Type 2 diabetes is a common, but possibly preventable, condition that affects nearly 10% of the U.S. population. While it is most common in adults over the age of 45, in recent years it has become more widespread in young adults and children. People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from heart disease, kidney failure, and a stroke, especially if you smoke. However, there are warning signs of type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is caused when the body doesn’t make enough insulin or use it well. Insulin is created in the pancreas and regulates how much blood sugar is passed through the bloodstream to provide energy for the body. Too little insulin will eventually lead to complications such as vision loss, heart disease or even death.
Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes symptoms develop over several years without being noticed. However, if you experience any of these signs, see your doctor and get tested.
When your blood sugar is low, your cells are not being provided the energy they require. When your blood sugar is high, your blood circulation is slowed, leaving cells lacking necessary nutrients and oxygen.
Frequent Urination and Dehydration
When you have elevated blood sugar, the kidneys have to work even harder to remove the excess. Frequent urination is experienced when the kidneys cannot remove enough of the glucose on their own and the body excretes it through urine. All this extra urinating can lead to dehydration.
With elevated blood sugar, the lens in the eyes may swell, resulting in blurry vision. With very low blood sugar, the brain may have difficulty focusing on what the eye is seeing.
Tingling Hands and Feet
Peripheral neuropathy, nerve damage of the hands and feet, is similar to the feeling you have when your hand “falls asleep”, but can be more painful, as well. It is caused when high blood glucose levels damage the nerves.
A cause and effect of diabetes is dehydration, which can lead to dry skin. High blood glucose may also lead to inflammation, as well as, nerve and blood vessel damage, reducing blood circulation. This can result in dry skin.
With hyperglycemia, very high blood glucose levels, the body is unable to convert food to energy. This may cause hunger. With hypoglycemia, very low blood glucose levels, the body is forced to release glucose stored in the liver, resulting in increased hunger.
Remember, if you experience any of the symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor. It could end up being nothing serious. But, it may also end up saving your life.
Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and get the latest health and fitness news!