Symptoms and Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes

Girl testing diabetes using a machine

Many people around the globe suffer from diabetes. While this chronic medical condition is hereditary, it can still happen to anyone. It is better to prevent this disease at an earlier stage rather than suffering later on. For this purpose, it is imperative to recognize diabetes type 2 symptoms, especially if this ailment runs in your family.

What is Diabetes?

Well, diabetes is a medical condition in which glucose or sugar levels build up within your bloodstream. Your body produces energy with the help of the insulin hormone. To build energy, this hormone shifts glucose from your blood to cells. In type 2 diabetes, your body’s cells fail to respond to the insulin hormone like it should. Moreover, if this disease worsens, your body can even fail to produce enough insulin.  

Type 2 diabetes can lead to uncontrolled glucose levels that can cause severe problems and potential medical complications. Previously, the association of this ailment was only with adults. However, a growing number of children are now being diagnosed with this disorder.

Generally, pre-diabetic people tend to have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. However, most doctors and physicians do not recognize this as diabetes. Studies by the CDC show that pre-diabetic individuals often start displaying diabetes type 2 symptoms within 5 years. However, this only applies to those that do not receive treatment. Therefore, it is extremely important to recognize the symptoms of type 2 diabetes early on and bring them under control.

 The onset of type 2 diabetes is a gradual process accompanied by mild symptoms in the initial stage. This is why many people don’t even realize that they have this condition.

Diabetes Type 2 Symptoms

Here are a few warning signs and diabetes type 2 symptoms that you should watch out for. This especially applies to those who have a long family history of diabetes.

Frequent Urination

Frequent urination is one of the main diabetes type 2 symptoms. When sugar levels increase, the kidneys attempt to remove the excess sugar by filtering it out of your blood. This causes a person to urinate more often, especially during the night, to get rid of the extra sugar from your system.

Increased Thirst

Increased feeling of thirst is another symptom. Sugar build-up in your blood causes your kidneys to work overtime to get rid of it. Your kidneys cleanse your system in the form of urine. Frequent urination to remove excess sugar can often result in the loss of additional water from your body. Over time, this can cause dehydration and make you feel thirsty. Moreover, excessive peeing along with dehydration can also dry up the moisture from your mouth.

Feeling of Hunger

Consistent hunger pangs are one of the early diabetes type 2 symptoms. Those with diabetes tend not to receive enough energy from the food they consume. The digestive system generates energy for the body by breaking down sugar into glucose. Diabetic individuals do not receive enough of this glucose within their cells. As a result, individuals with type 2 diabetes can feel constantly hungry despite how much they have already eaten.

Tiredness

People suffering from type 2 diabetes display symptoms of extreme tiredness and lethargy. These individuals have extremely low energy levels that cause them to feel fatigued. The reason behind this exhaustion is the movement of insufficient sugar from the bloodstream to the cells. Since your body can’t utilize the energy it is receiving from food, you tend to feel weak and tired. Moreover, dehydration that occurs as a result of excessive peeing can also make you feel this way.

Blurry Vision

The presence of excessive sugar within your bloodstream can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. This naturally results in blurry vision in one or both of your eyes. This blurriness may come and go at any time. If a person goes without diabetic treatment for an elongated time period, the damage to the blood vessels can further intensify. This will eventually result in permanent loss of vision. Moreover, high blood sugar levels can also damage the focus of your eyes.

Slow Healing of Cuts and Wounds

High sugar levels within your blood can damage your body’s blood vessels and nerves. This results in the impairment of your body’s blood circulation. As a result, small cuts wounds can also take weeks and months to heal. Moreover, the slow healing of wounds also increases the chances of various infections that also don’t heal. So, you should immediately consult a doctor if you have wounds that haven’t healed for a while.

Tingling, Numbness, or Pain in Hands or Feet

Increased levels of blood sugar within your bloodstream can affect your blood circulation and cause nerve damage. For this reason, those with type 2 diabetes can experience increased pain or tingling and numb sensations in their hands and feet. This condition is commonly known as neuropathy. This can worsen over a period of time and lead to more severe complications, especially if no treatment is received.

Patches of Dark Skin

Type 2 diabetes causes patches of dark skin to form on your body. This skin condition is known as Acanthosis Nigricans. This pigmentation tends to occur in spots such as the crease of the neck, groin and armpit. These dark patches are usually very soft and velvety. Moreover, this is an essential and sensitive indicator of an individual being at a high risk of diabetes.

Itching and Yeast Infections

The presence of excess sugar in your blood and urine acts as food for yeast. This can often lead to infections. Yeast infections are more likely to occur in warm and moist areas of your skin. For instance, they can occur in your mouth, your armpits and your genital area. While the affected areas are usually itchy, they can also cause redness, soreness and burning at times.

Weight Loss

Quick weight loss without any effort is another symptom of diabetes type 2 . You lose calories when your body tries to get rid of sugar through excessive peeing. Moreover, you can lose an enormous amount of weight even if you eat normally.

Headaches 

Increased blood sugar levels also tend to cause throbbing headaches. So, if you experience frequent headaches, you should get your sugar levels tested.

Loss of Consciousness 

Loss of consciousness is another one of the diabetes type 2 symptoms. Your blood sugar can take a serious dip if you skip any meal, over-exercise or take too much medication. When your blood sugar level takes a dip, you can even pass out and lose consciousness.

Red, Swollen and Tender Gums

Diabetes type 2 can affect your gums as well. There are higher chances of you catching infections, especially in your gum and the bones that hold your teeth in place. Your gums can be severely infected and end up pulling away from your teeth, making them loose.

Prevention of Diabetes Type 2

There is no cure for diabetes type 2. Sure, there are treatments and medications, but they only reduce diabetes type 2 symptoms. Hence, the best solution is to prevent type 2 diabetes from occurring in the first place. Healthy lifestyle choices are a great way to prevent the occurrence of diabetes.

Lifestyle changes can help slow down or stop the progression of diabetes drastically.

A healthy lifestyle includes the following:

Opting for a Healthy Diet

The key to a healthy lifestyle is a healthy diet. Individuals that are pre-diabetic are recommended to opt for foods that are low in fat and calories. Moreover, they should have a fiber-rich diet that revolves around the consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Engaging in Physical Activities

Pre-diabetic individuals should stay active by performing a minimum of 30-60 minutes of moderate physical activity on a daily basis. On the other hand, they should perform at least 15-30 minutes of rigorous activity. They can engage in different sports like riding a bike, swimming or playing badminton. The purpose is to remain highly active.  

Losing Weight

Being overweight puts you at a greater risk of Diabetes type 2. So, in order to reduce the risk of this ailment, you should lose at least 5 to 10 percent of your body weight. Developing healthy eating habits and maintaining a good exercise routine can help in this regard. Moreover, you should constantly motivate yourself to lose weight by remembering the amazing benefits of being healthy.

Avoid Being Sedentary

Being lazy and sitting still for elongated time periods can enhance your risk of type 2 diabetes. You should avoid sitting in the same spot for too long. Try to get up and take a short walk every few minutes.

Conclusion

Hopefully, the above-listed symptoms will help you diagnose type 2 diabetes at an earlier stage. Make sure to keep an eye out for these symptoms, especially if you have a family history of diabetes.

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