Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, a disease marked by high blood glucose levels. Because it's gradual, oftentimes those with this disease have no symptoms or don't recognize that anything is wrong. Here are the most common type 2 diabetes symptoms.
Thirst and Urination
The most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes are increased thirst and urination. When excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream, fluids get pulled from the tissues. The body tries to lower glucose levels by excreting more urine. People become very thirsty all the time, causing them to drink and urinate more often. It may also affect eyesight. If fluid is pulled from the lenses of the eyes, vision may appear blurry, affecting the ability to focus clearly.
Hunger and Weight
Due to the body's insulin response, the body can't efficiently move glucose into cells. Thus, muscles and organs can become energy-depleted, which causes people to get very hungry. Yet people may actually lose weight, even if they eat more. Since cells aren't getting the glucose from the bloodstream, the body turns to alternative fuels for energy: those stored in muscle or fat.
Since cells aren't getting the necessary fuel, people may become tired and irritable. Fatigue can be extreme, causing a foggy mind or even exhaustion at having to walk a few steps. It can often hit after large meals. People are tired, even if they sleep all the time. This can be one of the most noticeable symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
Those with type 2 diabetes get frequent infections. Sores and bruises may heal slowly. High blood sugar prevents cells from fighting infection normally. Slow healing may also be due to poor circulation.
Other Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
Some people, especially children, get a condition known as acanthosis nigricans – patches of dark or velvety skin primarily found in the folds and creases of the body, like the armpits and neck. It may indicate insulin resistance – a hallmark symptom of type 2 diabetes. Other people experience tingling, burning, or numbness in feet and hands. Still others have problems with sweating, dizziness, or gum disease. Men may experience erectile dysfunction. Over time, type 2 diabetes symptoms get worse and lead to more serious problems with the heart, nerves, kidneys, blood vessels, and eyes.
Around one-third of those with the disease don't know that they have it. If people find these symptoms of type 2 diabetes familiar, they should schedule an appointment with their healthcare professional.