Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

Type 2 diabetes is typically characterized by high blood sugar. The blood sugar is high because the insulin-induced uptake of glucose from the blood by various cells of the body is either reduced or absent. The progression of type 2 diabetes usually occurs gradually, over many years.

In some people, there may be no symptoms of type 2 diabetes until it has developed or progressed to a more severe extent. Some of the main symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Polydipsia - increased thirst
  • Polyphagia - increased hunger
  • Polyuria - frequency of urination is increased, especially at night

Other symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss and muscle loss.
  • Diabetics are prone to infection because the high blood sugar provides a favourable growth medium for microbes. Diabetics are also less able to defend against these infections. Fungal infections of the vulva in females are common leading to itching and urinary tract infections may occur in both in men and women.
  • Diabetic individuals may also develop non-healing foot ulcers or sores which can turn gangrenous if left untreated.

Diabetes complications

Eventually, serious complications of the disease may arise and affect various bodily systems. For example, the following may develop:


"Floaters" or floating dark spots in the field of vision may occur as a result of damage caused to the retina by an inadequate supply of nutrients and oxygen by blood vessels. This occurs due to the microvascular changes that diabetes causes in the eye.

Diabetic neuropathy

This refers to the nerve damage caused by diabetes which may lead to tingling, pain or numbness in affected areas. Usually, the peripheries such as the toes and fingers are the first to be affected.

The autonomic nervous system may also be affected causing disorder of bodily systems such as the digestive, reproductive and urinary systems.

Cardiovascular disease

The risks of heart disease is also raised in diabetic individuals which increases the likelihood of heart attacks, heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, February 27). Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms. News-Medical. Retrieved on July 27, 2021 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Type-2-Diabetes-Symptoms.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms". News-Medical. 27 July 2021. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Type-2-Diabetes-Symptoms.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Type-2-Diabetes-Symptoms.aspx. (accessed July 27, 2021).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms. News-Medical, viewed 27 July 2021, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Type-2-Diabetes-Symptoms.aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
You might also like... ×
The Prospects of Semaglutide for Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Patients