Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by elevation of glucose levels in the blood that develops in humans as a result of genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Unbalanced glycemic control has been associated with the development of progressive and debilitating complications that dramatically affect the quality of life and life expectancy of people with diabetes. The purinergic system represents a widely diffused signaling pathway in mammalian cells of different tissues where it plays critical roles in both physiological and pathological conditions. Herein we review the increasing evidence supporting that the purinergic system plays an important role in the multiple facets of diabetes, including its physiopathology and complications. We also discuss the potential relevance of the purinergic pathway for diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.