The symptoms aren’t always evident. It’s common to believe that the signs of type 2 diabetes are evident, but this isn’t always the case. The condition‘s diabetes symptoms can affect anybody and worsen slowly over time, leading to severe problems down the line.
According to the American Diabetes Association, if type 2 diabetes is not managed, it can lead to significant and sometimes life-threatening complications such as irreversible nerve damage, an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, eyesight loss, and kidney disease (ADA) Signs of Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms.
And it’s a substantial public health issue in this country:
According to the Centers for Disease Control also Prevention, more than 34 million people (about one in ten) in the United States have diabetes, with 90 percent to 95 percent of those people having type 2 diabetes symptoms (CDC). So, understanding to recognize the symptoms—and when they require a visit to your doctor—can make all the difference in how you manage the condition (or possibly even reverse it).
Here’s what you should know.
What is type 2 diabetes?
When you eat or drink, your body transforms three significant macronutrients—carbohydrates, protein, and fat—into molecules that supply you with energy for daily tasks and maintain your physiological systems functioning correctly. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, a form of sugar that enters your circulation and serves as your body’s primary source of fuel.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and even Kidney Diseases, your pancreas—a long, flat gland found below and below your stomach—produces insulin, a hormone that permits blood sugar into your cells (NIDDK).
When you have kind 2 diabetes, your cells do not respond correctly to insulin, yet your pancreas continues to produce more of it. Prediabetes is defined as a period when blood sugar levels are increased (above average), and the pancreas compensates for it. Insulin resistance in your cells can lead to type 2 diabetes over time.
(It’s important to understand that this is not the same as type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease in which the fails pancreas to make sufficient insulin.1) Although professionals do not fully understand what causes type 2 diabetes, some risk factors enhance a person’s chances of having the condition.
These, according to the CDC, are:
- Presence of prediabetes
- Obesity or overweight
- Keeping a family history of type 2 diabetes and being above the age of 45
- Getting fewer than 150 minutes of physical exercise every week
- Pregnant with gestational diabetes
Certain races and ethnicities, now such as African Americans, Latinx, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Asian Americans, are additional prone to develop type 2 diabetes, though doctors don’t completely understand why.
What are the early warning signs of type 2 diabetes symptoms?
According to the NIDDK, sure signs of type 2 diabetes might be modest since the condition develops slowly over time compared to type 1 diabetes.
Symptoms may not appear for several years, so you may not realize you have the illness until it develops complications such as heart problems or blurred eyesight.
While having just one of these symptoms isn’t a solid sign of the condition, Hien Tran, M.D., an endocrinologist at Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology, tells SELF that having multiple of them is.
A dry mouth, for example, may not be enough to warrant a doctor’s signature on its own, but if other symptoms accompany it on this list and you also have any of the risk factors described above, it may be worth getting looked out.
Here are some type 2 diabetes symptoms to be aware of:
1. You drink a lot of water and the constant urge to pee
Mayo Clinic, including too much sugar in the blood, is challenging on the kidneys because those organs digest the extra glucose.
As a result, they work tirelessly to rid the body of it. As your body loses fluids, signs of dehydration you may feel. As a result, you drink more fluids to make the cycle of continual peeing. As a result, frequent urination and increased thirst are two of the most prevalent type 2 diabetes symptoms, especially in the early stages.
2. You also need to pee right now.
Despite peeing more frequently, you may have a strong desire to urinate but very little—if any—reaches out when you do, which is learned as speed incontinence, according to the NIDDK.
Although this is a strong indication that you may have a urinary tract infection, especially if you have vaginal discharge, it is also prevalent in people with type 2 diabetes symptoms.
3. Your mouth is too dry.
As previously said, when you pee more frequently, your chances of becoming dehydrated increase, which typically triggers your thirst response. When you have type 2 diabetes, the extra glucose in your system pulls fluid out of your tissues, making your thirst even more intense.
This can be compounded by a dry mouth and the feeling that you cannot drink enough water or other fluids to quench your feeling.
According to the NIDDK, dry mouth is characterized by a lack of saliva often or most of the time; a dry, scratchy tongue; pain in the mouth; cracked lips; oral sores or infections; and trouble eating, swallowing, or even talking. As a result, dry mouth might increase your risk of developing dental disorders such as tooth decay and gum disease diabetes symptoms.
4. You’ve noticed strange alterations in your vision.
According to the American Optometric Association, people with diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. This condition can cause long-time damage to the retina (the thin, light-sensitive tissue that lines the inside surface of the rear of your eyes).
This is because high blood glucose levels harm all of your body’s small blood vessels, including those in your eyes. This is a problem because the blood vessels in the eyes will rupture and leak fluids, resulting in complications such as foggy or fuzzy vision or difficulties focusing sign of diabetes symptoms.
If type 2 diabetes is not managed, new blood vessels may form in your retina as a reaction; however, since they are so young, they are more prone to leaking, causing the eye tissue to expand. If type 2 diabetes is left untreated, your risk of visual loss increases over time.
5. You are unable to fulfill your appetite.
If you eat a large meal at Mayo Clinic, you may feel hungry afterward. Because insulin resistance prevents glucose from reaching your cells and providing you with the much-needed energy boost that food gives, your brain and muscles continue to show hunger signals as a result.
6. You are constantly exhausted (and irritable!).
Because glucose isn’t being metabolized correctly in your body, the blood sugar increase you experience after eating might produce severe fatigue. Mayo Clinic, dehydration can make you feel fatigued, as can difficulty sleeping if your symptoms (such as the dry mouth or a persistent need to pee) are bothersome.
Furthermore, when your blood sugar levels vary, so will your mood. Irritability is a natural side effect of fatigue. According to the CDC, all of this can increase stress and raise blood sugar levels, creating a vicious cycle.
7. Even minor cuts appear to take an eternity to heal—or I feel bothered when you battle with an infection.
According to the Mayo Clinic, diabetes can affect circulation, causing blood to travel more slowly through your body. When this occurs, your body has a more difficult time distributing new blood and immune cells to where they are most required.
Uncontrolled blood sugar might also impair your immunological response in general. As a result, wounds become incredibly severe for some people with type 2 diabetes symptoms because they never heal.
According to a 2020 review of studies published in the journal Current Diabetes Reviews, you may become better susceptible to infections because the cells that usually fight them off don’t work well or aren’t created at adequate levels.
8. Your weight is shifting for no apparent reason.
Weight is tricky for any health condition because each person’s body has distinct demands. However, significant weight gain or loss can be a sign of type 2 diabetes for various reasons. For starters, several of the symptoms listed above—hunger, dehydration, fatigue, irritability, or sleep problems—can create significant swings in your appetite, causing you to eat more or less (cue the weight fluctuations).
Furthermore, suppose insulin fails to direct glucose into your body’s cells. In that case, your body will try to make its energy by burning fat or muscle instead, which is why, according to the Cleveland Clinic, weight loss can be an early sign of type 2 diabetes.
9. You’re seeing skin changes, such as itching or discoloration.
Surprisingly, type 2 diabetes can have a significant influence on your skin. Consistently high blood sugar levels, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, can lead to:
Dehydrated and itchy skin: An infection or inadequate circulation can both contribute to this annoyance.
Hard, thickened skin: You may see this on any portion of your body, where the area may touch like the texture of an orange peel.
Necrobiosis lipoidica: This skin condition begins as pimple-like lumps and progresses to yellow, reddish, or brown skin patches that might feel bloated or hard. In addition, blood vessels may be seen in the afflicted area.
Acanthosis nigricans: This skin condition, induced by an excess of insulin in the blood, might be the first sign of diabetes. It can develop darker and velvety-feeling skin patches on the elbows, knees, knuckles, and neck.
Blisters: This is uncommon, and the blisters should not pain, although they might emerge quickly in people with diabetes.
You might have a single colossal blister, a cluster of them, or both. Infections or open sores: As previously stated, type 2 diabetes might make you more prone to infections or delayed wound healing due to the immune system’s influence.
In the case of skin infections, the affected area may feel heated, swollen, or painful, and an itchy rash with small blisters or white discharge may emerge.
Skin tags: These are a bit of a mystery because they appear in people who do not have diabetes. Having a lot of them, especially on the eyelids, neck, armpits, or groyne, might signify too much insulin in the blood.
10. You feel numbness or tingling, particularly in your feet.
We’ve all experienced numbness or tingling, perhaps due to sitting in an uncomfortable posture for too long or pinching a nerve.
9 Reasons You Might Feel Constantly Gassy
Korin Miller and Amy Marturana Winderl, C.P.T. According to the ADA, almost half of all people with diabetes suffer from some form of nerve injury.
High blood sugar levels can affect nerve activity, leading to numbness, tingling, or pain, most commonly in the feet and occasionally in the hands. You may have a more challenging time feeling temperature changes, a burning sensation, or weakness in the area.
According to the Mayo Clinic, if this persists, it may permanently damage nerves, leading to a condition learned as diabetic neuropathy, leading to digestion difficulties, movement issues, paralysis, and joint pain.
When should you consult a doctor regarding type 2 diabetes signs?
Having a family history of kind 2 diabetes, like prediabetes, is the most significant risk factor, according to Kathleen Wyne, Ph.D., M.D., an endocrinologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. That means that even if you don’t have any symptoms, which she thinks is essential, you should tell your doctor to collaborate on the best screening strategy for you.
If you have symptoms, it’s even more important to schedule an appointment and get the necessary tests, which include an A1C test to measure average blood sugar levels over three months and a fasting plasma glucose test to glance at your blood sugar in a single point in time, according to the United States National Library of Medicine.
“Management for type 2 diabetes combines a variety of aspects, including medicine but also various lifestyle modifications that might be beneficial,” Dr. Wyne explains.
Dietary modifications and blood sugar monitoring, for example, become critical, as does getting more exercise, reducing stress, and improving sleep.
She says that even more successfully, lowering your carb consumption can assist with type 2 diabetes therapy. Still, it’s only one part of a more comprehensive approach to avoid potentially catastrophic health complications.
Type 2 diabetes lives a lifelong condition with no cure. However, it can be successfully managed and remission achieved with glucose levels in the normal range. That is why detecting type 2 Diabetes Symptoms early are critical. The sooner you notice any uncommon symptoms, the sooner you can build a long-term treatment strategy.