I’ve been a doctor for a long time, and I’ve seen many patients who have come in with diabetes. But I also have another question: How did these people develop type 2 diabetes? How long does it take to get this disease? And what can you do to prevent it if you’re at risk? Today we’ll look at all of those questions starting with why your body develops insulin resistance in the first place.

How long does it take to develop type 2 diabetes?

It depends on your weight.

The risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes increases with your body weight. If you’re overweight or obese, your risk is greater for developing type 2 diabetes. The same is true if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes or are older than 45.

If you are diagnosed with prediabetes or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), keeping track of your blood sugar levels is important, so they don’t progress into full-blown diabetes over time.

It can happen quickly.

If you are overweight or obese, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is higher. Suppose your family has a history of type 2 diabetes and other health problems associated with obesity (such as high blood pressure). In that case, it’s even more likely that you will develop the condition.

If you’re concerned about your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, speak to your doctor about getting tested for prediabetes and making lifestyle changes to lower the odds that the disease will progress into full-blown type 2 diabetes.

You may have a genetic predisposition to developing type 2 diabetes.

You may have a genetic predisposition to developing type 2 diabetes. If you do, it’s important to be aware of this to prevent or delay the onset of the disease. Genetic testing is recommended for people at high risk for type 2 diabetes, including those who are overweight and have family members with the condition.

The most common way to test for a genetic predisposition is through an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). This involves drinking a sugary drink containing 75 grams of glucose, then waiting two hours while your blood sugar levels are monitored before adding another drink with 100 grams of glucose. Your blood sugar levels will be checked again after an hour has passed since consuming both drinks. If your body doesn’t process glucose properly during this period–as determined by your fasting insulin level being above 25 micro IU per milliliter (mIU/mL) or 2 hours after eating when it’s above 140 mg/dL–then there may be the reason for concern about developing type 2 diabetes later on in life.

You likely have metabolic syndrome.

In addition to the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, you may also have metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood), central obesity (a large waistline), or an increased risk for heart disease–and if you have any two of these conditions together with your high blood sugar levels, then it’s likely that you have metabolic syndrome.

Suppose you think this sounds like something that already describes your health situation well enough. In that case, it may be worth seeing a doctor to ensure there isn’t anything else besides type 2 diabetes–such as another condition like thyroid disease or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Your doctor can help determine whether or not further testing is needed based on their examination findings and medical history information provided by the patient during their visit.

Genetic testing is good if you’re at high risk for type 2 diabetes.

If you’re at high risk for type 2 diabetes, genetic testing can help determine whether it’s time to start making lifestyle changes. It might also be a good idea if you’re at high risk for other diseases like Alzheimer’s and heart disease.

Genetic testing is done by taking samples of cells from inside the mouth and sending them to a lab for analysis. The results give information about what genes are present in your DNA–and which ones may be related to conditions like diabetes or heart disease.

If you’re wondering how long it takes to develop type 2 diabetes, know that it can happen quickly and that there are things you can do to prevent it.

If you’re wondering how long it takes to develop type 2 diabetes, know that it can happen quickly and that there are things you can do to prevent it.

If you have a family history of diabetes or if your BMI is 25 or higher, then genetic testing may be a good idea for you.

You should also read Inpatient Guidelines: Insulin Infusion Pump Management


Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease, but it’s not one that you have to accept as inevitable. If you’re worried about whether or not you’ll develop type 2 diabetes and want to know how long it takes for the symptoms of this condition to show up, then we hope this article has given you some answers. The good news is that there are steps you can take today–starting with knowing what symptoms could mean trouble down the road!