Type 2 Diabetes Signs & Symptoms

Diabetes mellitus is the term used to describe the group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood glucose, or more commonly known as blood sugar. These metabolic diseases are characterized by blood glucose levels. Diabetes was first identified thousands of years ago back in the ancient world. In those times, the disease was associated with two main symptoms. These symptoms were excessive muscle loss and “sweet urine”. The term “sweet urine” comes from the spillage of glucose into the urine due to the elevated levels, which in turn would cause the urine to smell surgery.

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Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of the disease. About 90% of the people who are diagnosed with the diabetes have type 2 or sometimes referred to as T2D. Unlike type 1 diabetes, the symptoms of type 2 diabetes tend to develop very slowly. Unfortunately, this means that some people may have type 2 diabetes for years without knowing it, because no symptoms ever appeared in that time.

Shockingly, there are more than 5 million people in the United States that have diabetes and don’t even know it. Some of the symptoms of T2D can be so mild that the individual doesn’t even notice them. Many people have had more than a couple of these symptoms before they were accurately diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A lot of people won’t get tested for diabetes until they experience some diabetes related complication like heart trouble or blurry vision. Getting a blood test to check the glucose (blood sugar) levels can tell an individual if they have pre-diabetes or diabetes.

The common symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include:
Increased Appetite: Since there is no insulin to process glucose for cells, the muscles and organs of the body are energy depleted. This will cause intense hunger.
Abnormal Fatigue: With the body’s cells deprived of sugar, a person will be more tired and irritable.
Wounds Heal Slowly: This disease will hamper the body’s ability to heal and fight infections.
Frequent Urination and Extreme Thirst: The fluid in the tissues of the body is excreted as excess sugar accumulates in the bloodstream. This will make a person much thirstier, so they will drink more and in turn urinate more. The frequent urination tends to become an even bigger issue at night.
Weight Loss: A person who has diabetes may find themselves losing weight even though they are eating more than usual. This weight loss happens because the body will start using alternative fuels stored in the fat and muscle, since it no longer has the ability to metabolize glucose. There are also some calories lost as the excess glucose in the body begins to spill into the urine.
Blurred Vision: If the blood sugar levels within the body get too high, then some of the fluid may be pulled from the lenses of the eyes. This will affect that person’s ability to effectively focus their eyes.
Areas of Darkened Skin: This is a symptom that does not occur in a majority of type 2 diabetes cases. Some T2D patients can develop these spots of dark skin which will appear in the folds and creases of the body. These patches tend to appear in the armpits or on the back of the neck. This type of condition is usually a sign of severe insulin resistance and is called acanthosis nigricans.

Spreading Awareness for Type 2 Diabetes

Unfortunately in the world today, there seems to be a significant lack of public awareness when it comes to type 2 diabetes. In fact, a recent survey showed that a majority of Americans were not aware of the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Further clinical research on diabetes will hopefully help to teach more people about this disease. There are many people out there who may not be aware that they are at risk of getting diabetes, and this is an issue that needs to be corrected. Further education and increased awareness will help many people to live higher quality lives.

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