According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 34 million Americans suffer from diabetes (about 1 in 10), and nearly 90-95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes. While type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that occurs for unknown reasons, type 2 is provoked by a combination of factors, most of which are preventable.
People who have extra pounds and follow a sedentary lifestyle are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. The thing is that diabetes symptoms progress gradually, which means you won’t wake up one day, and all of a sudden you’ll be thirsty, hungry, and going to the bathroom all the time.
Most people don’t realize they actually have type 2 diabetes in its early or even middle stages. Just because you don’t know doesn’t mean you’re immune to the issues related to the disease. The longer the disease is ignored, the higher your risk for diabetes-related complications, such as kidney disease, vision loss, nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, and amputation. That’s due to the fact that high blood sugar levels that accompany prediabetes cause no symptoms.
If you have risk factors for diabetes, like family history or having extra weight, you need to get evaluated on a regular basis. If you’re feeling that something is going wrong with you, it’s time to visit your doctor. Here are some early symptoms of type 2 diabetes you might be missing:
1. Unexplained weight loss
Given that excess weight is a huge risk factor for type 2 diabetes, unintended weight loss is a sneaky symptom. It comes from two things. First, you lose more water due to frequent urination. Second, you lose some calories in the urine and your body doesn’t absorb all the calories from the sugar in your blood.
2. Excessive thirst
Since frequent urination always accompanies type 2 diabetes, this makes you dehydrated. Another problem is that people with prediabetes drink soda, juices, or chocolate milk to tame their thirst but this only worsens the problem. These drinks are packed with sugar which creates a vicious cycle.
3. Tingling in feet
High blood glucose can provoke complications right before you find out you’re diabetic. One of these is neuropathy (nerve damage) that can lead to numbness in your feet. Though people with diabetes can develop different types of nerve damage, the most common one is peripheral neuropathy. It’s a type of nerve damage that primarily affects the feet and legs.
So, if you feel needles and pins in your feet, visit a podiatrist and primary care physician to find the root cause.
4. Mood swings
When you have unstable blood glucose, you just don’t feel well and may get more short-tempered. High blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) can result in depression-like symptoms.
5. Poor wound healing
Poor wound healing might indicate the onset of type 2 diabetes. That’s because high blood glucose negatively affects your immune system. Plus, with unstable blood glucose, your blood flow is reduced.
6. Frequent urinary tract and yeast infections
Increased levels of blood glucose in the urine and the vagina create a breeding ground for the yeast and bacteria provoking frequent infections. According to a study published in 2015 in The Journal of Diabetes Complications, people with type 2 diabetes are at higher risk for urinary tract infections compared to those who don’t have the condition.
7. Constant fatigue
Persistent fatigue is a worrisome symptom. Though it’s present in lots of conditions, diabetes can also cause it. It occurs since the food you’re eating for energy isn’t being used by the cells as it’s supposed to. If you’re not getting the energy you need, it’s no surprise that you are constantly tired and exhausted.