Type 2 Diabetes Complications


Diabetes refers to the problem of the human body that leads to increase in blood sugar or glucose levels higher than the normal one. A few people even refer it as ‘hyperglycemia’. The disease may take place in either of the two forms, i.e., Type 1 and Type 2, between which Type 2 type of diabetes is common in many individuals.

In case you are a patient with type 2 diabetes, your body fails to utilize the insulin adequately produced by the pancreas. Doctors even refer it as insulin resistance. Initially, your pancreas will create an additional amount of insulin to recover it, while after some time, it fails to create enough insulin for retaining the blood glucose to up to its normal level.

Type 2 Diabetes Complications

Most of the type 2 diabetes patients ask a common question “what are the complications of uncontrolled diabetes?” Alternatively, a few of them have a curiosity to know the effects of type 2 diabetes on the body. To resolve the query, doctors said that the complications of diabetes type 2 take place because, with time, persistently high levels of glucose in the human blood may cause damage to various organs of a human body.

Type 2 diabetes complications may affect many parts of your body, which include feet, nerves, heart, eyes, ears, kidneys and livers and so on. With type 2 diabetes, if you fail to work very hard to keep the levels of your blood glucose under proper control, you will likely face both long-term and short-term complications of diabetes.

In this case, you have to keep an appropriate track about the type of food you should have, do physical exercise and take the necessary medicine to deal with type 2 diabetes complications tactfully. For this, it is very much essential for you to stay aware of both short-term and long-term effects of diabetes type 2.

Short-Term Complications of Diabetes

Short-term effects of type 2 diabetes are very level of blood glucose known as hypoglycemia and HHNS, i.e., Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome, i.e., high levels of glucose in the blood.

1. Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia indicates the low level of glucose or sugar in the blood.

The glucose level in your blood may drop easily when you take any sulfonylurea or insulin drug that intends to produce more amount of insulin for the entire day. With these medicines, if you opt to eat in fewer amounts than usual or stay more active, glucose in your blood may dip too much.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypoglycemia are easily recognizable, such as

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Whiteness of human skin
  • Sweating
  • Fear and anxiety feelings
  • Numbness in toes, fingers, and lips
  • Confusion and headache
  • Sleepiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Headache
  • Pale skin

In case you are dealing with mild cases related to hypoglycemia, you may merely have orange juice or a glucose tablet that helps you to increase the blood glucose level in the body. If you are type 2 diabetes patient and take insulin, you should make sure of carrying glucagon with you.

Thus, in case you become unconscious or unresponsive because of increase in insulin level, you require a quick glucagon injection.

Glucagon constitutes a hormone, which starts a process in the human body that directs towards raising the level of blood glucose.

2. HHNS (Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome)

Despite, HHNS condition is rare; it is essential for you to stay aware of it and the way to handle it smartly in case it takes place. HHNS refers to the situation when the levels of blood glucose exceed too high, and if you fail to treat it, you may suffer death.

HHNS takes place when you are an elder person or a sick individual.

It begins whenever the blood glucose level begins to increase and when it takes place; the body tries to overcome an excessive amount of glucose via frequent urination. This results in dehydration of your body, and you often feel thirsty.

Unfortunately, when you fall sick, you fail to rehydrate the body regularly, but continue to experience the problem of frequent urination.

Whenever you fail to rehydrate the body, the glucose level in your blood climbs consistently and eventually increases to send you in the condition of coma. To avoid this situation, you have to monitor the glucose level in your blood regularly and pay particular attention when you are sick.

Long-Term Complications

Besides short-term ones, patients may develop long-term type 2 diabetes complications, which develop over several years and have a close relationship with the way, in which glucose levels present in human blood may affect the blood vessels.

With the passage of time, high levels of blood glucose may cause damage in both small and large blood vessels.

Accordingly, doctors have further classified long-term side effects of diabetes into further two categories named:

  • Microvascular complications-damage to small blood vessels
  • Macrovascular complications-damage to large blood vessels

Microvascular Complications

Patients with type 2 diabetes may suffer damages in the small blood vessels because of consistently high levels of blood glucose for a long time. Damaged blood vessels often fail to deliver blood and create many other problems, particularly with the eyes, nerves, and kidneys.


Increase in blood glucose levels for a long time may cause retinopathy and cataracts in the human eyes, while vision loss in some cases. Thus, with the aim to avoid vision problems related to diabetes, it is essential for you to keep the glucose in your blood within a specific range and go for eye check-ups on a yearly basis.

diabetes retinopathy

Here, eye-checkup should include dilated eye examination under an eye doctor for monitoring the eye health.



If you keep your kidneys in untreated condition, you may suffer from diabetic nephropathy, i.e., a kidney disease that results in impaired function of kidneys and require a kidney transplant and dialysis procedure.

Poorly controlled or uncontrolled diabetes may result in kidney failure.

diabetic nephropathy

Hence, to avoid the problem of diabetic nephropathy, you should undergo testing every year for a condition called microalbuminuria that implies an early sign related to kidney problems.

The primary role of this test is to measure the amount of protein present in the patients’ urine. This is because; whenever kidneys start with creating problems, they release protein in excessive amounts.


Nerves damage because of diabetes refers to diabetic neuropathy.

diabetic neuropathy

Tiny blood vessels are responsible for feeding nerves in the human body. Thus, if blood vessels suffer damages, nerves will eventually suffer damages and thereby, result in one of the microvascular type 2 diabetes complications.

Diabetic neuropathy may be of various types or forms, which include proximal, autonomic and focal neuropathies, while most of them affect the nerves going to one’s feet and hands. Mainly, patients who have type 2 diabetes may lose sensation in their hands and feet.

Even they sometimes experience weakness, pain or tingling in the limbs.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is one of the severe complications taking place at the feet of a person.

This is the condition when patients fail to realize any sore in the feet. Sore thus suffer further infections and spread as well as left in the untreated state. Because of this, doctors may have to amputate the foot to prevent the infection from spreading it further in the body.

Hence, type 2 diabetes should make sure to undergo foot exams from a podiatrist on a regular basis.

Macrovascular Complications – Brain, Heart and Blood Vessels

side effects of diabetesType 2 diabetes may cause a severe effect on large blood vessels, i.e., cause plaque formation nearby the heart and may even result in stroke, heart attack or blockage in the blood vessel of the legs, referred as a peripheral vascular problem.

With the objective to avoid stroke and heart attack because of diabetes, you have to manage diabetes properly and at the same time, go with heart-healthy options in various areas of your life. These include avoiding smoking and alcohol intake activities, keep the blood pressure under control and give attention to the levels of body cholesterol.

Furthermore, it is very much essential for you to undergo regular checkup of your cholesterol level yearly. In this case, your doctor will check the blood pressure each time you visit the office. Along with this, few doctors may even check your pulse in the feet to assure about proper blood circulation.


Type 2 diabetes involves different types of both short-term and long-term complications related to the overall human health. However, if you make sure to maintain or keep the level of blood glucose under proper control, you may easily avoid them.

In simple words, you should primarily keep the blood glucose level in your body within a healthy range.


For this, you should not only require scheduling appointment with a specialist doctor depending on the condition but also follow a few healthy habits. These are appropriate diet plan, medicines, and physical activities, all of which directed towards avoiding type 2 diabetes complications and assuring healthy life.


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