Here’s what you need to know about type 2 diabetes: In an era of super-sized everything - homes, meal portions and yes, even personalities, type 2 diabetes is on the rise. And, if undiagnosed and untreated, diabetes can result in serious and even life-threatening side-effects, including blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and lower limb amputation. It is therefore critical that you know the main symptoms of type 2 diabetes, so you can seek medical care and live a long, balanced life.
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic health condition where your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin — a hormone key in the regulation of the movement of sugar into your cells — to maintain a normal, balanced blood glucose level, or it does produce enough insulin, but the hormone isn’t capable of doing its job effectively. As a result, your body cannot properly metabolize ingested sugar, the fuel that keeps us energized, leading to a buildup of sugar in the bloodstream, known as hyperglycemia. Want to learn more about Type 2 Diabetes? Check out CuraLife’s blog post on the challenges of living with Diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes symptoms
When type 2 diabetics’ blood sugar levels are unbalanced, they can experience a wide variety of symptoms. The most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
Excess sugar building up in your bloodstream causes fluid to be pulled from the tissues, dehydrating them and leaving you thirsty.
Frequent or increased urination, especially at night
The fluid pulled from your tissue that causes you to want to drink is delivered to your kidneys, your urinary system master controller. As such, the kidney will be called to action, aiding a vicious cycle. The more you are thirsty, the more you’ll drink - and the more you drink, the more you’ll feel an urge to relieve yourself.
When there is not enough insulin to effectively metabolize the sugar you eat, your body’s energy stores become depleted, causing you to feel hungrier than usual, or what is considered normal.
Your body needs glucose to give you energy, to survive and thrive. That same depletion of energy that causes your stomach to growl will also cause you to become tired, and possibly even irritable.
Think you’re seeing double because you’re exhausted? While that may be the case, another reason is likely the fact that your blood sugar is too high causing a swelling in the lens of your eye, or fluid to be pulled out of those lenses. To better focus, you’ll need more than a nap; you’ll need to balance your blood sugar levels.
Sores or cuts that won’t heal
Elevated blood glucose levels can make it harder for your body to heal, so you may find you’re more susceptible to infections and take a long time to recover from sores or cuts. People with type 2 diabetes may also experience:
- Significant weight loss.
- Increased susceptibility to yeast or fungal infections.
- Hyperosmolar syndrome, which can lead to confused thinking, weakness, nausea, fatigue, blurred vision and in serious cases seizure and coma.
- Atherosclerosis: Arterial fat buildup, impairing blood flow to the organs and leading to kidney failure.
- Retinopathy: Damaged retinal blood vessels, impairing healthy eyesight and concentration.
- Neuropathy: The nerves that lead to the legs are damaged, causing numbness and pain in the feet, sometimes resulting in amputation.
- Nephropathy: Kidney damage.
We recommend joining our Facebook Community Group,
for support, advice, and inspiration from other Type 2 Diabetics!