Type 2 diabetes is a common, modern-age disease. It initially presents with few symptoms, which can be easily overlooked. One out of three people who have it don’t even know about it. As diabetes is a serious condition that can cause dangerous complications – including cardiovascular and neurological damage – it is important to detect it as soon as possible.
With the right diet, exercise regimen and, if necessary, medications, diabetes can be kept under control, and the person can continue to live a fulfilling life. Find out about some of the early warning signs of diabetes, so you can act on it and protect your health.
The following symptoms develop as a result of this:
1. Frequent urination (polyuria): If you notice that you have to urinate more often, and you wake up during the night (sometimes several times) to empty your bladder, this could be a warning sign.
2. Excessive thirst (polydipsia): This symptom links with the previous one. As you lose more fluids, the body will try to replenish them, hence the constant need to drink.
3. Increased hunger (polyphagia): Due to extreme highs and lows in blood sugar levels, the body develops a sudden urge to eat. The cells don’t get enough glucose, so you crave it.
4. Dry mouth: You experience a lack of moisture in the mouth, which can be both unpleasant and dangerous.
5. Unexplained weight loss or weight gain: As insulin can’t get glucose into the cells, the body reacts as if it would be starving and starts using proteins from the muscles.
6. Fatigue: Excessive tiredness can develop when body constantly compensates for the lack of glucose in the cells. It also doesn’t help if your sleep gets interrupted by the urgency to urinate.
7. Vision problems: High blood sugar also affects the eyes. It changes the shape of the lens and eyes. As a result, your vision becomes blurry.
8. Headaches – A headache can develop due to elevated blood sugar levels and is considered an early sign of hyperglycemia (high blood glucose). The symptom gets worse as condition worsens.
9. Infections, cuts and bruises that do not heal: This classic sign of diabetes is a consequence of blood vessel damage.
10. Yeast infections: Since bacteria and fungi thrive in a sugary environment, infections can become more common.
11. Numbness and tingling in hands and feet: This symptom is a result of nerve damage – neuropathy – that is connected with diabetes. Tingling and numbness can be accompanied by burning pain and swelling.
12. Skin changes: Velvety dark skin, known as achantosis nigricans, can appear on the neck, groin and armpit.
13. Sexual dysfunction: Diabetes also damages blood vessels and nerves in the sex organs, which can lead to different sexual problems.