Type 2 diabetes might result in many severe complications and conditions that aren’t easy to treat and cure. What are the chronic and acute complications of type 2 diabetes, and how should a patient take care of them? Learn more details about type 2 diabetes complications in this guide.

What Causes Diabetes Complications?

There are two types of diabetes complications that might happen to any person that has this condition: chronic complications and acute complications. Long-term complications can lead to serious problems with feet, eyesight, heart and can become one of the causes of much more serious conditions and diseases.

Most often, the high glucose level in your blood results in type 2 diabetes complications. High blood sugar levels might damage your blood vessels, which can result in serious conditions and diseases. Your body’s nerves will stop working properly, and you might start getting symptoms of some complications.

To deal with complications of type 2 diabetes, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible. To avoid any type 2 diabetes complications, it is important to visit your doctor regularly.

Short Term Type 2 Diabetes Complications

Short-term diabetes mellitus type 2 serious complications, or acute complications, are easier to deal with because they can always be cured. However, it doesn’t mean that they are not serious.


The full name for a hypo is hypoglycemia, and this is one of the signs of diabetes, as well as one of its complications. It occurs when your blood glucose levels are low. This is one of those complications of type 2 diabetes that can happen because of the food or activity that might be harmful to you. This is why it is important to have a well-balanced diet and moderate exercise at all times.


The full name for hypers is hyperglycemia, and it is a reverse of a hypo (or hypoglycemia). This happens when your blood sugar level is too high. One of its causes can be a bad diet, stress, and lack of sleep. Its symptoms include thirst, urinating too often, nausea, as well as others. This condition, along with hypos, should not be ignored and must be treated right away.

Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State

This complication occurs if the patient with type 2 diabetes doesn’t follow the guidelines and doesn’t maintain a healthy diet and treatment. This condition is caused by extremely high blood sugar levels. Often this is a result of both dehydration and illness. It can also occur as a result of stopping the treatment mid-disease.

This is a serious condition that should be treated immediately. If you suffer from it, you should get immediate hospital treatment to bring the blood sugar levels down since it might put your life in danger.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

This is another serious condition that happens when your body starts running out of insulin. One of the main reasons why insulin is important for your body is because it helps you deliver sugar to different organs. Insulin plays one of the key roles in your health, and if your body stops producing it, there might be some serious consequences.

How uncontrolled diabetes damage your organsLong Term Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

Long-term complications of type 2 diabetes might cause many serious conditions and diseases that in some cases might even be vital. What is more, being left without a diagnosis, a patient might develop type 2 diabetes skin complications, problems with eyes and feet, as well as many other complications.

Eye Problems

Type 2 diabetes eye complications can cause diabetic retinopathy. This is a condition caused by high blood sugar levels. If it is left undiagnosed and not treated correctly, it can cause blindness. It might also cause blurry vision.

Diabetes type 2 might also cause such conditions as glaucoma, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, as well as many other eye problems. This is one of the first areas that should be inspected since eyes are often affected by the disease.

Foot Problems

People who have diabetes are at higher risk of developing ulcers and different kinds of damage to the feet. These foot complications type 2 diabetes might result in hammertoes, corns, ingrown toenails, skin dryness, as well as many other conditions.

Diabetic feet should be treated differently. If a patient has any nerve damage and diabetic foot conditions, it is important to inspect feet every day and bathe feet in warm water. The doctor should prescribe specific treatment in this case as well.

Heart Attack and Stroke

High blood glucose might cause damage to your blood vessels and heart. Because of that, diabetes might become one of the causes of a heart attack.

Kidney Problems

The high levels of sugar might lead to kidney failure and other serious conditions. Some of the symptoms of diabetic kidney disease include weight loss, poor appetite, dry and itchy skin, muscle cramps, as well as many other serious side effects.

Around 20-30 percent of people who have diabetes suffer from kidney problems, so it should be inspected regularly.

Nerve Damage

If the blood sugar level isn’t controlled correctly, nerve damage might develop. Around half of the people who have diabetes also experience nerve damage. It isn’t reversible, and the symptoms might not be detected over the years.

There is no cure for diabetic neuropathy, but its progress can be slowed down. Patients with nerve damage are treated with anti-seizure drugs.

Gum Disease and Other Mouth Problems

The growth of bacteria often happens because of high blood sugar levels that are not controlled. This is why gum disease and many mouth problems are among the most common complications of type 2 diabetes.

Related Conditions, Like Cancer

Some other related conditions that might be caused by diabetes and their complications are certain types of cancer as well as other problems with skin, feet, eyes, and other body parts.

Sexual Problems

Another type 2 diabetes serious complication is a problem with sexual activity, and the effects include a decrease in sex drive, erectile dysfunction, as well as many other problems. This condition should not be ignored since diabetes might also influence genitalia and overall well-being.

Acute complications Long term complications
Hypos Eye problems
Hypers Foot problems
Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State (HHS) Nerve damage
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) Heart attack/stroke
  Gum disease and other mouth problems
  Sexual problems in men and women
  Kidney problems
  Related diseases and conditions

Type 2 Diabetes and Pregnancy Complications

Having type 2 diabetes can put you at higher risk of developing some side effects. When it comes to type 2 diabetes, breastfeeding, and pregnancy complications, it is important to be careful and discuss every step with the doctor, as well as have regular checkups. Complications with type 2 diabetes for pregnant women include preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy), increased amount of amniotic fluid, and preterm or cesarean delivery. This is why seeing your doctor regularly is so important.

How to Prevent Complications

Diabetes goals of care

There are several things you can do to prevent complications from diabetes.

Lifestyle Changes

There are a few simple steps you can follow to prevent the side effects of diabetes. Here is what you can do:

  • Lose weight if you are overweight/obese. Obesity is a serious condition and should be treated properly.
  • Watch your portion sizes and monitor your diet. It is important to maintain a healthy diet.
  • Don’t skip meals. It’s crucial for your overall health to make sure that you don’t only maintain a healthy diet but also never skip meals.
  • Always take your medication as it’s prescribed. Even if you feel better, don’t skip the medication.

Regular Screening

Visiting your doctor regularly is one of the main ways to make sure that your body is healthy and diabetes is controlled. It is better to discuss the number of times you need to visit the doctor every month individually.

Best Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Complication

If you don’t pay enough attention to any of the symptoms of some serious complications from type 2 diabetes, you might develop some severe conditions that might even result in stroke, microvascular and macrovascular diseases, infection, or limb amputation.

It might not be easy to avoid chronic or acute complications of type 2 diabetes, and those might appear in any case. However, one of the best ways to deal with the complications and risk factors is to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus complications timeline depends solely on the way the patient treats the disease. Complications might come sooner if the patient doesn’t take proper care of themselves and their condition. If you experience any of the complications, you will be given medications by a doctor and prescribed a special treatment.