Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

Diagnosing Seema who has type 2 diabetes

Introduces a patient with type 2 diabetes
© University of Southampton

We will now introduce you to the second of our patients, Seema. Seema is 60 years old, originally from India but now living in the UK, and has type 2 diabetes.

Let us find out some more about Seema

Initial diagnosis

Seema was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 10 years ago.

What does this mean? 

Seema describes her memories of being diagnosed …

Seema visiting her doctor. Seema says "I was regularly visiting the doctor with repeated skin and urine infections. It started to get me down." The caption reads: Seema is overweight and has a lot of fat located around her waist (central obesity). Seema was diagnosed at 50.

Seema feeling tired and talking to her doctor. Her doctor says "Seema, you've had these symptoms for a long time and with your recurrent infections and high blood glucose levels I think you have type 2 diabetes". The caption reads: I was feeling very tires and kept needing to go to bed early. Even after a long night of sleep I always fell asleep in my chair during the day.

Type 2 diabetes is commonly diagnosed in middle age. It is also being diagnosed in younger adults and children.

Obesity chart showing 5 figures from underweight to severely obese

As has been described, Seema currently carries a lot of fat around her waist (central obesity). This is very common in type 2 diabetes as central obesity (around the middle) is related to a reduction in the effect of insulin.

So, even though the body might be producing enough insulin (unlike Carlos with type 1 diabetes), the body is resistant to it.

In many people with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas becomes less effective overtime, so they end up not producing enough insulin either.

Drawing of person with fat around middle of waist

Seema is of Asian descent: type 2 diabetes is found frequently in people from Asia, at least partly due to their smaller height and tendency to put on weight round their middle.

Seema continues to describe her memories of what happened after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes…

Seema stood with some healthy food. She says "I was encourage to change my lifestyle. Eating more healthy, reducing the amount of calories consumed and taking more exercise. My doctor also said I was likely to be treated with drugs to make my body respond better to insulin and might need to take insulin if my sugar levels didn't respond to other drugs."

To see other common symptoms of type 2 diabetes, and compare them with symptoms of type one diabetes, you can visit the symptoms section of, the link of which is at the bottom of this page.

What do you think are the challenges that Seema might face in daily life?
© University of Southampton
This article is from the free online

Understanding Insulin

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education