- Obesity, leading to insulin resistance
- Fat accumulation, primarily in the abdomen
- Lack of physical exercise
- Ethnicity (Africans and American Indians have a higher risk)
- Prediabetes (elevated blood sugar)
- Gestational diabetes
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome