Diabetes Type 2 Symptoms:
9 Common Symptoms & 9 Risk Factors

Diabetes type 2 symptoms tend to develop slowly over a long period of time. Because of this gradual onset, you can live with this disease for many years without being aware of it.

It is estimated that of the 23.6 million Americans who have diabetes type 2 symptoms, an astounding 5.7 million of them have failed to recognized the symptoms and are therefore undiagnosed.

People develop type 2 diabetes because the cells in the muscles, liver, and fat do not use insulin properly. Eventually, the pancreas cannot make enough insulin for the body's needs. As a result, the amount of glucose in the blood increases while the cells are starved of energy(1).

Because this disease manifests slowly, the symptoms and signs of type 2 diabetes develop gradually making them difficult to recognize. But there are certain symptoms that indicate you may have diabetes.

The 9 Common Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

  1. A feeling of frequent fatigue
  2. A sensation of tingling or numbness in the feet
  3. Itchy skin
  4. Cut, bruises, or sores that heal slowly
  5. Recurrent and slow healing infections such as bladder infections
  6. Blurred vision
  7. Increased thirst
  8. Increased urination
  9. Increased hunger

It is important to note that you may not be experiencing any of these diabetes type 2 symptoms or you may only be experiencing a few of them. For this reason if you are over 45 years of age you should be tested for diabetes.

9 Risk Factors for Diabetes 2 Type

If you have any of the following diabetes risk factors it is also strongly recommended that you be tested. These risk factors include:

  1. Having a family history of diabetes
  2. Being part of an ethnic group including: Native American, African American, Hispanic, or Asian decent
  3. Having a past history of gestational diabetes or giving birth of a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (women with past pregnancies only)
  4. Having polycystic ovary syndrome (women only)
  5. High blood pressure
  6. Low HDL (good) cholesterol level
  7. High triglyceride level
  8. History of heart disease
  9. Leading an inactive lifestyle


Diabetes type 2 symptoms are an indication of a serious disease. You should be tested if:

  1. Have any of the 9 Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetie; or
  2. Have any of the 9 Risk Factor of Diabestes; or
  3. Are 45 years of age and above

Your doctor can test for diabetes type 2 by ordering a type 2 diabetes test such as a fasting blood glucose test or an oral glucose tolerance test. This will allow you to know if this disease is present so you can begin treatment.

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(1) Am I at risk for type 2 diabetes. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (2008).

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