What are the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes is more common in adults and 1 in every 10 adults across the globe has this diabetes. 90% of the people having diabetes have Type-2 Diabetes. The good news is that diabetes can be reversed. Reversal requires proper care, exercises, diet plan, and medication.

The key step in Type-2 diabetes is its early detection and proper management. Read this article to gain details on symptoms and insights on type-2 diabetes.

Type-2 Diabetes

To understand Type-2 Diabetes you need to understand the role of Glucose and the need for Insulin.

Glucose and Insulin role

Food we eat is converted into Glucose. Glucose also comes into our body from the liver. The liver has stored glycogen which it converts into glucose.

Glucose enters our bloodstream. Through blood, it enters body cells. Cells use glucose in the process of cellular respiration to release energy. Thus, Glucose is the source of energy for our body.

The bloodstream glucose enters the cells with the help of insulin.

Summary:

Cells need glucose. Glucose is in the bloodstream. Insulin in the bloodstream helps glucose to enter cells.

Pancreas and insulin

As glucose enters the bloodstream, the pancreas gets triggered to produce insulin. Insulin in the bloodstream now helps the glucose to enter cells. Sugar levels drop in the blood. Pancreas reduces the insulin production.

Type-2 diabetes reason

Type-2 diabetes process is as follows:

  • In type-2 diabetes, the glucose absorption into the cells decreases due to the cells becoming resistant to insulin.
  • This causes glucose accumulation in the bloodstream.
  • Due to high glucose levels in the bloodstream, insulin production increases.
  • Insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas become weak. Due to which it is unable to make more insulin.
  • The body cells now become resistant to insulin. Due to which glucose levels are high.

Thus, the blood sugar levels increase, and over time the high sugar impacts the circulatory system and nervous system.

Early signs of type 2 diabetes:

Early signs of type 2 diabetes

Having blood sugar levels high is an early sign of diabetes but not necessarily means you are diabetic. Our body exhibits a warning prodrome known as pre-diabetes symptoms. These are the early sign of type-2 diabetes.

Knowing these signs can be advantageous as it can help in reversal to the normal condition. If left untreated it can make you type-2 diabetic.

How to know whether we are pre-diabetic?

The solution lies in early monitoring of your blood sugar levels.

  • Normal blood sugar levels: Normal blood sugar levels are less than 100 mg/dL after not eating (fasting) for at least eight hours. And they’re less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating.
  • Abnormal blood sugar levels: Abnormal blood sugar levels, for adults, are more than 130 mg/dL before a meal (fasting) and more than 180 mg/dL two hours after eating.
  • Pre-diabetic blood sugar levels: Unless you don’t have risk factors like obesity, the genetic history of diabetes, and other health ailments, a blood sugar level from 140 to 199 mg/dL (7.8 to 11.0 mmol/L ) is an indication of pre-diabetes.
  • Blood sugar levels above 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) are indication of Type-2 diabetes.

People with insulin resistance and pre-diabetes are most likely to develop diabetes, and due to a sedentary lifestyle – the situation may worsen.

Summary:

Blood sugar levels above 180 mg/dL are abnormal and require further investigation.

Main symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

The symptoms of Type-2 diabetes develop slowly over a longer period. Once you enter into the diabetes phase, you will notice the following symptoms/ signs:

  • Polydipsia-Increased thirst feeling
  • Polyuria-Frequent urination desire
  • Fatigue
  • Hyperphagia- Excessive hungry feeling
  • Blurred vision
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Slow-healing sores

Ignoring these signs can be dangerous. As one may end up with the undermentioned chronic symptoms of Diabetes, like-

  • Yeast infections (candidiasis)
  • Tingling or numbness in the feet
  • Acanthosis Nigricans (dark skin patches under armpit, neck, thighs)
  • Neuropathy (nerve damage)
  • Foot pain

Mental symptoms

The above are the visible physical symptoms. But diabetes has an impact on your mental health.

Impacts of diabetes on the mental health condition of a person:

  • Diabetes Distress – A condition when a person feels irritated, defeated, or depressed by diabetes. This occurs when you feel tensed about how this disease is going to impact your life.
  • Burnout- Getting angry frequently. This happens when you stop taking your medications on time, skip insulin doses, and lose your hope of controlling diabetes.
  • Mood swings – Fluctuations in blood sugar levels result in negative moods like aggression and irritability. A high glucose level leads to difficulty in coordination and decision- making ability of a person.
  • Stress and depression – Depression makes it difficult to manage diabetes. Under stress, you won’t be able to stick to your treatment plan. If you notice symptoms like changes in sleep patterns, anger, trouble in concentration, etc., then you must consult a mental health professional right away.

Solution – Talk to your healthcare professional about your anxiety issues. Don’t panic, just maintain a healthy lifestyle and take proper treatment.

Summary:

Diabetes impacts mental health and can cause mood swings, stress, anxiety, and depression. Regular exercises and proper treatment can help you to overcome it.

Risk factors

Risk factors

Certain factors which aggravate the risk of type 2 diabetes include:

  1. Family history – If one of your family members has diabetes, then the chances for you to acquire diabetes increase.
  2. Obesity – Abdominal fat triggers the fat cells to release pro-inflammatory chemicals, which affects the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
  3. Ethnicity – People belonging to ethnic groups like Hispanic/ Latino Americans, African-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Alaska natives have a higher chance to get type 2 diabetes.
  4. Polycystic ovary syndrome / PCOS (formation of cysts on the ovaries) – Women with PCOS have an increased risk of insulin resistance and gestational diabetes.
  5. Age – The probability of getting type 2 diabetes increases with age, especially after 45 years. 
  6. Gestational diabetes – Women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy are more likely to get type 2 diabetes.
  7. Sedentary lifestyle – A major cause of weight gain which can ultimately lead to type 2 diabetes. However, staying active increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin and lowers insulin resistance.
  8. Insulin resistance – Due to insulin resistance, the body cells are unable to use insulin effectively which increases the blood sugar level in blood and can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis 

Regular checkups of blood sugar levels can help in the early detection of Type-2 diabetes.

The doctor shall ask for a blood test. Generally for diagnosing type-2 diabetes doctors may ask for 2 days of regular blood samples. The tests carried out are:

The factors which have brought the children at diabetic risk are:

  • A1c- This test checks average levels of glucose for the past few months.
  • Fasting plasma glucose- This test requires you to fast and have an empty stomach. Fasting of at least 8 hours before the test is required. For measuring blood sugar levels, a blood sample is drawn.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) – Blood sugar levels are again measured, after 2 hours of eating.

Blood sugar levels above 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) are indication of Type-2 diabetes.

Complications of Type-2 Diabetes

If ignored or left untreated type-2 diabetes can impact badly on the body. It can impact many organs like the heart, kidney, liver, eyes and can damage nerves. Some serious complications of type-2 diabetes are:

  • Damaging blood vessels
  • Nerve damage especially in limbs and foot
  • Heart diseases
  • Kidney diseases 
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Eye damage and loss of vision
  • Hearing impairments
  • Dementia- reduced memory

The Bottom Line

Diabetes can be treated easily. All it requires is regular monitoring of your body signs, proper lifestyle, and proper treatment. If you notice any diabetes signs, consult the doctor immediately. Get your blood glucose level checked. This immediate action will protect you from the dreadful result of diabetes complications.

However, your constant hard work and determination can reverse the Diabetes cycle in the long run. The following healthy changes will prove that you are on the right track to Diabetes Reversal:

  • Your blood sugar level remains normal for a long duration.
  • Having a healthy lifestyle.
  • The medication requirement has come to an end.

FAQ’s:

Do I need to take insulin therapy if I have type-2 diabetes?

Answer: It depends on your body’s metabolism and blood sugar levels.  Doctors shall look into your condition to decide whether you need insulin therapy or not. Yes, some Type-2 patients take insulin therapy.

Can children suffer from type-2 diabetes?

Answer: Type-2 is mostly common in adults. But children having genetic history, obesity problems and a bad lifestyle also have type-2 diabetes.

How long the diabetes reversal lasts?

Answer: Studies have found that the type-2 reversal lasts for 10 years as long as they maintain the proper lifestyle and they do not gain more weight.

Can Type-2 diabetes be completely cured?

Answer: You can reverse to normal condition. But it requires early detection and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle.

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