World Diabetes Awareness Day
As you will know if you listened to my podcast on Monday this week I talk about my journey with type 2 diabetes. You can also find the notes for this podcast by clicking here. Type 2 diabetes symptoms can be mild and hard to recognize if they occur at all. 1 in 4 people with type 2 diabetes do not know they have it which worries me greatly.
Prediabetes is marked by higher than normal blood sugar levels — though not high enough to qualify as diabetes. The CDC notes that this condition often leads to full-blown type 2 diabetes within five years if it’s left untreated through diet and lifestyle modifications.
You can prevent prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight; following a healthy diet that’s rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and lean protein; getting sufficient sleep, and exercising regularly. However, it has been shown that a low carb diet is the way to go.
People with full-blown type 2 diabetes are not able to use the hormone insulin properly and have what’s called insulin resistance. Insulin is necessary for glucose, or sugar, to get from your blood into your cells to be used for energy. When there is not enough insulin — or when the hormone doesn’t function as it should — glucose accumulates in the blood instead of being used by the cells. This sugar accumulation may lead to the aforementioned complications.
But preventing the disease from progressing if you already have it requires first being able to spot the signs and symptoms of diabetes when they appear. While some type 2 diabetes symptoms may not ever show up, you can watch out for the following common signs of the disease and alert your doctor, especially if you have any of the common risk factors for diabetes. Also keep in mind that while most signs of type 2 diabetes are the same in men and women, there are some distinctions.
7 Symptoms Of Type 2 Diabetes You Should Not Ignore
First of all, I just want to emphasise that you do not have to be obese to have diabetes. This is a big misconception. The following are some of the symptoms that you may notice first with men and women:
1. Frequent Urination Could Be Related to Diabetes
When there is excess glucose present in the blood, as with type 2 diabetes, the kidneys react by flushing it out of the blood and into the urine. This results in more urine production and the need to urinate more frequently, as well as an increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in men and women. People with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to get a UTI as people without the disease, and the risk is higher in women than in men.
If you notice you have to go to the bathroom more often than you used to — including perhaps needing to get up every couple of hours during the night to urinate — and you seem to be producing more urine when you do go, talk to your doctor about whether you could have type 2 diabetes.
2. Increased Thirst or a Dry Mouth May Signal Diabetes
High blood glucose sets up a domino effect of sorts within your body. High blood sugar leads to increased production of urine and the need to urinate more often. Frequent urination causes you to lose a lot of fluid and become dehydrated. Consequently, you develop a dry mouth and feel thirsty more often. If you notice that you are drinking more than usual, or that your mouth often feels dry and you feel thirsty more often, these could be signs of type 2 diabetes.
3. Uncontrolled Diabetes May Trigger Unexpected Weight Loss
When you have type 2 diabetes, your cells don’t get enough glucose, which may cause you to lose weight. Also, if you are urinating more frequently because of uncontrolled diabetes, you may lose more calories and water, resulting in weight loss, says Daniel Einhorn, MD, medical director of the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute and clinical professor of medicine at the University of California in San Diego.
4. Feeling Hungry All the Time
People with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance, which means the body cannot use insulin properly to help glucose get into the cells. In people with type 2 diabetes, insulin doesn’t work well in muscle, fat, and other tissues, so your pancreas (the organ that makes insulin) starts to put out a lot more of it to try and compensate. “This results in high insulin levels in the body,” says Fernando Ovalle, MD, director of the multidisciplinary diabetes clinic at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. This insulin level sends signals to the brain that your body is hungry.
5. Foot Pain and Numbness – Diabetic Neuropathy
Over time, a prolonged exposure to high blood sugar can damage the nerves throughout the body — a condition called diabetic neuropathy. Some people may not have any symptoms of the damage, while others may notice numbness, tingling, or pain in the extremities. “At the beginning, [diabetic neuropathy] usually starts in the feet and then it progresses upward,” says Dr Ovalle. Although most common in people who have had type 2 diabetes for 25 years or more, it can occur in people who have prediabetes as well. In some studies, almost 50 per cent of unexplained peripheral neuropathy [in the extremities], whether painful or otherwise, turns out to be caused by prediabetes or diabetes, says Dr Einhorn.
6. Frequent Infections and Feminine Health Issues
Because both yeast and bacteria multiply more quickly when blood sugar levels are elevated, women with diabetes are overall at a higher risk of feminine health issues, such as bacterial infections, yeast infections, and vaginal thrush, especially when blood sugar isn’t well controlled. And a lack of awareness about having prediabetes or diabetes can make managing blood sugar impossible.
In men and women, foot infections are also a common symptom, because the disease can damage the architecture of the foot, including the skin, blood vessels, and nerves. But Einhorn says foot problems are usually seen more frequently in those with advanced diabetes.
7. Blurred Vision
The lens of the eye is a flexible membrane suspended by muscles that change the shape of the lens to focus the eye. In a high-sugar environment, such as with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, the lens’s ability to bend is altered. Although the lens is not damaged, the muscles of the eye have to work harder to focus.
Blurred vision occurs when there are rapid changes in blood sugar — from low to high or high to low — and the eye muscles have not yet adapted to it, Einhorn says. Blurred vision is one of the early warning signs of type 2 diabetes. The body later adapts to the sugar levels, and your vision will go back to normal.
My Type 2 Diabetes
I was lucky as I was selected to take part in a groundbreaking health documentary on ITV called The Fast Fix: Diabetes. In it, myself and 4 others were put on a very low-calorie diet in an attempt to put our diabetes into remission. It can and we did. The products we used were made by Exante not only did we put our diabetes into remission, but we also lost weight and our liver fat returned to normal.
I hope that the article today helps people. I am also today in The Guardian Newspaper along with one of my fellow Fast Fixer’s.
I learnt so much on my type 2 diabetes journey that I have published a couple of books. The first one “It’s Not Rocket Science” can be bought for £7.99 on Amazon or free on Kindle Unlimited by clicking here.
There is also a Food Diary/Journal that you can lose alongside any diet that you may be on which helps me no end. It will last you 6 months and there are various charts, and helpful information in there too. Again this can be found on Amazon by clicking here.
As usual, if there is anything you want to ask me that you can’t find on this blog please do not hesitate to message me or leave a comment.
Have a wonderful day and if you think you have one or more of the above symptoms please get yourself to the Doctors and ask for a blood test.