Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment


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What is diabetes mellitus type 2?

Diabetes type 2 is the most common form of diabetes mellitus in the world. Insulin resistance by the body is the regularly observed cause of diabetes type 2.
However, there is also another uncommon factor which causes diabetes type 2, that is, the body simply does not produce enough insulin.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows your body to use glucose (a type of sugar found in many carbohydrates) for energy. Insulin also helps to balance your blood glucose or blood sugar levels, by preventing it from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia).

Following are the normal and diabetic blood sugar levels:

Plasma Glucose Test





Below 11.1 mmol/l

Below 200 mg/dl


More than 11.1mmol/l

More than 200 mg/dl


Below 6.1 mmol/l

Below 108 mg/dl

6.1 to 6.9 mmol/l

108 to 125 mg/dl

More than 7.0 mmol/l

More than 126 mg/dl

2 Hour Post-Prandial

Below 7.8 mmol/l

Below 140 mg/dl

7.8 to 11.0 mmol/l

140 to 199 mg/dl

More than 11.1mmol/l

More than 200 mg/dl

Please Note: If your glucose levels are below 50 mg/dL or above 200 mg/dL you need to be admitted to the emergency room without delay.

How does diabetes type 2 occur?

The primary cause of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 is that the pancreas may produce enough insulin to transport sugar into the cells, however, the body refuses to use the insulin.

Insulin helps to unlock the cells of the body to allow the sugar (glucose) to enter them so that the glucose is transformed into energy.

If there is more sugar in the body than is required, the insulin helps to store the sugar in the liver and releases it when the blood sugar level is low, or when the body needs more sugar, such as in between meals or during vigorous physical activity. Therefore, insulin helps to balance out the blood sugar level and keep it in a normal range. As blood sugar level increases, the pancreas secrete more insulin.

In diabetes type 2 since the body refuses to use the insulin produced, the insulin is unable to let the sugar enter the cells and transform into energy. The sugar level keeps increasing in the blood, and overtime hurts the eyes, heart, kidneys and nerves.

The insulin is not able to let the sugar enter the cells and transform into energy. The sugar keeps increasing in the blood and overtime hurts the eyes, heart, kidneys and nerves. 

A secondary reason for diabetes mellitus type 2 is insufficient insulin production by the pancreas. A study done by a team of researchers at the Newcastle University shows that this occurs due to fat accumulation in the pancreas.

When the insulin production is not enough, blood sugar levels rise in the body causing diabetes mellitus type 2.

Who is prone to diabetes type 2?

You may be prone to diabetes type 2 if:

  • you have a family history of diabetes
  • you have prediabetes or a high blood sugar level which has not yet turned to full-fledged diabetes. It can be stopped if you exercise and reduce excess weight
  • you lead a sedentary lifestyle
  • you have high blood pressure/hypertension
  • you have heart disease
  • you are overweight
  • you are 45 years and above, as with age the risk of getting diabetes grows
  • you are a woman with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

What are the symptoms of diabetes type 2? How is diabetes type 2 diagnosed?

The symptoms of diabetes type 2 include:

  • excessive urination
  • excessive thirst
  • dry mouth
  • sudden weight loss
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • increased hunger
  • blurry vision
  • slow healing wounds
  • loss of consciousness
  • Impotency
  • itching skin
  • slow healing wounds
  • frequent yeast infections if you are a woman


Diagnosis of diabetes type 2 usually includes one or more blood tests.

The doctor will advise you to undergo a Glycated haemoglobin (A1C) test. This test indicates your blood sugar levels for the past two to three months.

This test measures the percentage of haemoglobin — an oxygen-transporting protein in red blood cells — to which the blood sugar is attached. A high percentage of haemoglobin (6.5 % or higher) indicates diabetes.

After this test, the doctor will ask you to undergo an autoantibody test which checks for antibodies that attack the pancreatic cells. This test accurately diagnoses whether it is Diabetes Type 1 or Type 2.

The doctor may also ask you to undergo a Random Blood Sugar Test, a Fasting Blood Sugar Test, and Oral glucose tolerance test.

What are the complications of diabetes type 2?

The complications of diabetes type 2 include:

  • heart palpitations
  • excessive sweating
  • slurred speech
  • whiteness of skin
  • confusion
  • headache
  • anxiety
  • numbness in fingers, toes, and lips
  • drowsiness

More severe complications of diabetes type 2 include:

  • diabetic retinopathy or eye disorders
  • nephropathy or kidney disease
  • diabetic neuropathy or nerve disorders
  • macrovascular problems or heart problems due to damaged blood vessels

What is the treatment for diabetes type 2?

Medical Treatment

For managing the symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 the doctor often prescribes a good diet and proper exercise.

Sometimes though, only lifestyle changes are not enough. You may have to undergo treatments which include oral drugs and injectables. Please consult your physician for the appropriate treatment course.


If you have diabetes mellitus type 2, you have too much glucose in your blood. Exercising will help you bring your blood glucose levels under control. It helps the muscles to use up the glucose, without the insulin, which brings down the levels of sugar in the blood.
An additional benefit is that the exercising will keep your heart healthy, which is important because people with diabetes are at a high risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases, due to blocked arteries.

Warning: To avoid any serious risk to your health, please consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen. You may need to change your diet, and the dosage of insulin, or of other medicines before you start exercising.

Would you like to consult a doctor for Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 ?

Patient Experiences

Effective Diabetes Treatment
I got reference from my friend. Mutha sir is really good. My mom was having high sugar problem, after just one month of medication, her sugar is now under control and also her medicines have become half. Surely recomend to others as well. ...Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Abhay Mutha
Diabetes Care & Research Foundation
Umesh N
Effective Diabetic Ulcer Treatment
My father had diabetic ulcer for several months and it was not healing.The foot got swollen, wound was looking very bad and we consulted to Dr Hema. She did major dressing, prescribed MRI & some blood tests. MRI showed Osteomyelitis, and blood tests indicated poor control. Dr explained the situation and prescribed Antibiotics along with regular dressings. By following the treatment , the wound gradually healed and Osteomyelitis got resolved. She also helped to get blood sugar under control. It took around 3-4 months for complete recovery. I am very happy with the diagnosis and treatment. She took care of overall well-being. My father is now maintaining good health. I highly recommend to anyone who wants to consult with Dr Hema....Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Hema T
Apollo Hospital

Questions answered by trusted doctors

Verified User
I am diagnosed three months prior and found type 2 diabetes. So I want to know is it curable or not?
Dr. Swapna Reddy
Diabetologist, Chennai
Hi, Type 2DM can be controlled and complications can b prevented with good sugar control. be on Diet control, regular walking and regular follow up with ur doctor.
Dr. Rajnish Saxena
Diabetologist, Ajmer
You can control the disease And can prevent complications. Till date no cure is available
Verified User
My sister was diagonised to have type 2 diabetes. She had stomach pain and we had recently measured her 3 months diabetic profile which was 9.6. We were informed by our doctor that she should be using insulin to control diabetes.. she s 13 years and arrogant in behaviour so we are unable to give her insulin injection. Is there an alternate way for insulin intake? Also she is obese and her scan reports say that she has fatty liver. Kindly advise.
Mr. Chinmay Das
Yoga and Naturopathy, Bangalore
best medicine for type 2 diabetes is 5 ml edible coconut oil daily. it supplies kitone to brain which is an alternate source of energy for brain. avoid sweet. take more vegetable and less grains. regular walk, kapal vati pranayama and abdominal excercise like leg rotation chakki chalana and shakti bandha series required. laghu sankha prakkyalana recommended
Dr. A Shaji Bharath (PhD)
Acupuncturist, Chennai
All these ailments can be treated in Acupuncture but the patient may need proper counselling before the start of the treatment. These symptoms and disease is due to internal imbalances according to Acupuncture / Chinese medicine. I would advise you to consult an Acupuncturist near by.
Dr. Sharath Kumar K N
General Physician, Mandya
Hello, I went through your query, there are no other alternatives available for insulin currently now in the market. What you need to know is needles of insulin syringes are very small is not of much pain inducing and there are several pen type models available now with small needles which release calculated dose by simple pressing button. Please talk to your doctor and get one. Psychiatrist consultation regarding her behavior and counseling will help.
Ask health queries and get free answers from doctors in 24 hrs

Did you know?

India, the diabetes capital of the world

India holds the record of being the diabetes capital of the world. Over 30 million people have now been diagnosed with diabetes in India. Half of them are women.

Diabetes cases are higher in south india

Cases of diabetes are higher in the four South Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

Children are highly affected too

Around 40000 children under the age of 15 years have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and this figure is growing by 5% each year. No regular exercise, obesity and a family history of Diabetes are the main causes.

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Home Remedies

Take a Mix of Ground Bay Leaves, Turmeric & Aloe Vera Gel

Mix together half a teaspoon of ground bay leaves, turmeric and one tablespoon of aloe vera gel. Consume it twice daily, before lunch and dinner. It will regulate your blood sugar levels.

Drink Bitter Gourd Juice

Drinking a glass of bitter gourd juice on empty stomach every morning for two months helps increase insulin secretion. You can also include cooked bitter gourd into your diet.

Drink Jamun Juice

Drinking a glass of Jamun or Indian blackberry juice helps in controlling the blood sugar levels. Also crush the seeds while making the juice as the seeds contain glycoside jamboline and alkaloid jambosine that regulate control blood sugar levels.

Drink Neem Juice

Crush the tender shoots of neem leaves and drink the juice in an empty stomach. It will help reduce your sugar levels and thus your lessen your insulin dependancy.

Drink Tulsi Juice

Consume one tablespoon of tulsi juice on empty stomach to bring your blood sugar to normal levels everyday.

Drink Wheatgrass Juice

Put a bunch of wheatgrass in a regular kitchen blender. Add around two tbsp water and churn it all. Pour it all out on a strainer and press on it till the juice is strained out and only the pulp remains on the strainer. Drink the juice. Wheatgrass juice is said to normalize blood sugar. A word of warning though, if the first time you feel nauseous after drinking wheatgrass, you may want to lessen the quantity or stop drinking it altogether.