What Is Adult Onset Diabetes? A Simple Explanation + 7 Signs & Symptoms

What Is Type 2 Diabetes

What Is Adult-Onset Diabetes? Simple Explanation + 7 Symptoms & Signs

Do you think you might be suffering from adult-onset diabetes (frequently referred to as type 2 diabetes)?

In this article, I'll answer the question "What is adult-onset diabetes?"

Also, I'll show you the 7 most common signs & symptoms of type 2 diabetes and tell you what you can do about it.


Adult-onset diabetes unraveled

As you get older, you will get sicker. And one disease an increasing number of older people are contracting is adult-onset diabetes. So, what exactly is this disease and what are the most common symptoms?

Discovering precisely what adult-onset diabetes is and how to recognize it can be quite challenging.

I've been doing some searching on your behalf. And I came across dozens of sites, all attempting to explain what adult-onset diabetes is. Unfortunately, their explanations were so complicated, I was afraid my head was going to explode.

Purpose of this article

To save you from a similar situation, I'll try to explain, in simple language as simply as possible, what adult-onset diabetes is.

Also, at the end of the blog, you will learn how to recognize 7 signs and symptoms that may indicate type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus

When you have diabetes, your body cannot cope with the sugars that are in your food –  it can't process them in the way the body of a non-diabetic person can.

Sugars in your food are usually taken up by your brain and your muscles, and other organs. But it's not that straightforward. First, your body must get a signal in the form of the hormone insulin, which is released when you ingest carbs and sugar.

The process goes like this:

If you have diabetes, you have problems with the hormone insulin. And, as you can see in the graphic above, insulin is an essential link in the chain.

The precise problem differs from patient to patient. For the sake of convenience, doctors distinguish between two categories of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes)
  • Type 2 diabetes (adult-onset diabetes)

Type 1 diabetes

With type 1, your body mistakenly attacks the organ that makes the insulin, the pancreas.

This slowly destroys the pancreas. And as a result, insulin is no longer produced.

So, when you eat something, any sugar it releases into your blood can no longer be extracted in the normal way.

Your cells and organs no longer receive the sugar they need, and you walk around with aconstantly high blood sugar level, which is very dangerous.

As a result, people with type 1 diabetes have to administer insulin to themselves via a hypodermic needle. This is the only way to ensure that their blood sugar levels will drop.

Type 2 diabetes

With type 2 diabetes (adult-onset diabetes) something else is going on:

Your body does not produce enough insulin to absorb the sugars, and your body cells are insensitive to insulin

This usually happens because (over an extended period of time) a person:

  • Smokes
  • Eats unhealthily
  • Is overweight
  • Doesn't exercise
  • Has sleeping problems
  • Has high levels of stress

All the points above guarantee that your blood sugar level will be too high. Your body has to work extra hard. The more of these points that apply to you, the higher the chance that your body will no longer be able to run specific processes.

Your cells become less sensitive to insulin, or your pancreas does not make enough insulin to process the sugar you ingest.

Additional information

Aging and heredity also play a role. Hence the name "adult-onset diabetes": the chances of contracting the disease increase as you get older.

This is how type 2 diabetes differs from type 1 (or juvenile) diabetes, which usually affects younger people before puberty, is much less common, and stays with sufferers for the rest of their lives.

In contrast to juvenile diabetes, adult-onset diabetes can be prevented. And you can do it like this:

A healthy lifestyle prevents type 2 diabetes 

If you are reading this article and you do not have any adult-onset diabetes, I would particularly encourage you to read my articles about curing pre-diabetes.

"With pre-diabetes, you are on your way to getting diabetes, and it becomes extra important to live healthily."

But the advice I give to pre-diabetic people should actually apply to everyone. This way, everyone reduces the chance of developing adult-onset diabetes. It is a nasty disease, which can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle.

Prevent adult-onset diabetes!

If anyone in your immediate family has adult-onset diabetes, you will know how drastic it can be. At the same time, it can act as an added incentive to live a healthier lifestyle. Because adult-onset diabetes is hereditary, you run a very real risk of contracting it, so you would be wise to do all you can to avoid it.

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"Do I have adult-onset diabetes?"

There's only one way to find out. And that's by going to the doctor for a blood test and a check up.

If you want to prepare for that conversation, or you want to get a better picture of the symptoms of adult-onset diabetes, take a look below at the overview of the 7 most common signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

#1 Disturbance in regulation of fluids

These are fancy words to say that when your body can't deal with excess sugar in the "normal" way, it will resort to alternative methods.

When your blood sugar level is too high, your body does not like it.

Your body wants to get rid of this sugary mess as soon as possible.

And so it urinates the sugar out.

More frequent urination is, therefore, a symptom of adult-onset diabetes.

Unfortunately, this also means you get thirsty more oftenIt's difficult to collect the water needed to get rid of all that sugar.

Your eyes and mouth become dry as your body extracts fluids from them and from your other organs in order to drain away the surplus sugar.

#2 Fatigue


Every cell in your body needs sugars to function properly. Especially those in your brain as they can hardly run on fats and proteins. 

Brain cells need sugars so that they can transmit signals to each other.

If you've grown insensitive to insulin, you can become physically or mentally tired.

After all, the sugars are not going to the places that need them; instead, they're leaving your body with your urine.

And thus leaving your brain, for example, with a shortage of glucose, which will make you feel tired.

Also, having adult-onset diabetes is a stressful experience, and that tension can make you feel tired too.

#3 Changing eyesight

Your eyes are sensitive to your blood sugar levels. The ability of the lens of the eye to focus depends to a degree on the level of your blood sugar.


In the case of adult-onset diabetes, you will notice your vision fluctuate. One moment, everything appears clear and sharp, the next there's a haze in front of your eyes. When this haze is accompanied by fatigue or dizziness, it indicates that something is wrong with your blood sugar.

#4 Deteriorating vision

In the long run, high blood sugar levels affect your retina.

High blood sugar can damage the small blood vessels at the back of the eye, ultimately resulting in scar tissue on the retina.

Light refracted onto your retina through the lens of the eye is processed by the brain to create the world as we see it. If a piece of the retina is covered by scar tissue, you'll see less, and it can even result in you going blind.

  • That's why diabetic patients need to have their eyes checked regularly by a specialist.

# 5 Weight loss

As you have learned, many of the people who get diabetes later in life are overweight. Paradoxically, one of the symptoms these people exhibit is weight loss . This is because they suddenly become less sensitive to insulin.

The sugars in their blood can no longer be absorbed by the body's cells and are then passed with the urine or expelled in some other way.

The sugars can no longer be used as an energy source by your body.

This means your body has to draw on the sugar reserves of your liver and your muscles for the energy it needs.

Once these resources are exhausted, your fat and muscles will be next. As a result, you will lose weight.

#6 Badly healing wounds

There are several reasons why diabetes prevents wounds from healing properly.

With diabetes, high blood sugar levels can cause blood vessels to narrow.

This means that oxygen and other healing agents have difficulty reaching the wounds.

As a result, wounds linger... or become even worse.

White blood cells, which are responsible for tackling infections, can no longer do their job because the nutrients they need are unable to pass through the narrowing of the blood vessels. A wound will therefore heal much more slowly if you do not have your blood sugar level under control.

Watch out

When the foot suffers from neuropathy (numbness caused by damage to nerves in your "extremities," particularly your hands and feet), the wound remains undetected. This is why most diabetic patients notice a foot injury far too late, and amputation is not an uncommon consequence.

#7 Skin problems

As we've seen above, type 2 diabetes affects almost the entire body with its diverse symptoms. The last – but by no means the least – item on our list of the 7 most common signs and symptoms of  type 2 (or adult-onset) diabetes is the issue of skin problems.

An increased concentration of glucose in the skin of diabetes sufferers creates an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and yeasts, which can cause infections much more easily than they would in non-diabetic individuals.

Candida albicans

With diabetes, local itching is often caused by the Candida albicans. This yeast mainly causes infections:

  • In the mouth
  • Around the genitals
  • In the folds of the skin
  • In the cuticles

Diabetes-Free Secret

If you have all the symptoms listed above, you would be wise to go to the doctor to find out whether or not you have diabetes. Your doctor can help you to get medication to keep your blood sugar level under control from now on.

However, these medicines are no guarantee that you will be cured of your adult-onset diabetes, because they don't directly address the cause.

But adopting a healthier lifestyle can do this. A proper diet can work wonders in adult-onset diabetes.

It has recently been discovered that it is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. And all the things you need to do it can be found in your local grocery store.

You can reverse type 2 diabetes with one powerful principle. It's something I call "The Diabetes-Free Secret." I have written several pages about this secret that will change your life forever. You will learn:

  • Why you got type 2 diabetes
  • What mechanism you can use to reverse diabetes
  • The best tips to be diabetes-free within a few weeks

Enter your e-mail address below and I will send you the E-book for free.


Marloes Schuurman

PS: What do you do to prevent adult-onset diabetes? What were your first symptoms? Leave a comment below

About the Author

Marloes Schuurman is a medical specialist and an expert in the field of type 2 diabetes.

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