Type 2 diabetes: Signs, symptoms and complications


Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease in which blood sugar (glucose) levels are excessively high. Symptoms vary, but may include excessive hunger or thirst, frequent urination, extreme fatigue, neuropathy (nerve tingling), and blurred vision. While they may seem vague, the sooner you notice them, the better, as serious complications can arise when type 2 diabetes is not diagnosed or treated.

Are You At Risk?

More than 30 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. However, almost 24% (approximately 7.2 million people) of people with the disease have not been diagnosed, therefore, it is important to be aware of your symptoms, especially if you:

  • Over 45 years
  • You’ve been diagnosed prediabetes
  • Are overweight and / or inactive
  • Are African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic / Latino, or Pacific Islander and experience symptoms

Common Symptoms

Knowing the most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes can give you a boost to notice anything you may develop. This way, you can see your health care provider as soon as possible.

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Polyuria (Excessive Urination)
– it’s an increase in urinary frequency. When you have abnormally high glucose levels in the blood, your kidneys absorb water from your tissues to dilute glucose so your body can get rid of it through urine. Your cells will also pump fluid into the bloodstream to help remove sugar; the kidneys cannot reabsorb this fluid during filtration, resulting in excess urination.

To meet the clinical definition of polyuria, an adult’s urine volume must exceed 2.5 liters per day (the normal volume of urine is 1.5 liters per day.) Keep in mind if you visit the bathroom much more often than usual and if you stay there longer when you do.

Polydipsia (Excessive Thirst)
Excessive thirst usually goes hand in hand with increased urination. As the body draws water from the tissues to thin the blood and remove excess glucose, the desire to drink increases. Many people describe this thirst as insatiable.

To stay hydrated, you may feel the need to drink excessive amounts of fluids. If these liquids contains simple sugars (such as soft drinks, sweet iced tea, lemonade, or juice), your glucose level will increase even more.

Extreme Fatigue
Your body is like a car-it needs fuel to run. The main source of fuel for the body is glucose, which is broken down from foods containing carbohydrates. Insulin, a hormone produced by beta cells pancreatic the gland moves glucose from the blood to cells for use as energy.

When you have diabetes, or your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, or the insulin your body makes isn’t used the way it should be, usually because the cells become resistant to it. The result: Your cells lose glucose and you experience a lack of energy and extreme fatigue.

Polyphagia (excessive Hunger)
Excessive hunger correlates with fatigue and cellular fasting. Because cells are resistant to insulin, glucose stays in the blood. The cells cannot access glucose, which can trigger the release of hormones that tell the brain that it is hungry. Excessive food consumption can further complicate things, causing an increase in blood sugar levels.

Neuropathy (Nervous Tingling)
Numbness, tingling, or “pin and needle” feeling in the hands or feet caused by type 2 diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy. This symptom tends to develop gradually over time, as excess sugar damages the nerves. Keeping glucose levels within normal limits can help prevent further damage and reduce symptoms. People with severe neuropathy may need medication.

Cuts and bruises that take time to heal
When blood is thick from sugar, it may not move as freely throughout the body. Healing requires proper circulation: poor circulation can make it difficult for blood to access affected areas, slowing down the healing process. A cut or bruise that heals slowly may be a sign of high blood sugar levels.

Blurred vision
Blurred vision may be the result of high blood sugar levels. Similarly, the fluid that is drawn from cells in the bloodstream to dilute glucose can also be drawn from the lenses of the eyes, causing them to become excessively dry and unable to concentrate. It is important to pass enlarged eye exam shortly after he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Eye damage it can occur even before diabetes is diagnosed.

Rare Symptoms

Although the less common symptoms of type 2 diabetes are not seen in all, they can indicate a disease and are worth knowing:

  • Dry mouth (a sign of dehydration that may result from increased urination)
  • Irritability
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Leather labels
  • Common infections, such as fungal infections
  • Black acanthosis – dark, “velvety” areas of skin in the armpits, groin and neck folds, as well as joints of fingers and toes. It is an indicator of high insulin levels and is most often seen in African Americans.
  • Unexplained weight loss (usually associated with diabetes 1 type, but may also occur in type 2 diabetes with insulin deficiency)
  • Erectile dysfunction (after years of high blood sugar)


Complications of diabetes develop slowly, but can become serious if the condition is not treated. By the time someone is diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, the body has been struggling with high sugar and insulin levels for about 10 years.

  • Cerebral haemorrhage
  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Foot problems caused by insufficient blood flow and nerve damage are sometimes serious enough to warrant an amputation
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy)
  • Eye damage (retinopathy)
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Kidney damage (nephropathy)

When to see a doctor

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may appear gradually, but should not be ignored. If you begin to notice any of these, make an appointment with your health care provider as soon as possible.

If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may be associated with certified diabetes teacher and provide recommendations to receive diabetes self-care education. You can also get this help from Diabetes and education specialist associations. These services are often covered by insurance; contact your provider for details about your plan.

When to go to the hospital

Such as very high blood sugar levels, or hyperglycaemia. and very low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can be considered a medical emergency.


If diabetes is not treated and blood glucose levels get too high, serious complications can occur, such as hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketo syndrome (HHNS). sometimes called diabetic coma or diabetic ketoacidosis. Seek urgent medical attention if you experience any symptoms related to hyperglycemia:

  • Intense thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Warm, dry skin that doesn’t sweat
  • High temperature (over 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Drowsiness or confusion
  • Vision loss
  • Hallucination
  • Weakness on one side of the body


If your blood sugar level falls too low, you may experience any or all of the following:

  • Dizzy
  • Trembling
  • Headache
  • Sweat
  • Hunger

Immediately eat foods or drinks that contain sugar and consider getting urgent medical attention.

A Few Words From Get Meds Info

A diagnosis of diabetes can be worrying, especially since the disease must be treated daily. However, it is manageable and any steps you need to take will be second nature. It will also help you learn as much as you can about this condition. For some people, lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, healthy eating, and exercise, can lower blood sugar levels below the diabetes threshold. You can control your diabetes and don’t let it control you.

Frequently asked questions

  • Excessive urination, excessive thirst, excessive hunger, and extreme fatigue are the most common symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes. Other common symptoms include vision changes, slow healing wounds, and neuropathy. 

  • Some people have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Risk factors include:

    • Over 45 years
    • Body mass index (BMI) above 25
    • High blood pressure
    • High triglyceride levels
    • History of heart disease or stroke
    • Family history
    • Lack of physical activity
    • Low HDL cholesterol
    • Polycystic ovary syndrome
    • Prediabetes
    • Previous gestational diabetes or birth of a baby weighing 9 pounds or more

    Ethnic groups at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes include: 

    • African Americans
    • Alaska Natives
    • Amerindian
    • Asian-american
    • Hispanics and Latinos
    • Native Hawaiians 
    • Pacific islanders

  • Type 2 diabetes often has no obvious symptoms. However, fluctuations in blood sugar levels can affect your energy level and mood. High blood sugar levels can make you feel tired and thirsty, while a drop in blood sugar can make you feel unstable and weak. 

  • Diabetes is diagnosed through blood tests that measure blood glucose levels. If you have symptoms of diabetes, your health care provider may order lab tests to check. Regular exams it is also recommended for people age 35 or older or those who have certain risk factors.

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