The Early Warning Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes You Need To Know About

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Diabetes is not a rare disease. Some are born with it and sufferers of Type 1 diabetes have learned to live with it. They have adapted a healthy diet and have learned to inject their bodies with insulin on a daily basis. And because they got it at a young age, they have learned to cope with it and live relatively normal lives.

But as they say, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Type 2 diabetes can actually be more difficult. That’s because sufferers contracted it at a later stage in life. They have already gotten used to their eating habits and may find it challenging to make lifestyle changes. Hence, they may need to see their doctor regularly to better adapt to the new life they have to live.


What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes causes blood sugar levels to either rise or fluctuate, although the former is more common. This is a result of unhealthy lifestyles that have been left unchecked and untreated. Hence, it is imperative that you recognize the early signs and symptoms of this chronic condition. Immediate treatment and early intervention is a must. Otherwise, severe complications may arise.

Type 2 diabetes, like type 1, is quite common. In fact, a 2017 report from Trusted Source of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 30.3 million adults in the US alone suffer from diabetes. In this report, it was also discovered that around 84.1 million adults in the US have signs of prediabetes.

When you say prediabetes, this simply means that they are those that have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. This is not diabetes yet, and further problems can be avoided if immediate action is made. According to the CDCTrusted Source, people with prediabetes often develop type 2 diabetes within five years if they do not seek treatment and act on it immediately.

Type 2 diabetes happen gradually. The symptoms can be extremely mild during the early stages. In fact, others may even tend to shrug it off as a health inconvenience. They do not realize what is happening to them just yet and that they are in actual danger of suffering from diabetes.


What are the Early Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

In this article, we look a closer look at the early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes. It is important to note that early diagnosis is key when it comes to avoiding further problems and complications.

It also must be noted that there are risk factors involved when it comes to the development of this condition. Hence, the early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes are any of a combination of the following:

1. Feeling the need to frequently urinate

When blood sugar levels reach higher than the required count, the kidneys react by trying to remove the excess sugar. They do this by filtering it out of the blood. Hence, the person may feel the need to urinate more frequently. This happens even more commonly during the night time.

2. Feeling the need to drink water more often

Because the person urinates more frequently, there is also a need to replace the fluids lost. Urinating is the body’s way of removing excess sugar from the blood. Hence, the body looks for more water as well during this time. When this happens long enough, the condition can cause dehydration. The sufferer will feel more thirsty than usual and will constantly look for fluids to quench that feeling.

3. Feeling more hungry than normal

People who suffer from diabetes do not get the energy they need to last throughout the day. They will feel like pecking on food constantly. In a healthy person, the digestive system breaks food down into a simple sugar called glucose. This substance is important because it acts as fuel for energy. With those who suffer from diabetes, there is a shortage of glucose that moves from the bloodstream into the cells. Hence, the sufferer may feel hunger pangs throughout the day, regardless of when their last meal was.

4. Feeling constantly tired and weak

Type 2 diabetes can have an impact on energy levels. Oftentimes, the sufferer feels very tired or fatigued with no seeming cause of explanation. As mentioned earlier, this feeling is a result of an insufficient amount of sugar moving from the bloodstream into the cells.

5. Vision may become blurry at times

An excess amount of sugar in the blood can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels surrounding the eyes. Hence, the person’s vision becomes blurry. This condition can occur in one or both of the eyes. More often, the blurriness may come and go throughout the process. If this symptom is left to disappear on its own and no treatment is sought out, the damage may become more severe. There are those who have permanent vision loss simply because they didn’t do anything about it.

6. Cuts and wounds do not heal immediately

High levels of sugar found in the blood can result in damage to the nerves and blood vessels. When this happens, blood circulation is impeded. You’ll know this is the case because small cuts and wounds can take weeks or even months to fully heal. Slow healing makes you more at risk for infection.

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

High blood sugar levels are dangerous. This condition can affect blood circulation and can damage the nerves. For those suffering from type 2 diabetes, the levels can cause pain or strange sensations such as tingling or numbness in the hands and feet. This is what experts refer to as neuropathy. If left untreated, it can worsen over time and can result to more dire complications.

8. Patches of dark skin in the body

There may be patches of dark skin forming around the neck creases, in the armpit, or even in the groin area. This must be checked immediately because it means that the person is at a significantly higher risk for type 2 diabetes. If you feel these patches, they may be soft and velvety to the touch. This skin condition is also otherwise known as acanthosis nigricans.

9. Feeling of itchiness and developing yeast infections

Excess sugar in the blood and urine is food for bacteria that causes yeast infection. This oftentimes happens in warm, moist areas of the body. Common places are the mouth, genital areas, and armpits.

When there is yeast infection, the affected area feels itchy. The person may also notice some burning sensations, redness, and soreness in the affected parts.


The importance of early diagnosis

It is crucial that you are made aware of the early signs of type 2 diabetes. If you are proactive and vigilant about your health, you can get the diagnosis and treatment sooner rather than later, when some of the effects become irreversible. Thus, it is important to get appropriate treatment, make lifestyle changes, and control blood sugar levels. This can spell the difference between life and death. When you seek immediate intervention, you will see a vast improvement of your health and quality of life. That’s because you will be able to altogether reduce or avoid the risk of complications in the long run.

Without treatment, persistently high blood sugar levels can result to severe and even life-threatening complications such as:

  1. Heart disease
  2. Stroke
  3. Nerve damage (neuropathy)
  4. Foot issues
  5. Kidney disease, which can lead to the need for regular dialysis
  6. Eye disease or loss of vision
  7. Sexual problems or low sex drive for both male and female

If left untreated, diabetes can also lead to hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome (HHNS). This is a severe and persistent increase in blood sugar levels. HHNS is oftentimes triggered by an illness or an infection. The patient will be required to check himself or herself in a hospital. HHNS tends to affect the older patients.

Hence, you must keep your blood sugar levels under control. This is the secret to preventing further complications brought about by type 2 diabetes. If blood sugar levels remain uncontrolled, then health problems are more likely to happen.


What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?

 Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes. However, there are certain factors that can increase risk. These include the following:

  1. If you are 45 years of age or older
  2. If you’ve constantly lead a sedentary lifestyle
  3. If you’re considered overweight or obese
  4. If you’ve lived with unhealthy diet
  5. If you’re family has a history of diabetes
  6. If you suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  7. If you’ve had a medical history of gestational diabetes, heart disease, or stroke
  8. If you’ve been labeled as prediabetic
  9. If you’re of African American, Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander descent


Takeaways from the article

Type 2 diabetes is quite common. Millions of people suffer from this condition that causes high blood sugar levels. It is important to note that early signs and symptoms include the following: frequent urination, increased thirst, feeling tired and listless, constant hunger pangs, vision problems, slow healing when it comes to wounds, and yeast infections.

If you’ve been experiencing any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, it is important that you see a doctor for an evaluation immediately. You must be mindful of the risk factors involved to avoid developing type 2 diabetes. Early detection is key and immediate treatment is a must. This could mean that you improve and better the quality of life you live because you are able to reduce or avoid the risk of severe complications.

It is also important to have a support system. You need to surround yourself with people who understand the importance of diagnosis and treatment. Should you feel the need to get further help, there is an app called Healthline. This comes free of charge. More importantly, this provides you with the support you need via personalized conversations with an expert and with live group discussions. The app is available for both iPhone or Android.