What are the warning signs of type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes leads to an excessive increase in blood sugar levels. By recognizing the early signs and symptoms of this chronic disease, one can be treated more quickly, reducing the risk of serious complications.

People with prediabetes have higher than normal blood sugar levels, but doctors do not yet consider them to have diabetes. People with prediabetes often develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years if they are not treated.

The onset of type 2 diabetes can be gradual, and symptoms may be mild in the early stages. As a result, many people may not realize that they have this disease.

Here are the early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes and the importance of early diagnosis. We also discuss the risk factors for developing this disease.

Early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes

The early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include

1. Frequent urination

When the blood sugar level is high, the kidneys try to remove excess sugar by filtering it out of the blood. This can lead to having to urinate more frequently, especially at night.

2. Increased thirst

The frequent urination required to remove excess sugar from the blood can lead to additional water loss from the body. Over time, this can cause dehydration and lead to feeling more thirsty than usual.

3. Always be hungry

People with diabetes often don’t get enough energy from the foods they eat.

The digestive system breaks down food into a simple sugar called glucose, which the body uses for fuel. In people with diabetes, not enough of this glucose passes from the blood to the body’s cells.

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As a result, people with type 2 diabetes often experience constant hunger even if they have eaten recently.

4. Feeling very tired

Type 2 diabetes can impact your energy level and make you feel very tired. This fatigue is due to insufficient sugar in the blood and in cells.

5. Blurred vision

Too much sugar in the blood can damage the tiny blood vessels in the eyes, which can cause blurred vision. This blurry vision can occur in one of the eyes or in both eyes and can come and go.

If a person with diabetes does not receive treatment, the damage to these blood vessels can worsen and permanent vision loss can eventually occur.

6. Slow healing of cuts and wounds

High blood sugar can damage the nerves and blood vessels in the body, which can affect blood flow. Therefore, even small cuts and wounds can take weeks or months to heal. Slow wound healing also increases the risk of infection.

7. Tingling, numbness or pain in the hands or feet

High blood sugar can affect blood circulation and damage nerves in the body. In people with type 2 diabetes, this can cause pain or a tingling or numb feeling in the hands and feet.

This condition is known as neuropathy and can get worse over time and lead to more serious complications if a person does not receive treatment for their diabetes.

8. Dark skin spots

Dark patches of skin that form on the folds of the neck, armpits or groin can also indicate a higher risk of diabetes. These spots can be very soft and velvety to the touch.

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9. Itching and yeast infections

The excess sugar in the blood and urine provides food for the yeasts, which can lead to infection. Yeast infections tend to occur on warm, moist areas of the skin, such as the mouth, genital areas, and armpits.

The affected areas are usually itchy, but a person may also experience burning, redness, and pain.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes

Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, but there are certain factors that can increase a person’s risk. These risk factors include the following

– be 45 years of age or over
-live a sedentary life
-be overweight or obese
-eat an unhealthy diet
-have a family history of diabetes
-have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
-have a medical history of gestational diabetes, heart disease or stroke
-have prediabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes high blood sugar. The first signs and symptoms may include frequent urination, increased thirst, feeling tired and hungry, vision problems, slow healing of wounds, and yeast infections.

Sources

Diabetes symptoms. (2018, August 29)

Diagnosing diabetes and learning about prediabetes. (2016, November 21)

Early symptoms of diabetes. (n.d.)

Facts about diabetic eye disease. (2015, September)

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes. (2016, November)

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