Author: Miriam Padilla, MD
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 95% of Americans with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually develops later in life and is an illness where the pancreas makes less insulin over time. Physical signs of type 2 diabetes do not develop in the early stages, so this chronic condition can be easy to overlook. When symptoms do start to occur, many people are surprised to learn they have the disease. This is concerning given that type 2 diabetes can become debilitating and even life-threatening over time.
Risk factors that contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes include family history, unhealthy eating habits, excess weight and lack of exercise. It’s important to know the symptoms of type 2 diabetes in order to manage the condition as early as possible. See your doctor if you experience any of the following:
Increased appetite. When your body lacks enough insulin to transport sugar to the cells, you lose energy, which makes you more hungry.
Weight loss. Type 2 diabetes affects your body’s ability to metabolize glucose. To compensate, your body uses other fuels that are stored in muscle and fat, so any calories you take in are seen as excess glucose by your body and released in your urine.
Increased thirst and urination. You may drink (and urinate) more often if your blood sugar is too high. That’s because your body is pulling fluid from the tissues, which can make you more thirsty.
Slow-healing sores. People with type 2 diabetes have a difficult time healing and resisting infections.
Fatigue. When your cells lack sugar, you’re likely to become for tired and irritable.
Vision problems. If your bloodstream has excess sugar build-up, fluid may be taken from the lenses of your eyes, affecting your ability to see clearly.
The good news is type 2 diabetes can be managed by eating right, exercising, losing weight, treating high blood pressure and cholesterol with medication, and taking insulin as prescribed. If you believe you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, schedule an assessment with your doctor to learn more about what you can do to minimize risk.