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Type 2 Diabetes: Know The Early Warning Signs
Signs That You Should Be Screened For Diabetes
Diabetes is a common condition in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes affects more than one in 10 Americans. While many patients are aware of the risk factors for diabetes – such as a family history of the disease, a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity – they may not be aware of some of the early warning signs of Type 2 diabetes. Here, Oswego Health highlights some of the early warning signs that may be a precursor to a diabetes diagnosis.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can strike at any time, so it is important to recognize the symptoms. This type of diabetes occurs when a person develops insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas naturally produces when it detects blood sugar in the bloodstream. It helps move glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. When a person develops insulin resistance, their cells can’t accept the blood sugar they need to produce energy. This causes the pancreas to create even more insulin, and eventually, the pancreas can’t keep up with the high levels of glucose in the bloodstream. Insulin resistance leads to high blood sugar, which can negatively affect a patient’s circulation, kidneys, and heart.
Patients may experience symptoms related to high blood sugar, but they often go overlooked. Early warning signs of Type 2 diabetes include:
Excessive Thirst and Frequent Urination
If a person needs to go to the bathroom quite often and is finding that they are often thirsty, they may have Type 2 diabetes. When an individual has high levels of blood sugar, their kidneys will try to filter that excess sugar out of their blood, resulting in more frequent urination – especially at nighttime. This can lead to dehydration and feelings of thirst.
Feelings of Fatigue and Hunger
This dehydration and frequent urination (which can wake a person up at night) might make them feel more fatigued than usual. And because there isn’t enough sugar moving from their bloodstream into their cells, they aren’t getting enough energy from their typical daily diet – which compounds feelings of fatigue and exhaustion and can make them feel hungrier, as well. Patients with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes may also find they are losing weight unexpectedly because their body isn’t using sugar effectively.
Changes in The Skin
Type 2 diabetes can affect a person’s skin in several ways. First, poor circulation can lead to dry, itchy skin and may make cuts and scrapes heal more slowly. Slow-healing wounds are also more susceptible to infection. Additionally, insulin resistance can lead to a condition called acanthosis nigricans, in which a patient has darker, discolored skin that can show up on their knuckles, armpits, or neck.
Urinary Tract or Yeast Infections
An excess of sugar in the urine creates an environment where yeast can thrive. Women who have Type 2 diabetes may find that they are more likely to get yeast infections or urinary tract infections. Yeast infections may also incur in a patient’s mouth or armpits.
High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in a person’s eyes. This may lead to blurry vision that comes and goes intermittently or can worsen a person’s prescription if they use glasses or contacts.
Tingling or Feelings of Numbness
Poor circulation caused by Type 2 diabetes can eventually lead to nerve damage, especially in a patient’s extremities. If a person has a tingling or numb feeling in their hands and feet, they may have nerve damage caused by this condition.
Learn More About Type 2 Diabetes from Oswego Health
Patients who are experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above should talk with their primary care physician. A simple blood test can confirm a diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes. And because pre-diabetes can be reversed in some patients, early intervention is key. By maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and getting plenty of physical activity, patients may be able to delay the onset of the condition. Individuals seeking diabetes screening and care in Oswego, New York, and the surrounding area can find a caring and professional team at Oswego Health. For more information about Oswego Health’s services, contact us today.