Many people are not aware that damage from type 2 diabetes starts several years before the presentation of symptoms. Whilst knowing about type 2 diabetes symptoms is essential, knowing about the early warning signs of type 2 diabetes is also important. Since the damage may occur before the presentation of type 2 diabetes symptoms, it is important to note that early detection of the condition is important. This is because early detection of warning signs helps you contain the disease before any serious damage has been done.
It is unwise for you to disregard the early warning signs of type 2 diabetes. Because by the time you want to act, the damage is already done.
Early warning signs of type 2 diabetes
Also read: Type 2 diabetes symptoms you should know
Also read: Understanding type 2 diabetes in a few words
A list of type 2 diabetes early warning signs
1. Unexplained weight loss
This is one of the common early warning signs of type 2 diabetes. It is present in individuals that have very high levels of hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia is a persistent condition of elevated blood sugar levels. An unexplained weight loss usually occurs if type 2 diabetes remains undetected for long periods. It signals an impaired metabolism of glucose and insulin in your body.
2. Frequent fatigue and restlessness or irritability
These are some of the most common early warning signs of undetected type 2 diabetes mellitus. Persistent incidents of frequent fatigue and restlessness may mean that you are diabetic. Or in some cases, you have an advanced risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Cases of fatigue may occur during minimal physical activity. These are some of the warning signs of diabetes you should look out for.
3. Repeated infections
One of the earliest signs that you may be diabetic is frequent infections. These may be infections of the genital areas, urinary tract, skin, oral cavity or delayed wound healing.
These infections may be caused by several other conditions. However, if they have become more frequent, you should probably get tested or screened.
4. Dry mouth and frequent thirst
If you have a frequent thirst and dry mouth, it may be an early sign that you are diabetic. Frequent thirst and dry mouth may also be accompanied by frequent urination.
5. Burning pain and numbness on feet
This is also a common early warning sign of type 2 diabetes. It also occurs in undetected cases of diabetes.
6. Acanthosis nigricans
This condition presents velvety dark patches on the neck, armpits and groin areas. It indicates that you have a case of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a causative factor for type 2 diabetes.
7. Itching and decreased vision
Prediabetic conditions may also cause persistent itching on your body. It may also lead to decreased vision.
8. Impotence or erectile dysfunction
Usually, impotence and erectile dysfunction are common occurrences in men who are diabetic. So, if you are troubled by erectile dysfunction and impotence, it may be an early warning sign for diabetes.
9. Reactive hypoglycemia
In some cases, you may have reactive hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a persistent condition of low blood sugar levels. It may also occur in diabetic peopl
Prediabetes: another warning sign
A prediabetic stage is a stage that occurs before an individual is fully diabetic.
In this stage of prediabetes impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance conditions may be responsible for some of the early warning signs and symptoms. These conditions may also lead to vascular damage and complications that are common in full type 2 diabetes conditions.
People in the prediabetic stage spend many years at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. This is because in this stage the diabetic conditions are still fully manifesting.
A person with prediabetes may experience hyperglycemia 2 to 3 hours after a meal. This shows that their insulin metabolism is impaired. And this indicates an impending onset of type 2 diabetes.
Why is it important to know the early warning signs
Knowing the early warning signs of type 2 diabetes can help reduce the damage caused by undiagnosed cases of diabetes. Also, knowing the early warning signs helps you identify the problem early. Which also means that you will have treatment earlier. As a result, this helps you improve your health status and quality of life. It also improves the health status of people who would have otherwise suffered silently.
Being aware of the early warning signs of diabetes would help in preventing new cases of type 2 diabetes. This is done by providing opportunities to intervene at the stage of prediabetes. Type 2 diabetes is preventable among prediabetic individuals. This is possible through lifestyle improvements in terms of dietary habits and physical activity. This helps in preventing diabetes complications.