According to CDC, there are over 100 million American adults are living with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, however 1 out of 4 are unaware they have the diseases. That can lead to life-threatening complications, like blindness and heart disease. Prediabetes is marked by higher than normal blood sugar levels but not high enough to qualify as diabetes. The CDC notes that this condition often leads to full-blown type 2 diabetes within five years if it’s left untreated through diet and lifestyle modifications.
There are signs and symptoms of diabetes when they appear. While some type 2 diabetes symptoms may not ever show up, you can watch out for common signs of the disease and alert your doctor, especially if you have any of the common risk factors for diabetes. Also keep in mind that while most signs of type 2 diabetes are the same in men and women, there are some distinctions.
Frequent Urination – When there is excess glucose in the blood, as with type 2 diabetes, the kidneys react by flushing it out of the blood and into the urine. This results in more urine production and the need to urinate more frequently, as well as an increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Unusual Thirst/Dry Mouth – High blood sugar leads to increased production of urine and the need to urinate more often. Frequent urination causes you to lose a lot of fluid and become dehydrated. Consequently, you develop a dry mouth and feel thirsty more often. If you notice that you are drinking more than usual, or that your mouth often feels dry and you feel thirsty more often, please see your physician.
Unexpected Weight Loss – When you have type 2 diabetes, your cells don’t get enough glucose, which may cause you to lose weight. Also, if you are urinating more frequently because of uncontrolled diabetes, you may lose more calories and water.
Feeling Hungry All the Time – People with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance, which means the body cannot use insulin properly to help glucose get into the cells. In people with type 2 diabetes, insulin doesn’t work well in muscle, fat, and other tissues, so your pancreas starts to put out a lot more of it to try and compensate. This results in high insulin levels in the body and that signals to the brain that your body is hungry.
Foot Pain/Numbness May Be a Sign of Diabetic Neuropathy – When exposed to high blood sugar, it can damage the nerves throughout the body (Neuropathy). It usually starts in the feet and then it progresses upward. In some studies, almost 50 percent of unexplained peripheral neuropathy, whether painful or otherwise, turns out to be caused by prediabetes or diabetes.
Blurred Vision – The lens of the eye is a flexible membrane suspended by muscles that change the shape of the lens to focus the eye. In a high-sugar environment, such as with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, the lens’s ability to bend is altered. Although the lens is not damaged, the muscles of the eye must work harder to focus. Blurred vision occurs when there are rapid changes in blood sugar, thereby the eye muscles have not yet adapted to it. Blurred vision is one of the early warning signs of type 2 diabetes.