Symptoms and signs of type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a global threat to all of humanity. A modern lifestyle contributes to a progressive increase in the incidence of disease. Pathology is especially fast spreading among middle-aged and elderly people. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are not always obvious. Because of this secretive beginning, the diagnosis is often made relatively late, which means that doctors are late with the start of the necessary treatment.

Blurred clinical picture

Manifestations of diabetes in each individual patient depend on his age, gender, weight, heredity, etc.

It is believed that in a significant proportion of patients the disease for a long time does not have any symptoms at all.

Such latent type 2 diabetes is especially insidious. Patients have no reason to consult a doctor, and the pathology remains unrecognized for a long time. The diagnosis in such cases is made during the examination for another pathology, medical examination or preventive examination. According to statistics, 5-7 million people with diabetes now live in Russia, who do not even know about their disease.

Symptom groups

Latent diabetes accounts for about half of all cases of the disease. The remaining patients still have some complaints.

In the clinical picture, the following signs can be distinguished:

  • dehydration;
  • energy hunger;
  • hyperinsulinism;
  • suppression of immunity;
  • the occurrence of late complications, etc.

Symptoms most often have moderate intensity. Most patients do not go to the doctors with these complaints. That is, even in the presence of a characteristic clinical picture, the diagnosis is made late. According to scientific studies, on average from the moment of hyperglycemia to the detection of the disease takes 5-7 years.


Type 2 diabetes leads to dehydration. Water leaves the body through the kidneys due to the so-called osmotic diuresis. Massive fluid secretion is associated with glucosuria (the penetration of glucose into the urine). Sugar crosses the renal barrier if its concentration in the plasma exceeds 9-11 mmol / L. The higher the glucose level, the more it enters the urine and the dehydration is harder.

Normally, the volume of urine output per day in humans does not exceed 2 liters. Of course, this indicator is very individual. Excessive urine volume can be a manifestation not only of a violation of carbohydrate metabolism. Polyuria is also provoked by diabetes insipidus, hyperparathyroidism, neurogenic polydipsia, etc.

Pathological volumes of urine are often combined with impaired natural biorhythms of diuresis. So, patients begin to get up to the toilet several times a night. This phenomenon is called nocturia.

Symptoms of dehydration are:

  • intense thirst;
  • persistent dry mouth;
  • dry mucous membranes;
  • itchy skin;
  • dryness and peeling of the skin;
  • decrease in elasticity and elasticity of soft tissues.

Dehydration is extremely dangerous for the body. Blood clotting is one of the causes of thrombosis. In addition, dehydration disrupts the normal circulation of blood through the vessels.

Type 2 diabetes patients should not be ignored for symptoms of fluid loss. About 2 liters of water are recommended per day (all drinks are included in this volume). With a marked increase in blood sugar, the need for rehydration is even higher.

Energy hunger

Glucose is a natural nutrient for all organs (energy source). In diabetes, it accumulates in the blood and cannot get inside the cells. Due to restrictions in the transport of glucose through membranes, an energy deficiency develops in the tissues.

Manifestations of such a lack of glucose:

  • weakness;
  • fatigue
  • low working capacity;
  • reduced stamina;
  • apathy;
  • depressed mood background.

Patients with type 2 diabetes are often associated with such poor health with concomitant diseases, age-related changes, and stress. Symptoms of energy hunger are very non-specific. It is difficult to suspect it is a violation of carbohydrate metabolism.


In the initial stages of type 2 diabetes mellitus, the pancreas secretes excess insulin into the bloodstream. The hormone is produced so much to compensate for the low susceptibility of tissues to it.

Insulin plays a crucial role in the metabolism. Excessive concentration is as unsafe as deficiency.

Signs of hyperinsulinism:

  • increased tone of the sympathetic nervous system;
  • rapid pulse;
  • high blood pressure;
  • episodes of hypoglycemia;
  • excess male hormones in women;
  • gradual weight gain.

Hypoglycemia – a drop in blood glucose below 2.8 mmol / L. Such a decrease is accompanied by trembling in the body, sweating, tachycardia, a sense of fear, visual impairment. If sugar continues to decline, then hypoglycemia leads to loss of consciousness and even to the development of coma.

An excess of male sex steroids in women with diabetes is explained by polycystosis. Testosterone is synthesized in the ovaries.

Its high concentration:

  • reduces fertility;
  • provokes hair growth on the face and body;
  • stimulates the formation of sebum;
  • contributes to the occurrence of acne, etc.

High concentrations of insulin also affect body weight. Excess hormone can trigger the development of obesity. Extra pounds appear due to latent hypoglycemia. Such decreases in blood sugar levels are almost invisible to the patient, but greatly increase appetite. With latent hypoglycemia, the patient does not control his eating behavior. He is inclined to eat portions large in volume and calorie content. Hyperinsulinism is characterized by abdominal obesity, in which fat deposition around the internal organs of the abdominal cavity predominates.

Decreased immunity

With type 2 diabetes, complex suppression of immunity occurs. Resistance to fungal, bacterial, and viral infectious agents is reduced. Acute inflammations and exacerbations of chronic diseases become more frequent in patients.

May develop:

  • furunculosis;
  • candidiasis;
  • urinary tract infections;
  • sinusitis;
  • bronchitis, etc.

The severity of all infectious inflammations is relatively high. Treatment necessarily includes taking antibiotics, antifungal agents. If the control of blood sugar is insufficient, then complications (pyelonephritis, pneumonia, meningitis, etc.) naturally develop. Such signs of immune suppression can be considered as one of the symptoms of metabolic disorders. If the patient has more frequent inflammatory processes, then he should check for latent diabetes.

Late complications of diabetes

In most patients with newly diagnosed diabetes, its complications are simultaneously found.

Sometimes these pathologies become the reason for seeking medical help.

So, for example, eye damage can cause visual impairment, sharp changes in visual acuity, narrowing of visual fields, etc. Pathology of the kidneys provokes the development of edema, hypertension, anemia. Complications from the peripheral nervous system are manifested by paresthesia, pain, cramps of the calf muscles. The effect of hyperglycemia on the brain is one of the reasons for the decline in memory, intelligence, and learning abilities.

If the first symptoms of diabetes were precisely the manifestations from the side of complications, then this indicates a long period of latent course of the disease. The diagnosis in such cases is often made by a non-core doctor (ophthalmologist, neurologist, nephrologist, etc.).

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