Type 2 diabetes causes blood sugar levels to rise significantly. Recognizing the first signs and symptoms of this chronic disease leads to faster treatment, which reduces the risk of serious complications.
Type 2 diabetes is a common disease. A 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 30.3 million adults in the United States have diabetes. Additionally, it is estimated that 84.1 million adults in the United States have diabetes.
People with prediabetes have higher than normal blood sugar levels, but doctors don’t think they have diabetes. According to CDCT, people with prediabetes can develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years if left untreated.
Type 2 diabetes develops gradually and symptoms are mild in its early stages. As a result, many people may not know they have it.
In this article, we will discuss the early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes and the importance of early diagnosis. We also discuss risk factors for developing this disorder.
Early signs and symptoms
The first symptoms of type 2 diabetes are:
1: frequent urination
When blood sugar levels rise, the kidneys try to filter the extra sugar from the blood. This makes a person need to urinate a lot, especially at night.
2: increased thirst
Frequent urination to get rid of excess sugar in the blood leads to the body losing excess water. Over time, this can cause dehydration and make a person thirstier than usual.
3: Feeling hungry all the time
People with diabetes do not get enough energy from their diet.
The digestive system breaks food down into a simple sugar called glucose, which the body uses as fuel. In people with diabetes, not enough of this glucose moves from the bloodstream into the body’s cells.
As a result, people with type 2 diabetes are always hungry, no matter how late they eat.
4: feeling very tired
Type 2 diabetes can affect a person’s energy levels and cause extreme tiredness and exhaustion. This fatigue occurs as a result of inadequate transport of blood sugar into the cells of the body.
5: blurred vision
Excess sugar in the blood can damage the small blood vessels in the eye, resulting in blurred vision. This blurred vision can occur in one or both eyes and may come and go.
If a person with diabetes does not receive treatment, the damage to these blood vessels may worsen and lead to permanent vision loss.
6: Wounds heal slowly
High blood sugar damages the body’s nerves and blood vessels and impairs blood circulation. As a result, small cuts and wounds can take weeks or months to heal. Slow wound healing increases the risk of infection.
7: Tingling, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet
High blood sugar can affect blood circulation and damage the body’s nerves. For people with type 2 diabetes, it can cause pain, tingling, and numbness in the hands and feet.
This condition is called neuropathy, and if a person does not treat diabetes, it can get worse over time and cause more serious complications.
8: dark skin spots
Dark spots on the neck, armpits, or groin indicate an increased risk of diabetes. These patches are very soft and may feel like velvet.
This skin disease is called acanthosis nigricans.
9: Itching and yeast infection
Excess sugar in the blood and urine provides food for the yeast, which can cause infection. Yeast infections occur in warm, moist areas of the skin, such as the mouth, genital area, and armpits.
The affected area is usually itchy, but a person may experience burning, redness, and pain.
10: The importance of early diagnosis
Recognizing the early signs of type 2 diabetes can help people diagnose and treat them early. Appropriate treatment, lifestyle changes, and blood sugar control can significantly improve a person’s health and quality of life and reduce the risk of complications.
If left untreated, persistently high blood sugar can lead to serious and sometimes life-threatening complications, including:
Nerve damage or neurological disorders
Kidney disease that can lead to the need for dialysis
Eye disease or vision loss
Sexual problems for men and women
Untreated diabetes can cause non-ketogenic hyperosmolar hyperosmolar syndrome (HHNS), which leads to severe and persistent high blood sugar. HHNS is often caused by illness or infection, which requires treatment in a hospital. This sudden complication affects the elderly.
Controlling blood sugar levels is critical to preventing these complications. The more your blood sugar gets out of control, the higher your risk of developing other health problems.