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Three major metabolic defects contribute to hyperglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes: increased hepatic glucose production, impaired pancreatic insulin secretion, and peripheral tissue insulin resistance.
After eating a meal or ingesting glucose, insulin is secreted, hepatic glucose output is suppressed, and insulin-dependent glucose uptake by peripheral tissues is stimulated. In type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and impaired insulin secretion inhibit normal suppression of hepatic glucose output. As a consequence, the liver continues to release glucose into the circulation. Moreover, peripheral insulin resistance coupled with insufficient insulin results in decreased uptake of glucose by insulin-dependent target tissues, notably skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. These mechanisms contribute to postprandial hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, increased hepatic glucose production is the primary factor responsible for the fasting hyperglycemia. Moreover, in patients with type 2 diabetes, fasting blood glucose levels correlate strongly with rates of hepatic glucose output. In the setting of peripheral insulin resistance, insulin-mediated glucose uptake cannot accommodate the increased hepatic glucose output and rise in fasting glucose levels.

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