Type 2 diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar levels to become too high. Recognizing the first signs and symptoms of this chronic disease leads to quick treatment, which reduces the risk of serious complications.
Type 2 diabetes is a common disease. A 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 30.3 million adults in the United States have diabetes. Additionally, 84.1 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, according to the report.
People with prediabetes have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but doctors don’t yet think they have diabetes. According to CDCT credentialed sources, people with diabetes can develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years if left untreated.
Type 2 diabetes develops gradually and symptoms are mild in the early stages. As a result, many people may not even know they have it.
In this article, we will discuss the early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes and the importance of early diagnosis. We also discuss risk factors for the development of this disorder.
Early signs and symptoms
The first signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Frequent urination
When blood sugar levels rise, the kidneys try to filter the excess sugar out of the blood. This makes a person need to urinate more often, especially at night.
- Increased thirst
Frequent urination to get rid of excess blood sugar causes the body to lose extra water. Over time, this can cause dehydration and make a person thirstier than usual.
- Feeling hungry all the time
Constant hunger or thirst can be the first symptom of type 2 diabetes.
People with diabetes often do not get enough energy from the food they eat.
The digestive system breaks down food into a simple sugar called glucose, which the body uses as fuel. In people with diabetes, not enough of this glucose moves from the bloodstream to the body’s cells.
As a result, people with type 2 diabetes are always hungry, regardless of how late they eat.
- Feeling very tired
Type 2 diabetes can affect a person’s energy levels and cause extreme tiredness and fatigue. This fatigue occurs as a result of insufficient transfer of blood sugar to the cells of the body.
- Blurred vision
Excess sugar in the blood can damage the small blood vessels in the eye, resulting in blurred vision. This blurred vision can occur in one or both eyes and may come and go.
If a person with diabetes does not receive treatment, the damage to these blood vessels can worsen and cause permanent vision loss.
- Cuts heal slowly
High blood sugar damages the body’s nerves and blood vessels and impairs circulation. As a result, small cuts and wounds can take weeks or months to heal. Slow wound healing increases the risk of infection.
- Tingling, numbness and pain in hands and feet
High blood sugar can affect circulation and damage the body’s nerves. In people with type 2 diabetes, it can cause pain, tingling, and numbness in the hands and feet.
This condition is called neuropathy, and if a person does not treat diabetes, it can get worse over time and cause more serious complications.
- Dark skin spots
Dark patches of skin in the neck, armpits, or groin folds indicate a higher risk of diabetes. These spots are very soft and may feel like velvet.
This skin disease is called acanthosis nigricans.