Untreated Type 2 Diabetes: What Will Happen If Type 2 Diabetes Is Left Untreated?

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that can be difficult to learn to live with. Diabetic patients need to make important daily choices to maintain their...

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that can be difficult to learn to live with. Diabetic patients need to make important daily choices to maintain their blood sugar levels stable and their weight in check. If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your doctor has probably told you exactly what you should be doing to manage the condition. 

But what happens if diabetes goes untreated or unmanaged?

We are here to help if you have prediabetes and are worried about your disease. If you are just curious about what happens to the body when diabetes is not managed continue reading. We will explain how you can spot the signs of untreated diabetes and what can happen to the body by not treating diabetes.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes type 2 is occurring when the body is not making enough insulin, or it cannot use the insulin it does make. Insulin is the hormone that helps the body in process of transferring sugar from the bloodstream into energy. When the body becomes insulin resistant, your blood sugar levels can get out of balance. 

How is it treated?

Type 2 diabetes is usually treated with a carefully planned combination of blood sugar monitoring and controlling, healthy eating, and exercising. Regular diabetes medication or insulin therapy is crucial. Committing to a healthy lifestyle can make it possible to manage the condition and reduce the need for medication.

What are the most common symptoms of undiagnosed type 2 diabetes? What are the early signs of type 2 diabetes?

If you think you may have type 2 diabetes, but haven’t yet been diagnosed, here are some of the signs to watch out for. Pay attention if you have:

  • Fatigue;
  • Frequent urination;
  • Constant thirst;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Slow healing of wounds;
  • Weight loss;
  • Tingling sensations in the hands or feet;
  • Increased number of infections;
  • Hearing problems.

What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?

Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is influenced by several factors, including your genes and lifestyle. While risk factors such as family background, age, or ethnicity are unchangeable. Lifestyle risk factors such as eating, physical activity, and weight can be altered.

  • You may be at an increased risk of developing the condition if you have prediabetes;
  • You are obese or overweight;
  • You are over 45 years old;
  • You have high blood pressure;
  • You lead a sedentary lifestyle;
  • You have a family history of diabetes;
  • You have depression;
  • You have polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS;
  • You are American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic, African American, Native Hawaiian or other.

Is it possible that you can have diabetes and seem to be completely unaware of it? Nearly one in every five Americans have diabetes and are unaware of it. To see if you're at risk for type 2 diabetes, take the American Diabetes Association's Diabetes Risk Test. Click here to take it.

If you notice any of these signs or you know you are at risk, you must let your doctor know. Awareness will allow your doctor to schedule necessary screenings and tests to ensure they catch diabetes in its early stage. 

Type 2 diabetes will continue to get worse if you leave it undetected. With time you will begin to notice the negative effects of untreated diabetes.

What are the effects of untreated diabetes on the body?

The effects of undiagnosed type 2 diabetes are extremely harmful to your health. In some cases, untreated diabetes can lead to dangerous debilitating chronic conditions.

You must start treating your condition as soon as possible to avoid the complications of untreated diabetes. Untreated and undetected type 2 diabetes effects include:

  • Kidney damage. Elevated blood sugar can affect various organs and cells, including the kidneys. One cause of kidney failure is diabetes mellitus, a condition characterized by elevated blood glucose levels. The high levels of sugar in the blood can damage over time millions of small filtering units each kidney has. This eventually results in kidney failure.
  • Heart disease. Kidney damage and chronic high blood glucose levels can lead to acute heart problems and chronic heart conditions.
  • Stroke. Excessive amounts of blood sugar can increase the risk of suffering from a stroke.
  • Blindness. In serious cases, nerve and kidney damage can cause conditions with eyes and even blindness.

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the back of the eye due to elevated blood sugar levels. The thin layer of tissue that covers the back of the eye on the inside is called the retina.

If left undiagnosed and untreated, it can result in blindness. Diabetic retinopathy, on the other hand, normally takes several years to progress to the point that it threatens your vision.

  • Neuropathy. Diabetes can cause serious damage to the nerves or neuropathy. These conditions can develop if diabetes is not controlled and properly maintained for a long time.

Uncontrolled high blood sugar, according to researchers, destroys nerves over time and interferes with their ability to transmit signals, resulting in diabetic neuropathy. The walls of the small blood vessels or capillaries that supply oxygen and nutrients to the nerves are also weakened by high blood sugar.

  • Gastroparesis. You can develop problems with the stomach and the digestive system.
  • Coma. In the most severe cases, untreated diabetes and high blood sugar levels can cause coma or even death.

You must never leave your type 2 diabetes untreated. Controlling your blood glucose level is crucial.  The consequences of ignoring and not treating your condition can be serious and life-changing.

Once you learn how to properly manage your condition, you will find that life can be even more enjoyable than it was before your diagnosis.

Significance of healthy lifestyle

We recommend committing to a healthy lifestyle every day. That way you can learn to live with diabetes for many years to come. A healthy lifestyle can help prevent having diabetes. 

If you are unsure whether you are doing everything you can to lead a healthy, active lifestyle, or think your condition is becoming worse, be sure to speak to your doctor about whether your treatment plan is working for you.

How to reduce the risk of having diabetes when you have a risk factor?

Diabetes type 2 is a chronic condition that affects millions of people around the world. Commitment to healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of having diabetes. Start with:

  • Have a balanced diet rich in nutritive value;
  • Lead an active lifestyle;
  • Lose weight if you are overweight or obese;
  • Control your portion size;
  • Always choose water over any other drink.

You have the best chance of preventing diabetes by eating the right foods and following other lifestyle habits that encourage balanced blood sugar and insulin levels.

Learn how to manage your diabetes

You are not alone in your struggle with type 2 diabetes. Many Americans deal with this debilitating condition daily. It should not be frightening to live with diabetes or to avoid diabetes if you are at high risk.

Learn how to control your blood glucose levels, consider the risks and how to avoid them, medication options, mental wellbeing, and other diabetes-related issues.

We interact with people who are at risk of developing diabetes, have pre-diabetes, and other diabetes-related conditions.

Do you want to join our community?

Find the support you need by joining our Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together group. Share your stories, ask the important questions, and get the advice you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay in control of your condition.