The early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can include:
1. Frequent urination
When blood sugar levels are high, the kidneys try to remove the excess sugar by filtering it out of the blood. This can lead to a person needing to urinate more frequently, particularly at night.
2. Increased thirst
The frequent urination that is necessary to remove excess sugar from the blood can result in the body losing additional water. Over time, this can cause dehydration and lead to a person feeling more thirsty than usual.
3. Always feeling hungry
Constant hunger or thirst can be early signs of type 2 diabetes.
People with diabetes often do not get enough energy from the food they eat.
4. Feeling very tired
Type 2 diabetes can impact on a person’s energy levels and cause them to feel very tired or fatigued. This tiredness occurs as a result of insufficient sugar moving from the bloodstream into the body’s cells.
5. Blurry vision
An excess of sugar in the blood can damage the tiny blood vessels in the eyes, which can cause blurry vision. This blurry vision can occur in one or both of the eyes and may come and go.
6. Slow healing of cuts and wounds
High levels of sugar in the blood can damage the body’s nerves and blood vessels, which can impair blood circulation. As a result, even small cuts and wounds may take weeks or months to heal. Slow wound healing also increases the risk of infection.
7. Tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands or feet
High blood sugar levels can affect blood circulation and damage the body’s nerves. In people with type 2 diabetes, this can lead to pain or a sensation of tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.
8. Patches of dark skin
Patches of dark skin forming on the creases of the neck, armpit, or groin can also signify a higher risk of diabetes. These patches may feel very soft and velvety.
9. Itching and yeast infections
Excess sugar in the blood and urine provides food for yeast, which can lead to infection. Yeast infections tend to occur on warm, moist areas of the skin, such as the mouth, genital areas, and armpits.
Importance of early diagnosis
An early diagnosis may help prevent complications.
Recognizing the early signs of type 2 diabetes can allow a person to get a diagnosis and treatment sooner. Getting appropriate treatment, making lifestyle changes, and controlling blood sugar levels can greatly improve a person’s health and quality of life and reduce the risk of complications.
Without treatment, persistently high blood sugar levels can lead to severe and sometimes life-threatening complications, including:
– heart disease
– nerve damage, or neuropathy
– foot problems
– kidney disease, which can result in a person needing dialysis
– eye disease or loss of vision
– sexual problems in both men and women
Keeping blood sugar levels under control is crucial for preventing some of these complications. The longer that blood sugar levels remain uncontrolled, the higher the risk of other health problems.