Most people are overweight when they’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes have a condition called insulin resistance in which their bodies are able to make insulin, but can’t use it properly to move glucose into the cells. As a result, the amount of glucose in the blood rises. The pancreas then makes more insulin to try to overcome the problem.
Eventually, the pancreas can wear out from working overtime and may no longer be able to produce enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range. At this point, a person has type 2 diabetes.
People who don’t have diabetes also can have insulin resistance. People with insulin resistance are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes if they don’t already have it.
People with insulin resistance are often overweight and don’t exercise very much. But weight loss, eating healthier foods and portion sizes, and getting exercise can actually reverse insulin resistance.
For people with type 2 diabetes, reversing insulin resistance makes it easier to get blood sugar levels into a healthier range. For those who have insulin resistance but not diabetes, reversing insulin resistance can reduce the risk that they’ll develop diabetes.