Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the way your body uses blood sugar (glucose). It can lead to serious health complications if not properly managed, including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and neuropathy (nerve damage).
Catching the early warning signs of type 2 diabetes can help you get a diagnosis and start treatment before serious complications occur.
Here are some common warning signs of type 2 diabetes to look out for:
Increased Thirst and Frequent Urination
One of the most common warning signs of type 2 diabetes is increased thirst and the need to urinate more frequently. This is because high levels of sugar in your blood can cause your kidneys to work overtime to try to filter it out, leading to dehydration and the need to drink more fluids.
Fatigue and Lethargy
Feeling tired and sluggish can be a sign of type 2 diabetes, especially if you’re experiencing other symptoms such as increased thirst and frequent urination. High blood sugar levels can interfere with your body’s ability to use energy, leading to fatigue and a lack of energy.
Hunger Pangs and Unexplained Weight Loss
If you’re feeling hungry all the time or losing weight without trying, it could be a sign that your body isn’t using sugar effectively.
In type 2 diabetes, your body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, your body may not be able to use sugar for energy, leading to changes in your hunger signals and unexpected weight loss.
Dry Mouth and Skin
High blood sugar levels can cause your mouth and skin to feel dry, especially if you’re also experiencing increased thirst and frequent urination. Dry mouth and skin can be uncomfortable and may also increase your risk of infections.
Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can affect your eyesight and cause blurred vision. If you notice that your vision is becoming blurry or you’re having trouble focusing, it could be a sign of type 2 diabetes.
Without proper treatment and management, type 2 diabetes often leads to permanent visual impairment.
Slow Healing of Cuts and Bruises
High blood sugar levels can affect your body’s ability to heal and fight off infections. If you notice that cuts and bruises are taking longer to heal or you’re experiencing recurrent or long-lasting infections, this is generally a sign that your immune system is not functioning properly. Type 2 diabetes is one possible explanation for this.
Numbness or Tingling in Hands and Feet
Type 2 diabetes can cause nerve damage, leading to numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. This is because high levels of sugar in the blood can damage the tiny blood vessels that supply blood to your nerves.
In serious cases, this may necessitate complicated surgical procedures such as nerve reconstruction or amputation.
When to See a Doctor
If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs, it’s important to visit your doctor as soon as possible. They can help you determine if you have type 2 diabetes and recommend treatment options.