Type 2 diabetes is a difficult disease to learn to live with. Diabetic patients need to make important daily choices to keep 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 in order to manage the condition.
But what happens if diabetes goes untreated or unmanaged? Whether you have prediabetes and are concerned about your condition, or you are simply curious as to what happens to the body when diabetes goes untreated, we are here to help.
We’ll 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?
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot make enough insulin, or it cannot use the insulin it does make. Insulin is the hormone that helps the body transfer sugar from the bloodstream into energy. When the body becomes insulin resistant, your blood sugar levels can rapidly change.
Type 2 diabetes is usually treated with a carefully planned combination of healthy eating, regular exercise, blood sugar monitoring, and regular diabetes medication or insulin therapy. While there is no cure for the disease—committing to a healthy lifestyle can make it possible to manage the condition and reduce the need for medication.
Symptoms of Undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes
If you think you may have type 2 diabetes, but you haven’t yet been diagnosed, here are some of the signs to watch out for:
- 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
You may be at an increased risk of developing the condition if you:
- Have prediabetes
- Are obese
- Are over 45 years old
- Lead a sedentary lifestyle
- Have a family history of diabetes
If you notice any of these signs or you know you are at risk, it’s important that you let your doctor know. Awareness will allow your doctor to schedule frequent screenings to ensure they catch diabetes in its early stage should it occur.
When left untreated, type 2 diabetes will continue to get worse, and you will begin to notice the negative symptoms of untreated diabetes.
Why Do I Need to Treat Diabetes?
The effects of undiagnosed type 2 diabetes are dangerous. In some cases, untreated diabetes can lead to extremely debilitating chronic conditions. It’s crucial that you start treating your condition as soon as possible in order to avoid the complications of untreated diabetes. Untreated type 2 diabetes affects include:
- Kidney damage. High blood sugar can affect various organs and cells, including the kidneys.
- Heart disease. Kidney damage can lead to acute heart problems and chronic heart conditions.
- Stroke. Excessive amounts of blood sugar can increase your risk of suffering from a stroke.
- Blindness. In serious cases, kidney and nerve damage can lead to eye damage and even blindness.
- Neuropathy. Nerve damage or neuropathy can develop if diabetes is left untreated for a long time.
- Gastroparesis. You may even develop problems in the stomach and the digestive system.
- Coma. In the most severe cases, untreated diabetes can cause comas or even death.
It’s crucial that you never leave your type 2 diabetes untreated. The consequences of doing so can be serious and life-changing. If you learn to manage your condition properly, you will find that life can be even more enjoyable than it was before your diagnosis.
We recommend committing to a healthy lifestyle today, so you can learn to live with diabetes for many years to come.
If you are unsure about whether you are doing everything you can to lead a healthy, active lifestyle, or you think your condition is becoming worse, be sure to speak to your doctor about whether your treatment plan is working for you.
Learn How to Manage Your Diabetes – Join the CuraLife Community
You’re not alone in your struggle with type 2 diabetes. Many Americans deal with this debilitating condition daily. We created the CuraLife community to help diabetics connect and discuss their journeys.
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.