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Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects how the body processes the sugars in the food that people eat. This means that the signs of diabetes type 2 are usually related to the effects of having high blood sugar levels.

Knowing the signs of diabetes type 2 is very important since it can help people seek treatment during the early stages of the condition. Additionally, it can also help people take steps to manage their sugar levels, and prevent it from progressing into diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes And Type 2 Diabetes: What Are The Differences?

What Are the Different Signs of Diabetes Type 2?

Knowing the signs of diabetes type 2 is vital, especially for those who have a family history of the condition.

Here are some of the signs of diabetes type 2 that a person could experience.

Frequent urination

Frequent urination is a symptom that is common in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

This happens directly as a result of having a high amount of sugar in your blood.

What happens is that because of the increased sugar levels, your kidneys are overworked trying to process all of the sugar in your blood. This results in increased urine production, and it can even cause you to expel some essential nutrients in your body.

Another unintended side effect of frequent urination is increased thirst, and in some cases dehydration.

Fatigue

This symptom stems from the fact that having too much sugar in your blood can cause a condition called hyperglycemia. And one of the symptoms of hyperglycemia is fatigue.

It is also possible that your kidneys, heart, and liver, have been damaged as a result of high blood sugar. This damage can also result in feelings of fatigue or tiredness, even if you have had a good night’s rest.

How to Prevent Diabetic Kidney Disease

Being prone to infections

Another one of the signs of diabetes type 2 is being more prone to infections.

This is because high blood sugar levels can compromise a person’s immune system, making it less efficient, and less able to protect your body from illness.

Slow-healing sores

Another effect of high blood sugar is that sores and wounds tend to heal slower. This is because high blood sugar levels increase inflammation, and can also prevent oxygen and nutrients from being delivered to the cells that need it.

This results in wounds being unable to heal quickly. Slow-healing sores and wounds are particularly more prone to infections, and coupled with the compromised immune system of diabetics, it can lead to serious illness.

Unintended weight loss

People with type 2 diabetes find it hard to process the glucose in their blood and convert it into energy. This means that they might have a lot of sugar in their blood, but their bodies cannot utilize it well.

As a result, the body starts to eat away at the muscles and fat in order to use it as energy. This can result in sudden and unintended weight loss.

Type 2 diabetes can also have some more serious complications, especially if it is not managed well.

diabetes

What are the more serious symptoms and signs of diabetes type 2?

In some cases, a person with type 2 diabetes might not even be aware that they already have the condition. This can lead to serious complications, because their condition is left untreated.

Here are some more serious signs of diabetes type 2:

Sores and blisters on the feet

Sores and blisters on the feet are more common in people with type 2 diabetes because of the damage that high blood sugar levels can do to the circulatory system.

Coupled with slow wound healing, diabetics can start to develop more sores and blisters that don’t seem to heal properly.

Neuropathy

Neuropathy refers to nerves being damaged as a result of high blood sugar levels. The problem with neuropathy is that it causes numbness and loss of feeling in the limbs.

This is particularly dangerous because a diabetic might not feel or notice that they have a cut or a sore on their foot or leg. Over time, because of their slow wound healing, the wound can get worse and infected.

It is not uncommon for some diabetics to have their feet amputated, especially if the infection is life-threatening.

Atherosclerosis

Because of the inflammation that high blood sugar levels cause, type 2 diabetics are more prone to atherosclerosis. This is very dangerous, since atherosclerosis can cause a heart attack or a stroke.

In fact, diabetics have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke compared to people without diabetes.

Retinopathy

Retinopathy is a condition that causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina of the eye. This can result in impaired vision, or loss of eyesight.

This is why some diabetics start to gradually lose their eyesight, because the high sugar levels have already affected their eye. Sadly, there is no cure to retinopathy.

Nephropathy

Nephropathy is a condition that affects the kidneys. It happens when the small blood vessels that provide blood flow to the kidneys get damaged.

Diabetics are more prone to nephropathy because of the damage that high blood sugar levels can do to blood vessels.

Nephropathy can cause the kidney to not function at 100%, and more serious cases might require a kidney transplant because this condition can cause kidney failure.

Learn more about Type 2 Diabetes here.

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Sources

Type 2 diabetes – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193, Accessed August 25 2020

Type 2 Diabetes – Symptoms | ADA, https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/type-2/symptoms, Accessed August 25 2020

Know the signs and symptoms of diabetes, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311308/, Accessed August 25 2020

Type 2 diabetes – Illnesses & conditions | NHS inform, https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/diabetes/type-2-diabetes, Accessed August 25 2020

Type 2 diabetes – Symptoms – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms/, Accessed August 25 2020

Type 2 Diabetes | Signs, Symptoms and Treatment | Patient, https://patient.info/diabetes/type-2-diabetes, Accessed August 25 2020

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus – Harvard Health, https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/type-2-diabetes-mellitus-a-to-z, Accessed August 25 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated May 19
Medically reviewed by Elfred Landas, M.D.