Diabetes, an ailment characterized by having excessive sugar in the bloodstream, has different types, but the most common is type 2 diabetes.
According to the CDC, of the estimated 34 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes, about 90% to 95% of them have type 2 diabetes. These figures should encourage you to know what constitutes type 2 diabetes.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition wherein the body can neither process nor produce insulin efficiently, resulting in high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) that can damage the internal organs. The ineffectiveness of insulin in type 2 diabetes is also known as insulin resistance. While type 2 usually affects adults over 45, younger people—including children and adolescents—are also prone to the disease.
Type 2 is different from type 1 diabetes in that the latter is caused by an autoimmune condition in the pancreas that prevents the production of insulin. Meanwhile, type 2 still allows the production of insulin; however, body cells cannot use it efficiently.
Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes
Signs for type 2 diabetes can start appearing at any particular stage and develop for years without notice. While these kinds of symptoms are hard to recognize, here are common signs to watch out for:
1. Frequent Urination
Frequent urination is a notable symptom of type 2 diabetes. However, it is more notable if the urination tends to recur at night—this urinary condition is called nocturia.
Dehydration throughout the body is a common indicator of type 2 diabetes. External forms of dehydration, like dry mouth and skin irritation, may lead to wounds and sores that do not heal quickly.
3. Excessive Thirst
Increased thirstiness is often the result of frequent urination—the more you urinate, the more water you lose, making you thirsty. Excessive thirst is also associated with other symptoms like constant pangs of hunger.
4. Weight Gain/Loss
This symptom may depend on how insulin can balance the distribution of sugar throughout the body. If you experience a dramatic weight gain or loss, it should be a cause for alarm, indicating the development of type 2 diabetes.
5. Persistent Hunger
If the body cannot evenly distribute the sugars from the food you eat, then brace for increased hunger episodes. Constant hunger may lead to health defects from unchecked amounts of sugar taken from daily meals and snacks.
6. Blurry Vision
Blurred vision for type 2 diabetes patients can be short-term. When your blood sugar levels remain too high over a long period, your eyes may swell due to body fluid moving into and out of the eyes. This swelling affects the lens’ ability to focus light onto the back of your eyes.
7. Lack Of Energy
People with diabetes tend to feel tired or lethargic due to abnormal sugar levels, whether they’re too high or too low. This imbalance affects the body’s ability to get blood glucose, which is necessary in providing energy to your cells and organs.
8. High Blood Pressure
It’s common for people with type 2 diabetes to suffer from high blood pressure due to insulin resistance. With high levels of insulin production, your body retains more salt and fluids, increasing the risk for high blood pressure.
9. Dizziness, Light-Headedness, Or Headaches
Dizziness or light-headedness is common if there’s a drop in your blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar usually happens if your body uses up glucose too quickly, your bloodstream contains too much insulin, or the release of glucose into your bloodstream is too slow. On the other hand, you may experience headaches with high blood sugar levels.
10. Sexual Dysfunction
Type 2 diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves in the sex organs, causing sexual problems like decreased drive or sensation and even difficulty with orgasm. Women may suffer from vaginal dryness, too.
Prolonged type 2 diabetes may manifest the following symptoms:
- Yeast infections in some parts of the body like between the fingers and toes, under the breasts, and groin or genital areas
- Slow-healing sores
- Acanthosis nigricans or the discoloration in body folds like the neck, armpit, and groin
- Pain or numbness on the feet or legs
Any of the symptoms above can be isolated cases. However, if two or more of those symptoms manifest frequently, consult your doctor immediately.