Roughly 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form. It’s characterized by high blood glucose levels, caused by either a lack of insulin in the body, or the body’s inability to use insulin properly. Blood sugar levels become high and can wreak havoc on blood vessels, causing complications. Kidneys can become damaged, as well as the eyes and nerves, and the risk of heart attack and stroke can double.
If you’ve heard diabetes referred to as an “epidemic,” that’s because it is. More and more people are developing type 2 diabetes, including children, and many cases go un-diagnosed due to easy-to-miss symptoms. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
- Family history of diabetes
- Being overweight
- Maintaining an unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
- High blood pressure
- History of gestational diabetes
- Impaired glucose tolerance
Early Warning Signs of Diabetes
Knowing the signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can help you catch it early on and learn how to manage it. The longer blood sugar levels remain too high, the greater the chance of damage to the body. Here are early warning signs to look out for:
1. Excessive Hunger
Excessive hunger can be a sign of diabetes, stemming from sharp highs and lows in blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels plummet, the body believes that it hasn’t been fed, causing it to crave more of the glucose that cells need in order to function.
High blood sugar levels in the body can cause fatigue and irritability. The body has to work harder to compensate for its glucose deficiency, so someone suffering from diabetes may become tired more quickly and easily. Being tired can lead to irritability.
3. Increased Urination / Constant Thirst
Diabetes causes the kidneys to kick into a higher gear while trying to get rid of all the extra glucose in the blood. With the kidneys working harder, you may experience the urge to urinate more often, including several times during the night. Excessive thirst is the body’s way of trying to replenish lost fluids.
4. Dry and Itchy Skin
Dry and itchy skin can be the result of poor circulation — a possible early warning sign of diabetes. This symptom can also be the result of losing more fluids to urination, which can lead to dehydration.
5. Blurry Vision
Distorted vision is a direct result of high blood sugar levels. When glucose in the blood is high, it can actually change the shape of the lens. This symptom will subside once blood sugar levels are returned to normal, but ignoring this early warning sign and allowing blood sugar levels to stay high for too long can cause permanent damage.
6. Yeast Infections
The body is in an immunosupressed state when it develops diabetes, meaning someone with diabetes becomes more prone to infections. The most common are yeast infections, along with other fungal infections.
7. Slow-Healing Cuts or Sores
Diabetes can slow the healing of infections, cuts and bruises. This happens because the blood vessels are being damaged by the excessive amounts of glucose traveling through the veins and arteries, making it more difficult for blood (needed for healing) to reach different areas of the body.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, contact a health care professional. Check out the video below for tips on how to improve your diet after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
h/t: best healthy guide