High blood sugar causes gradual, mild symptoms that may come on suddenly. Frequent urination and excessive thirst are symptoms of type 2 diabetes and can be caused by other factors.
In fact, most people are unaware of their blood sugar levels until they develop type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that causes high levels of glucose (or sugar) in the body. The problem is to ignore and dismiss the symptoms, because something else can cause more serious health problems later.
If left untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, nerve and kidney damage, and vision loss. Even a small increase in blood sugar can damage your organs.
Diabetes is a common disease. More than 34 million people in the country have diabetes, nearly 95 percent of whom have type 2 diabetes, and about 88 million have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Summa Health discusses 10 early signs of type 2 diabetes. Even if you have mild symptoms, it’s a good idea to let your doctor know, especially if you’re at risk for diabetes. The higher the blood sugar, the more damage it will cause if left untreated.
Frequent urination: Going to the bathroom more often than usual, especially at night, is a sign of high blood sugar. In diabetes, the kidneys work harder to remove excess sugar from the blood. When your kidneys can’t handle it, excess sugar spills into your urine, causing you to urinate more often.
Reinfection: Excess sugar in your urine can become food for yeast and bacteria. Food combined with a warm, moist place helps them thrive. Therefore, people with diabetes, especially women, often have urinary tract and yeast infections.
Excessive thirst: Frequent urination can cause dehydration and constant thirst. But drinking more does not satisfy thirst.
Constant hunger: Your body converts the food you eat into glucose, which your cells use for energy. But if you have diabetes, your body can’t get enough energy from the food you eat because your cells can’t absorb glucose properly. So your body is constantly looking for fuel and you will always be hungry even if you just ate.
Unexplained weight loss: If your body can’t get enough energy from food, it starts burning muscle and fat stores. Therefore, even if the diet does not change, it is possible to lose weight.
Persistent fatigue and weakness: Without enough energy fuel, you will be left with constant fatigue and weakness that interfere with daily activities. Dehydration from frequent urination can make you feel tired.
Poor vision: High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in your eyes, causing one or both eyes to become cloudy. If left untreated, permanent damage can occur, leading to more serious complications and even blindness.
Slower healing of cuts and wounds: High blood sugar can damage nerves and blood vessels and impair circulation. Poor circulation limits the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to cuts and wounds that are necessary for proper healing. As a result, recovery can take weeks or even months, which increases the risk of infection.
Numbness and numbness: Impaired circulation and nerve damage can cause tingling, numbness, and pain in your hands and feet.
Dark spots on the skin: Diabetes can cause dark, velvety spots on the skin in the folds of your neck, armpits, and groin due to high levels of insulin in the blood.
Regular testing is the key to avoiding complications
The symptoms of diabetes are very subtle, so it’s important to see your doctor regularly and get tested for diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that all people age 45 and older be screened for diabetes. However, if you have one or more risk factors for diabetes, testing is recommended at any age.
Overweight or obesity
Diabetes screening is usually a simple blood test. The ADA recommends repeat screening every three years to maintain normal results.
If detected early, type 2 diabetes can be cured. Lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet and regular exercise can go a long way in managing the condition.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about an evaluation at the first sign of symptoms. Early detection and treatment are important to improve your quality of life and significantly reduce the risk of serious complications.