Metabolic Health

Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, wherein the sugar or glucose levels start building up in your bloodstream. Its symptoms may generally not be visible during the initial stages, but you’ll start noticing it once it affects your health. In fact, many people didn’t know they were living with Type 2 diabetes for years until they were diagnosed with it later. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with it or want to know more about this chronic condition, start by learning more about its causes, signs, symptoms, etc. To make your work easier, we’ve already done the needed research. Make sure you definitely read till the end to know more about Type 2 diabetes.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

It is a condition in which the body doesn’t use sugar or glucose the way it should. As a result, the bloodstream gets injected with high sugar levels. Once the sugar levels rise to an abnormally high level in the bloodstream, it gives rise to several immune, circulatory, and nervous disorders. Though there is no such cure for Type 2 diabetes, changes in lifestyle habits can bring about a noticeable difference. Some people can also need medicines and treatment like insulin therapy, diabetes medicines, etc., to reduce the negative impact of high sugar levels.  

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

There are primarily two causes for type 2 diabetes. First, the pancreas, a gland behind and below the stomach, cannot produce enough insulin to manage blood sugar levels. And second, cells in your muscle, fat, and liver become resistant to insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating the movement of sugar into your body cells. 

In normal cases, once the sugar enters the bloodstream, it triggers the pancreas to release insulin, enabling sugar to enter your cells. Once the sugar enters your body cells, its content in the bloodstream drops. In response to this sugar drop, the pancreas also releases less insulin. The process is more or less similar with glucose (sugar). The only difference is that glucose comes from food and the liver. Glucose (sugar) enters your cells with the help of insulin. 

But if you’re a person having type 2 diabetes, this process won’t work well. Instead of heading to body cells, the sugar will start building in your bloodstream. And as the sugar content increases, the pancreas also releases more insulin. Since the cells cannot absorb all this insulin and sugar from the bloodstream, it eventually leads to cells becoming impaired.   

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Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

The signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be hard to detect during their nascent stage, but you’ll be able to identify the disease with the following symptoms:

1. Increased Thirst 

When your kidneys have to overwork to get rid of the excessive sugar build-up in your bloodstream, it results in fluids being pulled from your tissues, making you feel dehydrated and thirsty. 

2. Blurry Vision

High blood sugar can significantly impact a clear vision, making it blurry. It can make focusing a rather tricky task for you.  

3. Fatigue

As your body cannot consume energy from the food you take, you can easily feel weak and tired.

4. Non-healing Infections/Sores

High sugar levels in the bloodstream can lower the pace of blood flow, making it harder for your body to heal.

5. Frequent Urination

Urination will increase as your kidneys try hard to get rid of the excess sugar in your bloodstream. 

6. Increased Hunger

You can start feeling hungry even after taking a meal because your body cells cannot absorb glucose.

7. Dry Mouth

Urinating more than usual and dehydration will together lead to draining moisture from your mouth.

8. Tingling Hands & Feet

The impairment of cells directly impacts the nerves in your hands and feet, giving you a tingling sensation in both feet and hands.  

If you start noticing these symptoms in your body, try shifting to a healthy type 2 diabetes diet immediately. 

Risk Factors to Get Type 2 Diabetes

Though there are no one or two risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes, we’ve listed the most common ones for your reference. 

1. Increased Weight

One of the biggest risks of this type of diabetes is being obese.

2. Inactivity

Less activity means higher risks and vice-versa. 

3. Family History

If someone in your family tree, like your parents, grandparents, or siblings, had type 2 diabetes, your chances of having it too will increase. 

4. Age

The risk of getting diagnosed with type 2 diabetes increases as you grow older, especially after 45 years.  

5. Blood Lipid Levels

Low levels of high-density lipoprotein and high triglycerides are linked with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

6. Areas of Darkened Skin

Any darkened skin area indicates insulin resistance, especially around the neck and armpits.  

Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

There are several complications of type 2 diabetes. We’ve listed some of the most common ones for your reference below.

1. Heart & Blood Vessel Disease

Potential risks of heart diseases, narrowing blood vessels, and high blood pressure remain high with type 2 diabetes. 

2. Hypoglycemia 

In severe cases, if your blood sugar levels fall below 70 mg/dL, it can lead to coma, accidents, or even death. 

3. Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is common with type 2 diabetes.  

4. Eye Damage

Diabetes is known to cause severe damage to the eyes in the form of cataracts, glaucoma, and even blindness. 

5. Dementia

The risk of disorders leading to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is higher with people having type 2 diabetes.

Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

As mentioned at the beginning, healthy lifestyle changes can bring about major positive changes and improvements in the condition. If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, the following preventive lifestyle changes can help:

1. Eating Healthy

Consuming low-calorie, low fat, and high fiber food can be a boon for prediabetics. Consider including more veggies, fruits, and whole grains in your diet.  

2. Get Active

If your health doesn’t allow you to indulge in energy-intensive physical activities, even minor activities like brisk walking can help a lot. Bicycling, running, swimming, etc., can be other options. 

3. Avoid Sitting in a Still Position for Long  

It might be surprising, but sitting still in the same position for long hours can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. The best way to avoid it is by getting up and taking a 5-minute walk around every 30-40 minutes. 

Bottomline

Type 2 diabetes is probably the most common type of diabetes a person can get, but its adverse effects are not less than the more severe ones. To help people like you stay informed and safe, we’ve listed above what exactly is type 2 diabetes, its causes, symptoms, risk factors, and more. If you notice any symptom in your body, start taking the preventive measures discussed above at the earliest. You can also visit a doctor if you feel necessary. Read in detail about the diabetes symptoms in women and diabetes symptoms men.

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