Type-2 diabetes refers to a condition in which your body either doesn't produce adequate amounts of a hormone called insulin or becomes unable to use insulin appropriately. Insulin hormone carries sugar (glucose) to your cells. So whenever there occurs a problem with insulin, glucose tends to accumulate in your bloodstream.
Around 90% of people with diabetes have type-2 diabetes; it is that common. The other two significant types of diabetes are type-1 diabetes, in which your body stops producing insulin, and gestational diabetes, which occurs in pregnant women.
Type-2 diabetes can easily be managed with slight lifestyle modifications. However, some people may also need to take medication.
Most people remain unaware that they have type-2 diabetes until it affects their health. Studies suggest that about 1 in 4 people with the condition don't know that they actually have it.
There are many early warning signs and symptoms of type-2 diabetes, which we will discuss one by one in this blog. If you suspect that you may have the condition, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider immediately.
Symptoms Of Type-2 Diabetes
Here are some common symptoms of type-2 diabetes:
When sugar accumulates in your bloodstream, your kidneys work more than usual to get rid of it. This draws fluids from your tissues which makes you feel dehydrated. As a result, you feel extremely thirsty, and usually, drinking water won’t satisfy the thirst.
Increased hunger (called polyphagia) is also an early warning sign of type-2 diabetes. Your body utilizes the glucose in your bloodstream to nourish your cells. When this system is damaged, your cells cannot absorb the glucose. Consequently, your body is steadily on the lookout for more fuel, causing excessive hunger.
Also called polyuria, frequent urination is an indication that your blood sugar levels are so high that they can spill into your urine. The kidneys then try to eradicate excess sugar by filtering it out of the blood. This can increase your urge to urinate more frequently, especially at night.
Frequent urination and dehydration can drain moisture from your mouth as well, leading to dry mouth.
High blood sugar levels can lead to headaches.
When your body cannot utilize energy from food, you may feel veru=y weak and fatigued. Dehydration can also make you feel that way.
Unexplained weight loss:
When you lose sugar from frequent urination, you tend to lose your calories too. You can lose weight despite eating as usual.
Loss of consciousness:
After you skip a meal, exercise, or take too much medication, your blood sugar level could drop, making you unconscious.
Cuts or wounds that don’t heal:
There are several reasons wounds will heal more slowly if you have diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar levels contract your blood vessels, reducing blood circulation and limiting the needed oxygen and nutrients from getting to wounds.
Persistent high blood sugar levels also impair your immune system, so your body has a difficult time combating infection. Slow wound healing is also a sign of type-2 diabetes that you shouldn’t ignore.
Tingling or numbness:
High blood sugar can impact your blood circulation and damage the nerves of the body. In people with diabetes, this can cause pain or numbness, or tingling sensation in the feet and hands. This condition is termed neuropathy, and it can aggravate over time, leading to serious complications if you don’t get diabetes treatment.
In people with diabetes, high blood sugar can cause trouble focusing.
Red, swollen, and tender gums:
Diabetes makes people more susceptible to develop infections in gums and bones that hold teeth in place. Your gums could get infected or pull away from your teeth.
Dark skin patches:
Dark skin patches forming on the folds of your armpit, groin, or neck can also indicate diabetes. These skin patches usually feel very soft and velvety. This skin condition is also termed acanthosis nigricans.
Itching and yeast infections:
Excess blood sugar and frequent urination provide a perfect breeding ground for yeast which can increase your risk of developing yeast infections. The yeast infections usually tend to occur on the warm and moist regions of the skin, including armpits, genital areas, and mouth. The impacted sites are generally itchy, but you can even experience redness, soreness, and burning sensation.
Early Diagnosis Of Type-2 Diabetes Is Vital - Why?
Recognizing the early warning symptoms of type-2 diabetes can allow you to get a diagnosis and receive treatment earlier. Making lifestyle modifications, getting adequate diabetes treatment, and regulating blood sugar levels can significantly improve your health and minimize the risk of complications. When left untreated, type-2 diabetes may lead to serious and sometimes life-threatening complications such as:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Nerve damage
- Foot disorders
- Sexual problems in both men and women
- Eye disorder or loss of vision
Keeping blood sugar levels under control by receiving diabetes treatment is crucial in preventing many of these complications. The longer your blood sugar levels will remain uncontrolled, the higher will be the odds of developing complications.
Who Is At A Risk For Type-2 Diabetes?
Although anyone can develop type-2 diabetes, certain factors make a person more susceptible to the condition. These include:
- being 45 years of age or older
- having prediabetes
- having a family history of diabetes
- eating an unhealthy diet
- being overweight or obese
- living a sedentary lifestyle
- having a medical history of gestational diabetes, heart disease, or stroke
- having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
How To Prevent Type-2 Diabetes?
There are several ways you can consider and prevent type-2 diabetes. Some of the most effective ones include:
- Cut refined carbs and sugar from your diet
- Exercise regularly
- Drink plenty of water
- Try losing some weight if you are overweight or obese
- Follow a very low carb diet
- Quit smoking
- Avoid sedentary habits and behaviors
- Eat a high-fiber diet
- Get adequate amounts of vitamin D
- Reduce your intake of processed foods
Type-2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, which leads to high blood sugar levels. Early warning signs and symptoms of type-2 diabetes include increased thirst, excessive hunger, frequent urination, headache, fatigue, dry mouth, and much more.
Anyone who notices any of these signs should consult a doctor immediately and get screened for diabetes, especially if they have one or more risk factors for the condition. The early diagnosis and treatment of type-2 diabetes enhance a person’s health and quality of life, reducing the risk of complications.