#SeeTheSigns of Diabetes



Type 2 diabetes is a complex disease that, if left untreated, can cause serious damage to the entire body. Diagnosis and proper treatment are crucial to prevent other health complications. 

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) occurs when the body cannot properly use insulin, the hormone that converts glucose—like from the food we consume—into fuel for the body. This is also known as insulin resistance. Without insulin, sugar stays in the blood and can lead to health complications.

Type 2 diabetes is a treatable disease and those living with it can thrive, but only if the disease gets diagnosed. Delayed diagnosis can lead to further health issues and strain on the entire body.

#SeeTheSigns of Diabetes

Frequent Urination

Symptom: urge to urinate frequently

Signs: repeated trips to the bathroom, waking at night to urinate, bedwetting from children who had previously outgrown it

Often mistaken for: excessive drinking, being well hydrated, a urinary tract infection

Excessive Thirst

Symptoms: unquenchable thirst day and night, feeling dehydrated

Signs: waking at night to drink water/fluids, complaints about thirst in youth

Often mistaken for: a response to participation in exercise/sports activities or hot weather


Symptoms: tired, unusual fatigue, low energy

Signs: irritability, mood swings

Often mistaken for: lack of sleep, a response to participation in exercise/sports activities, general lack of energy, viral illness

Unexplained Weight Loss

Symptom: unexplained and/or faster-than-typical weight loss

Signs: appearing thinner, clothes becoming baggy, changes in appetite (some people experience increased appetite, some experience limited appetite)

Often mistaken for: a growth spurt for children or teenagers, a response to limited appetite or increased activity, an eating disorder

If you recognize these signs and symptoms, immediately see a healthcare provider. 


#SeeTheSigns, Share the Signs —
Your Story!

Your stories can help others get diagnosed even sooner! Join the #SeeTheSigns campaign on social media by sharing how many signs of diabetes you experienced before diagnosis. Just post a picture or reel, using your fingers to share the number of signs you or your loved one had, and share your story around the signs. Post with the hashtags #SeeTheSigns and #T2D. Help others #SeeTheSigns of type 2 diabetes.

#SeeTheSigns, Share the Signs —
Spread the Word!

You can also share our #SeeTheSigns graphic across social media or print out our #SeeTheSigns poster to share in your community—at coffee shops, schools, gyms, barbershops and more! Click on each to save to your device!



What causes type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a complex illness—genetics, environment, lifestyle, diet, activity level and access to affordable healthcare all play a role. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot properly use insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. This is also known as insulin resistance. In T2D, the pancreas initially produces extra insulin, but eventually cannot keep up with production in order to keep blood sugar levels in check. Without insulin, glucose stays in the blood and cannot provide the necessary fuel to muscles and tissues.

When does it develop?
T2D can strike anyone at any age. It most often develops in those over the age of 45, but can also impact younger people and children. Risk factors include living with prediabetes, a history of gestational diabetes, having little to no access to healthcare, being poor, being overweight, having low activity levels (physically active less than three times per week) or having an immediate family member with T2D.

What happens if you don’t get diagnosed or treated in time?
As the body creates less and less insulin, it has no way to convert glucose into fuel for the body. This causes immense stress on the rest of the body, greatly increasing your risk for other health problems. Think of high blood sugar as a honey-like substance in your bloodstream, preventing blood from flowing properly to your organs, eyes, brain, feet and heart. Without the right amount of circulation to function, chronically high blood sugar will cause long-term damage or be fatal. Untreated T2D increases your risks of having a stroke, heart attack, blindness, neuropathy (nerve damage), heart disease, hypertension and falling into a coma. Working with your healthcare provider to get diagnosed early on and establishing a treatment plan can diminish these risks.

Can you reverse or cure type 2 diabetes?
No, but the disease can go into remission. Remission is defined as the return of A1C—the blood test measure of average blood sugar levels over about three months—to less than 6.5 percent after at least three months without usual diabetes medications. The term “remission” implies that a person with diabetes may need ongoing support to prevent a relapse, including lifestyle changes and regular monitoring to allow for treatment if high blood sugar returns.

Type 2 diabetes diagnosis stories

What Nobody Told Me About Accepting a Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis

You know what diet and exercise to expect after a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis. But what about everything else? Phyllisa Deroze talks about what no one told her about accepting her diagnosis.

A Chat with Robert Lewis, the Happy Diabetic

Chef Robert Lewis, aka the Happy Diabetic, shares his experience living with Type 2 diabetes, connecting with audiences through food, and how you can begin making healthy meals at home today.

The Wake-Up Call I Gave Myself

Melissa lived for years relying on medication, but she realized that she needed to take her management into her own hands to be truly healthy and happy.

Remaining Fierce in the Face of Type 2 Diabetes

Tiff McFierce is a DJ and Music Director for the NY Liberty Basketball Team. Diagnosed w/ Type 2 diabetes in 2017, she's remaining fierce in the face of it.

Diabetes Education Helped This Marine Vet Reach His Type 2 Goals

Former Marine Vet Garrett Reynolds was in disbelief about his type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Through education, he achieved his diabetes goals.

Hiking My Feelings to Manage Diabetes

Sydney Williams has been living with Type 2 diabetes for over two years. Her love for hiking forced her to confront some deep feelings...

Transforming Tobi: A Story About Fitness + Mental Health

Tobi learned to prioritize both fitness and mental health after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

LeAnne’s Type 2 Diagnosis + Connecting With Others On Social Media

From crash dieting to a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, LeAnne shares her story.

T2D As A Catalyst For Change: How Jamie Focused On Poetry + Community

Jamie used his type 2 diagnosis as a catalyst for change in his life.

“I Needed to Demand the Best”: How I Became My Own Diabetes Advocate

A diabetes advocate shares how she fought to get the care she deserved after her type 1 diabetes diagnosis.

Hiking The Appalachian Trail with Type 2 Diabetes

Nalini started hiking, backpacking, and adventuring with type 2 diabetes. Her blog, Hiking Misadventures was born.

How I’ve Dealt with My “Freshman” Year of Type 2 Diabetes

Bill Santos was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2018. He likens adjusting to diabetes to living in a new country and reflects on the changes he made in his first "freshman" year of having Type 2 diabetes.

My Rejection for Life Insurance Revealed My Type 2 Diagnosis

Jeannette Alligood is a health coach who has been living with Type 2 diabetes since 2016. Her diagnosis was revealed after being rejected by life insurance.

Diagnosed with Type 2 Without Experiencing the Typical Symptoms

Antionette Blake is a multi-award winning blogger from Delaware and the owner of ABlake Enterprises, a social media management & consulting company. Antionette was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in January 2019 without experiencing the typical symptoms.

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