If left untreated, Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications. People who know the signs of this disease are more likely to consult a doctor, receive an early diagnosis, and begin an effective treatment program.
Type 2 diabetes often develops in adulthood. This chronic, progressive disease is associated with increased risk of heart problems, nerve damage, and other issues such as kidney damage. Receiving a diagnosis as early as possible and effectively managing type 2 diabetes can greatly lower the risk of complications and increase the possibility of enjoying a longer, more active life. However, symptoms may not be noticed because they can show up slowly over a period of years. What are the main symptoms of type 2 diabetes?
Diabetes is marked by glucose buildup in the bloodstream. As your body tissues adjust to this buildup, they lose fluid more quickly. Therefore, if you are developing diabetes, you will feel thirstier more often throughout the day.
As you increase your fluid intake to satisfy your frequent thirst, your bladder will fill up more quickly. This results in an urgent need to urinate—both during the day and at night.
Glucose buildup means that your cells are not efficiently absorbing glucose from your bloodstream and turning it into energy. Therefore, if you have type 2 diabetes, your body is actually losing energy. You will feel hungry more often than usual, and your hunger pangs will be sharper than usual, too.
Unintended Weight Loss
Even if you are consuming more food, and eating more often, type 2 diabetes can cause your weight to go down. This occurs because your body starts to utilize fat, and even protein, to compensate for its inability to absorb glucose. Instead, the glucose that should be providing your body with energy—which normally allows you to store fat and turn protein into muscle—will be filtered out by your kidneys and eliminated in your urine.
It is normal to feel tired after exercise, when you are hungry, and at the end of the day. Fatigue associated with type 2 diabetes, however, is severe and occurs without an obvious cause. In addition, you might notice that you are feeling excessively irritated over little things, or people close to you might remark that your temper seems unusually short.
Not only does type 2 diabetes lower the ability of your body to fight infections, the higher levels of glucose in your bloodstream allow bacteria to thrive and proliferate at higher and faster rates. As a result, your kidneys, feet, bladder, gums, and skin may all become sensitized and you may experience infections in some or all of these areas.
Slow Healing of Sores
Just as Type 2 diabetes makes it easier for your body to harbor infection, it also makes it harder for your body to heal the sores that result from infection. External cuts and other wounds will not heal as quickly either. Yet another consequence of higher levels of glucose in your bloodstream involves reduced blood circulation throughout your body. Therefore, the white blood cells and lymph that your body requires for self-repair will take longer to arrive at wound sites. It will also take longer for these substances to build up to the levels necessary for complete healing.
Type 2 diabetes and the increased blood-glucose levels that come with it can drain fluid from your eye lenses. When this happens, you will notice blurred vision that does not improve with eye drops or new glasses.
When you need a primary care doctor in Kentucky for help managing or diagnosing diabetes, contact KentuckyCare. We offer a diabetes self-management program that can help keep this disease under control and lower the risk of complications. Find a location near you and give us a call today.