Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It is a lifelong (chronic) disease characterised by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes develop slowly unlike type 1 diabetes in which symptoms develop and progress rapidly. Many people with this type of disease may not be aware for several years about their sickness.
Common symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include:
- Increased thirst: Rise in the blood sugar levels causes fluids to move out your cells. This makes you feel thirsty.
- Frequent urination: The rise in blood sugar, which causes fluids to move out of the cells leads to more frequent urination than normal. The increased frequency of urination is present both during the day and night.
- Increased hunger: The cells in the body are not able to use glucose in the blood when insulin is deficient. In such a case, the cells become deprived of an energy source and you feel hungry more frequently even after eating.
- Loss of Weight: This is more evident in type 1 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes tend to be obese. Some people with type 2 diabetes may also lose weight as glucose is not used efficiently and spills into urine from the blood, which thereby leads to a loss of nutrient s from the body and weight loss (although appetite often increases).
- Fatigue or weak and tired feeling: The cells of the body are deprived of an energy source because of their inefficiency in using blood glucose due to insulin deficiency or resistance; this makes the patient feel weak, tired and irritable.
- Blurred vision: Elevated glucose levels in the blood leads to loss of fluid from the lenses of the eyes, hence, affecting your ability to focus and see clearly.
- Slow healing or frequent infections or sores: High blood sugar impairs the body’s ability to resist or heal infections. Therefore, people with type 2 diabetes tend to take time to heal or have frequent infections or sores.
- Patches of dark skin (acanthosis nigricans): In type-2 diabetes, some people may develop patches of velvety, dark skin in areas such as the armpits and neck area; this condition is known as acanthosis nigricans. It is a sign of insulin resistance.
Some other symptoms that may develop in Type 2 diabetes include:
- Itchy skin, especially in around the groin or vaginal area.
- Recurrent yeast infections.
- Tingling and numbness of the feet and hands.
- Sudden weight gain.
If you have any symptoms that are suggestive of diabetes, consult your doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can delay or prevent the complications of diabetes.
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