Do you know how to spot the earliest signs of type 2 diabetes?
Compared to type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is pretty silent, and we can’t name just one risk factor. A combination of things can lead to type 2 diabetes, including dietary habits, genetics, age, and overall lifestyle. However, studies suggest that those who are overweight and have a sedentary life tend to be at a higher risk of developing this condition.
A spokesperson for the organization American Association of Diabetes Educators and a certified diabetes educator in Chicago, Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD, says that type 2 diabetes symptoms develop in time. In other words, this common health condition develops gradually. The saddest part is that most people who have type 2 diabetes are unaware of their condition.
If you really want to take control of your life and, therefore, health issues, make sure you regularly visit your doctor’s office. Even when you don’t feel anything, it’s wise to make an appointment. A simple (and harmless) blood test could determine whether you have type 2 diabetes or not.
Doctors recommend you take a closer look at your family history and the following type 2 diabetes symptoms.
1. You’re visiting the bathroom frequently
If a close family member has type 2 diabetes, you probably know by now his/her bathroom schedule. But do you know why? Those with type 2 diabetes find it hard to put everything “on hold” because their bodies are actually less efficient when it comes to processing blood glucose.
For this reason, they have the urge to go to the bathroom more often than the rest of us. Unfortunately, most people tend to overlook this type 2 diabetes symptom. Who counts how many times you use the toilet? Yeah… no one. However, if you take more bathroom breaks than you used to, maybe it’s time to call your doctor.
A red flag is an urge to urinate at night. When it affects your natural ability to sleep, you probably have type 2 diabetes without realizing it.
2. You’re thirsty all the time
Well… as if visiting the bathroom more often wasn’t enough, type 2 diabetes can make you thirsty as well. This means that you’ll take even more bathroom breaks. Most health experts think that thirst is one of the most common early symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Another health concern is that most people satisfy their thirst with beverages like soda, juices, and other sugary drinks that are a no-no for diabetics. As soon as they “satisfy” their thirst with sugary drinks, their bloodstream faces a lot of sugar, and tons of the white stuff can only worsen your health issue.
If you or someone in your family is thirstier than usual, it’s a good idea to get checked by a professional.
3. You’ve shed pounds without trying
If you see a smaller number on the scale, don’t be happy unless you’re on a weight loss diet or you’re physically active. Losing weight without even trying could translate to several health concerns, one of them being type 2 diabetes. But what causes it?
It’s quite simple… There are two major factors that cause weight loss. The first one comes from urinating, while the second comes from urinating, too, but it is actually the fact that you lose calories when urinating.
So, if you experience sudden weight loss, especially when you’re not even trying to lose weight, call your doctor because unexplained weight loss is another early sign of type 2 diabetes that is often overlooked.
4. You’re hungrier than most people around you
Maybe you think you have a good appetite, but if you’re hungrier than normal, you might want to consider that something’s going on in your body. To understand how blood glucose levels work for diabetics, first, you must know the process in healthy people.
After eating, blood glucose levels tend to go up, and when the insulin starts, they usually go down. However, when it comes to people with diabetes, insulin is unable to do its job properly, meaning transporting blood sugar throughout the body to be used as energy (fuel).
And what happens when you don’t have enough fuel? You can’t do basic chores or complete your tasks accordingly. That’s why you’re hungrier than the rest… Because your body signals you that it doesn’t have enough fuel. Sadly, just eating won’t help the issue, so contact your doctor.
5. You’re tired even after naps
Feeling tired now and then is perfectly normal, especially when your job implies physical activity. And it doesn’t have to be your job specifically. Another example would be a weekend spent watching your grandkids who are toddlers. But when you’re feeling tired all the time, even after a nap, maybe type 2 diabetes makes its presence felt.
Ongoing fatigue is something most people ignore, blaming their jobs, financial struggle, stress, unfortunate events, or other things. However, the vast majority of type 2 diabetes patients have reported tiredness as an early symptom, so maybe, you’re one of them.
Don’t neglect this symptom, especially when you used to be an active person.
6. You’re always moody
If it’s not your born-with-mood, grumpiness should concern you. And it’s not just grumpiness… Some may be easily irritated or short-tempered. So, if you find yourself yelling at your neighbor’s dog because it barks a lot (that’s what dogs are supposed to do) and you didn’t lose your house that day or filed for bankruptcy, maybe you have type 2 diabetes.
When your blood sugar levels are uncontrolled, there’s a “beast” in you ready to take control. That’s why people with type 2 diabetes are always moody. As a matter of fact… high blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is easily misdiagnosed with depression because the symptoms are quite similar.
To put it in a nutshell, when you’re out of whack, call your doctor.
If you live with diabetes or someone close to you has it, do your due diligence and read more about this disease. Here is our book recommendation!
7. Your vision is blurry
There is a number of factors that can cause blurry vision, such as a detached retina, a stroke, conjunctivitis, eye strain, and a migraine. But type 2 diabetes could be responsible, too. Blurry vision occurs in type 2 diabetes patients because the glucose concentration in their eyes is different from the rest of their bodies.
However, most doctors think that blurry vision is the “best” thing that could happen to people with type 2 diabetes since it’s an early sign of the condition which can’t be overlooked like most type 2 diabetes signs and symptoms.
Once you get the right treatment for your medical condition, the blurry vision disappears.
8. Your cuts and bruises heal more slowly
Did you cut yourself with a knife recently while prepping dinner? If you’re healthy, the wound is most likely closed; if not, maybe you have type 2 diabetes. Slow healing is a pretty common sign of type 2 diabetes, so when cuts and bruises seem to heal more slowly, call your doctor.
Your body is unable to heal itself as it used to do because your blood sugar levels are high. The immune system can’t complete its duties and chores when it doesn’t have the right tools in hand, so when it’s deprived of certain components like proper blood flow and the right number of immune cells, it can lead to slow healing.
Talk to a health pro as soon as possible if your cuts and bruises won’t heal.
9. You’re feeling tingling in your feet
Unfortunately for most people who suffer from type 2 diabetes without knowing it, the condition can lead to health complications quickly. A health complication that should really concern you is nerve damage or what most doctors call “neuropathy.”
Generally, neuropathy causes numbness in the feet; however, there are many different types of neuropathy when it comes to diabetes. Studies suggest that more than half of type 2 diabetes patients have peripheral neuropathy. This refers to nerve damage that affects the legs, arms, hands, and feet.
So, if you’re experiencing a “pins and needles” sensation in the feet, don’t hesitate. Call your doctor immediately to make an appointment.
10. You’re at a higher risk of UTIs
Increased levels of sugar in your urine can maximize your chances of developing urinary tract and yeast infections; it’s basically the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
A recent study published in the Journal of Diabetes Complications highlighted the fact that type 2 diabetes patients are more prone to develop urinary tract infections when compared to those who don’t deal with this condition.
In fact, data shows that a person who has diabetes is twice as likely to develop a urinary tract infection. The worst part? Recurrent infections are pretty common. So, as soon as you experience pain when urinating or a bad smell, contact your doctor… you could have type 2 diabetes without even realizing it.
Living well when dealing with type 2 diabetes is no easy task at all. This condition changes most aspects of your life, but it doesn’t mean you can’t live the best life with it. Cutting back on sugary beverages, choosing your carbs carefully, watching your portion sizes, moving your body, and taking your prescribed meds and key to success.
However, you can’t control what you don’t know, so testing your blood sugar levels periodically is essential. Don’t skip regular medical checkups just because you feel okay… As we’ve highlighted in this article, most type 2 diabetes signs and symptoms are pretty subtle.
Get yourself tested and take action if necessary!
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