This occurs when blood sugar levels rise due to problems with the body’s use or production of insulin.
It can appear at any age, but most often occurs after the age of 45.
This article reviews the early signs and symptoms, risk factors, and potential complications of type 2 diabetes.
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes occurs when a person’s body does not respond properly to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. After a while, the pancreas produces less and less insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates the entry of blood sugar, i.e. sugar, into cells, where it is used as energy.
When sugar can’t get into the cells, too much glucose builds up in the blood and the body can’t use it for energy.
A doctor diagnoses diabetes when a person’s blood sugar is 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher after an 8-hour fast.
In type 2 diabetes, symptoms of low blood sugar appear slowly. Not everyone has symptoms in the early stages, but they develop over time.
If symptoms occur, they may include:
Frequent urination and increased thirst
If there is too much glucose in the blood, the kidneys cannot absorb it. The body removes excess glucose and water from the body with urine. This causes increased thirst and more urge to urinate.
If there is too little insulin, the body can burn fat and muscle for energy. This leads to weight loss.
If there is not enough glucose in the cells, the body becomes tired. When a person has type 2 diabetes, fatigue can interfere with their daily life.
High blood sugar drains fluid from the lens of the eye, causing swelling and temporary blurred vision.
Infections and ulcers
A person may experience itching or frequent candida infections around the male genital or vaginal area. Infections and ulcers may take longer to heal because diabetes affects blood circulation.
Diabetes can lead to many serious complications. The sooner someone starts controlling their blood sugar, the more likely they are to avoid complications.
Symptoms in children and adolescents
Type 2 diabetes most often occurs after the age of 45, but it can also occur in children and teenagers:
- They have a high body mass index (BMI) for their age.
- Do not do too much physical activity
- Your blood pressure is high
Type 2 diabetes in the family
An authentic source is Black American, Asian American, Hispanic, or Native American
Symptoms are similar to adults as mentioned above.
If children or teenagers develop these symptoms, they should talk to their doctor. They can be signs of type 2 diabetes, but they can also indicate type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 is less common but affects children and teenagers more than adults.
Symptoms in the elderly
In the United States, 29.2% of people over the age of 65 have type 2 diabetes.
You may experience following symptoms:
- Flu-like fatigue, including lethargy and chronic weakness
- Urinary tract infections
- Numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, legs, and feet due to poor circulation and nerve damage
- Dental problems, including mouth infections and red, swollen gums
Early skin symptoms
Diabetes can cause a number of skin changes, some of which may be warning signs.
- Atrophic epidermolysis, red, velvety areas of skin, especially on the neck, elbows, knees and shoulders
- Necrobiosis lipoidica, raised patches that are yellow, red, brown or darker than the surrounding skin and may be swollen and hard.
- Sclerosis dactylus, where the skin on the hands becomes hard, thick or swollen and spreads to the hands
- Painful blisters that appear suddenly
- Wounds that take a long time to heal
- Frequent skin infections
People with prediabetes have no symptoms but have blood sugar levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL.
Their blood sugar is high, but they are not diabetic. Acting at this stage can prevent the development of diabetes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 96 million American adults have diabetes, but 80 percent are unaware that they have it.
Diabetes can lead to many health problems if left untreated. Many are chronic, but some require immediate medical attention.
Complications can develop quickly when blood sugar levels are too high or too low.
Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels fall below 70 mg/dl.
This can happen when people use insulin for longer than they should. It can also happen with other drugs that treat diabetes, such as sulfonylureas.
A home blood sugar test can detect hypoglycemia.
It is important to know the early signs of hypoglycemia because hypoglycemia develops quickly and can lead to seizures and coma. But in the early stages, it can be easily treated.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
- A feeling of weakness
- Rapid pulse
- I changed
- Loss of consciousness
In mild cases, hypoglycemia can often be relieved by eating 15 grams (g) of carbohydrates such as:
- Your trusted source for 4 oz orange juice
- 4 glucose tablets
- A spoonful of honey or sugar
Then wait 15 minutes, check your blood sugar, and if it’s still low, add 15 grams of carbs and repeat the process.
If your value is more than 70 mg/dl, you should eat to keep your blood sugar stable.
If your blood sugar remains low or your symptoms worsen, go to the emergency room.
People with frequent or severe hypoglycemic episodes should see a doctor as needed to adjust their treatment regimen.
Hyperglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
Hyperglycemia can occur when blood sugar becomes too high. If you feel that thirst and urination increase, you should check your blood sugar.
If the level is above the target level agreed with the doctor, the person should exercise to reduce it.
However, if your blood sugar is over 240 ml/dl, you should not exercise, as this may be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
DKA can occur when blood sugar levels are high and no steps are taken to lower them. DKA occurs when high levels of ketones build up in the blood, making it too acidic. For this reason, a person should check their ketone levels.
Ketoacidosis can be caused by:
- Difficulty breathing
- A fruity scent for your breath
- dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
DKA can be fatal, so people with these signs and symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.
People who experience high blood sugar on a regular basis should discuss their treatment plan with their doctor.
The treatment is aimed at stabilizing blood sugar at a healthy level and preventing complications. The main way to achieve this is through lifestyle measurement.
These reliable sources are:
- Follow a diabetic diet plan agreed with your doctor.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Achieve and maintain an appropriate BMI
- do physical activity
- get enough sleep
- Avoid or stop smoking
- Take your medicine or insulin as recommended by your doctor.
- Participates in regular doctor visits and blood tests
Type 2 diabetes usually has no symptoms in the early stages, and simple blood tests often reveal the presence of diabetes.
When symptoms do occur, they include thirst, increased need to urinate, frequent infections, fatigue and unexplained weight loss.
If you have other risk factors, such as obesity, current guidelines from reliable sources recommend starting routine screenings at age 45 or younger. Your doctor can advise you on your individual needs.
Anyone concerned about diabetes should consult a doctor. Early diagnosis can slow the progression of type 2 diabetes and help prevent complications.