Type 2 diabetes is a common health problem in the developed world. This disease is also becoming a cause for concern in the developing world. Deviation from traditional diets and ways of life may be among the common causes. However, that is a case for another day. It is just important to know the type 2 diabetes symptoms so that you can identify the problem early.
Also read: Understanding type 2 diabetes in a few words
Type 2 diabetes symptoms
Patient body structure
Most type 2 diabetes patients are obese. Some may have a higher body part percentage in their abdominal regions. This adipose tissue promotes insulin resistance which is a key factor in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Obesity or high body fat content is a common part of type 2 diabetes symptoms.
Other common type 2 diabetes symptoms
Patients with diabetes mellitus commonly present with:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Lack of energy
- Frequent bacterial and fungal infections
- Delayed wound healing
These are some of the common type 2 diabetes symptoms.
Some patients also complain about numbness and tingling in their hands and feet. Some experience blurred vision as a symptom of type 2 diabetes.
Patients can also have modest cases of high blood sugar levels which proceed to hyperglycemia. This can then lead to ketoacidosis which is noticed by an acetone smell in one’s breathe or sweat. Some may have persistent infection and stress. All this may lead to coma development.
Can symptoms truly show that you are diabetic?
These type 2 diabetes symptoms are not enough for you to know that you are diabetic. Screening is recommended to be sure for people below 40 years if they present the symptoms. Annual screening is recommended for people older than 40 years. Why?
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is common in older persons over the age of 40 years. Due to unhealthy lifestyles young people have become ready victims of type 2 diabetes. This includes in children, adolescents or young adults.
What fuels this occurrence of type 2 diabetes in younger people?
Unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle factors fuel type 2 diabetes risks in younger people. These result in an increased incidence of obesity which is a key risk factor in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Lack of physical activity and consumption of energy-dense high sugar foods are also other risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
So, what is the solution?
More frequent screenings are recommended for all high-risk groups. High-risk groups are groups of people at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. These people include:
- People over 35 years.
- Obese or overweight people.
- People with first degree relatives with diabetes.
- If you have a history of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease you are also within the group.
- People with the polycystic ovarian syndrome.
- If you have low levels of physical activity eg sedentary lifestyles.
- People with health conditions associated with insulin resistance eg Acanthosis nigrican.
- Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
- Recent weight gain.
- People with hypertension.
- Those with enlarged waist or high body fat content in the upper body.
Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy should have lifelong testing and screening. This should happen at least once every 3 years.
Why screen for type 2 diabetes?
Screening helps you in understanding and detecting the condition earlier. This will help you get earlier treatment and improve your quality of life. Remember that treating anything in its early stages is easier than when it’s established.
Conclusion on type 2 diabetes symptoms
Diabetes mellitus is a modern menace to health. These symptoms are not enough, the best way to be sure you have diabetes is through testing. So get screened and tested if you think you have diabetes mellitus. Knowing about type 2 diabetes symptoms is not enough!