In type 2 diabetes the cause is generally weight related. If you are slim it is likely your body is not producing enough insulin to convert the carbohydrate you eat into energy. You may need tablets and/or insulin to help. If you are overweight it is more likely that insulin resistance is responsible.
Reducing your weight and being physically active will reduce your insulin resistance, but you may need medication or to inject insulin to help.
Type 2 diabetes is more likely to affect older people, although it is being found increasingly in younger people - especially if they are overweight and lacking in physical activity.
Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to obesity and tends to run in families. It is more prevalent in people of South Asian and Afro-Caribbean descent. Many people with type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure and cholesterol and may need tablets to control these too.
The backbone of treating type 2 diabetes is always healthy eating plus physical activity. But type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition and, in time, tablets and/or other forms of medication are likely to become necessary and may even progress to insulin injections.
The above is an extract from the DRWF Patient Information Leaflet What is Diabetes? V6.0, published September 2016 (reviewed within an 18 month period).