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Symptoms of type 2 diabetes vary in each individual and by how advanced the condition is. In prediabetes or early diabetes, symptoms may be barely noticeable or may be confused with other health conditions, the effects of stress, or changes associated with normal aging. As insulin resistance increases, high blood glucose progressively damages nerves, blood vessels, and organs, and symptoms worsen and impact quality of life more severely.
Because early symptoms of type 2 diabetes may not be noticeable, routine screenings are recommended for people age 45 and older and people of any age with obesity and risk factors such as a family history of diabetes or a history of gestational diabetes. The earlier type 2 diabetes is diagnosed and treated, the better the prognosis is.
People with type 2 diabetes may not experience every symptom, or even most of them.
Common symptoms include:
Depression and anxiety are common with type 2 diabetes, as with all chronic illnesses. It is common for people with type 2 diabetes to have additional health problems such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high blood cholesterol or triglycerides, chronic kidney disease, and heart failure.
If blood glucose levels are not maintained within a healthy range, damage progresses and causes serious complications including:
Diabetes treatments and lifestyle changes can help keep blood glucose within the normal range, slow the progress of the disease, and manage symptoms.
In a survey of almost 16,000 people with diabetes or a high risk for diabetes, 44 percent of those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes reported that they did not notice any of the most common symptoms within the past year. The most frequently reported symptoms among all groups were increased urination and fatigue. However, 70 percent of respondents did not report experiencing either of these two symptoms.
What symptoms lead to a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is not based on symptoms, but on blood tests that show blood glucose levels. Read more about the how type 2 diabetes is diagnosed.
At what age do most people first experience type 2 diabetes symptoms?
Type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed in people age 45 or older. However, type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in children and young adults, mostly in those who are overweight or obese.