Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that prevents your body from being able to properly use insulin. It’s the result of increased insulin resistance and your pancreas not making enough insulin to manage your blood sugar (glucose) levels.
There are many symptoms of type 2 diabetes. It’s important to know what they are because the condition can be prevented or delayed if caught early.
Read on for the most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes vary from person to person. They can develop slowly over many years and might be so mild that you don’t notice them.
Your kidneys eventually can’t keep up with the extra glucose in your bloodstream. Some of the glucose ends up in your urine and draws in more water. This leads to more frequent urination.
Adults naturally produce 1 to 2 liters of urine per day (a liter is about a quart). Polyuria is defined as more than 3 liters per day.
Excessive thirst, or polydipsia, is often a result of frequent urination. Your body urges you to replace lost fluids by making you feel thirsty.
Of course, everyone gets thirsty sometimes. Extreme thirst is uncharacteristic and persistent, no matter how often you replenish.
Excessive hunger is called polyphagia.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body has a hard time turning glucose into energy. This makes you feel hungry. Eating introduces even more sugar that can’t be processed, and it doesn’t alleviate the hunger.
Diabetes increases your
The increased blood sugar from diabetes can damage blood vessels, including those in the eye, leading to blurry vision.
Fatigue can be a mental or physical tiredness that doesn’t improve with rest. There are many causes of fatigue.
It’s a difficult symptom to research, but a
If you have type 2 diabetes, regular cuts and scratches can take longer to heal. Wounds on your feet are common and easy to overlook. Slow healing foot ulcers occur due to poor blood supply as well as damage to the nerves responsible for blood flow to the feet.
Tingling, numbness and pain in the hands and feet
High glucose can damage the blood vessels that supply nutrients to your nerves. When your nerves don’t receive enough oxygen and nutrients, they cannot function properly.
This is called diabetic neuropathy and is most common in your extremities.
Unexplained weight loss
Insulin resistance causes glucose to build up in the bloodstream instead of being turned into energy. This can cause your body to consume other energy sources, like muscle or fat tissue.
In addition to nerve damage and a weakened immune system, poor blood circulation also increases the chance of developing an infection in people with diabetes. Having more sugar in your blood and tissues allows infections to spread faster.
People with diabetes commonly develop infections of the:
Areas of darkened skin, such as the armpits or neck
Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition that can be a symptom of diabetes. It appears as dark bands of skin that may have a velvety texture.
This is most common in body folds such as your armpits, neck, and groin, but can also occur elsewhere.
While the symptoms above can occur in anyone with type 2 diabetes, the following symptoms are specific to men, or individuals who are assigned male at birth:
- Men with diabetes have lower levels of testosterone, which a
2016 studylinked to a decreased sex drive.
review of research published in 2017found that more than half of men with diabetes are affected by ED. Some menmay experience retrograde ejaculation as a symptom of diabetes, according to research.
- The lower testosterone levels observed in men with diabetes may also contribute to reduced muscle mass.
Type 2 diabetes also may present with symptoms specific to women, such as:
- UTIs are more common in women and are more common and severe in those with type 2 diabetes, according to a
review of research published in 2015.
- Elevated glucose levels allow yeast organisms to
grow more easily, leading to a higher chance of infection.
- Type 2 diabetes does not specifically make it more difficult to conceive, but polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can. Developing PCOS has been linked to insulin resistance, and PCOS has been shown to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to the
Prediabetes is a health condition where your blood sugar is higher than it’s supposed to be, but it’s not high enough for a doctor to diagnose you with type 2 diabetes.