Symptoms of type 2 diabetes

The two main types of diabetes (type 1 and 2) share many symptoms, but type 2 diabetes usually takes longer to detect, since the symptoms are normally quite mild and only appear slowly over a long period of time.


Symptoms of type 2 diabetes occur because the blood glucose levels become too high, also known as hyperglycemia. The body will try and release the excess sugar through the urine and therefore needs extra liquids. Thus many of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes revolve around liquids.

Common symptoms of type 2 diabetes

One of the most common symptoms is feeling thirsty all the time. This is closely linked to the body's need to flush out the excess glucose through the urine. With an increase of liquid follows an increased need to urinate, to flush out the glucose. This symptom goes hand in hand with thirst. 

When the body cannot access glucose and convert it into energy, it will look for alternative sources of fuel. Ultimately the body will start breaking down fat and muscles to produce energy. This will cause symptoms such as weight loss, constant tiredness and a decrease in muscle mass leading to muscle weakness.
Skin infections, genital itching and cramps are also known symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

Many of these symptoms are similar to those of type 1 diabetes, the difference being that the symptoms in type 2 diabetes will surface gradually and can take years to diagnose. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes will typically occur over the course of a few days.

Last updated: 11/8/17

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