How does type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) develop?

Updated: Oct 23, 2019
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by a combination of peripheral insulin resistance and inadequate insulin secretion by pancreatic beta cells. Insulin resistance, which has been attributed to elevated levels of free fatty acids and proinflammatory cytokines in plasma, leads to decreased glucose transport into muscle cells, elevated hepatic glucose production, and increased breakdown of fat.

A role for excess glucagon cannot be underestimated; indeed, type 2 diabetes is an islet paracrinopathy in which the reciprocal relationship between the glucagon-secreting alpha cell and the insulin-secreting beta cell is lost, leading to hyperglucagonemia and hence the consequent hyperglycemia. [12]


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!