Type 2 Diabetes

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

With type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond normally to insulin (insulin resistance). The pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually the pancreas can’t keep up, and blood sugar rises.

High blood sugar is damaging to the body. It can lead to other serious health problems like:

  • Heart Disease
  • Vision Loss
  • Kidney Disease

Learn more about type 2 diabetes.

Risk Factors

You’re at risk for type 2 diabetes if you:

  • Have prediabetes.
  • Are overweight.
  • Are 45 years or older.
  • Have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes.
  • Are physically active less than 3 times a week.
  • Have ever had gestational diabetes or given birth to a baby who weighed over 9 pounds.
  • Are an African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, or Alaska Native person. Some Pacific Islanders and Asian American people are also at higher risk.
  • Someone with a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may also be at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Learn more about diabetes risk factors.

Signs & Symptoms

Common symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry—even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet

Learn more about diabetes symptoms.


A simple blood test will let you know if you have diabetes.

Learn more about testing for diabetes.


Diabetes is managed mostly by you. Your health care team will support you in managing your diabetes.

Your health care team can include:

  • Primary care doctor 
  • Endocrinologist – a doctor that specializes in diabetes
  • Foot doctor
  • Dentist
  • Eye doctor
  • Registered dietitian nutritionist
  • Diabetes educator
  • Pharmacist
  • Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist
  • Mental Health Professional
  • Fitness Professional

Type 2 diabetes can be managed by: 

  • Following doctor’s recommendations
  • Managing blood sugar
  • Taking prescribed medications
  • Getting regular health checkups
  • Healthy eating 
  • Being active
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Managing blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Getting diabetes education
  • Getting support

Learn more about managing diabetes.

Sources: CDC, American Diabetes Association