If you know what to look for with Type 2 Diabetes – you might know you have it before your doctor tells you
Almost 1 in 3 Americans are at risk for developing this form of diabetes.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people with Type 2 Diabetes who aren’t yet diagnosed. Early diagnosis is very important with Type 2 Diabetes. Unlike many diseases Type 2 Diabetes can be reversed! The earlier you know the better.
Have you seen signs you have Type 2 Diabetes?
When a person shows signs of Type 2 Diabetes, it’s important to see a doctor. But how do you know it’s time to make that appointment?
Here are some signs you have Type 2 Diabetes. If you have these…it’s time to make the appointment with your doctor:
- Your family has members with Type 2 Diabetes
- Afternoon fatigue
- Sleep is a challenge
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger
- Vision changes
- Slow healing of small injuries
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
This disease occurs when a person’s body cannot process sugar as it should.
In a non-diabetic, when a person eats sugar, their body turns it into glucose. When a new batch of glucose enters the blood, the body releases insulin in response. This insulin helps the glucose enter the cells of the body. Once it’s in the cells, this glucose gets used for energy.
What’s going on with people who are developing Type 2 Diabetes?
People with advanced Type 2 Diabetes may be unable to create insulin at all. Also, their cells aren’t able to identify and use insulin. This leads to high blood sugar. A spike in blood sugar can cause permanent harm to the body. The kidneys, heart, and eyes are the most vulnerable.
No matter which category a diabetes patient falls into, the result is the same. The cells can’t effectively use glucose.
Type 2 Diabetes causes insulin resistance. The cells are not sensitive to insulin and resist it. This means the cells can’t use insulin effectively.
When all that sugar stays in the blood, it causes many problems. It causes high blood pressure, blood vessel damage, heart, and kidney damage.
These are problems we can avoid by starting a low carbohydrate diet.
We also need to monitor our blood sugar all day. A continuous glucose monitor is the best way to keep constant track of your blood sugar levels.
The Difference Between Type I and Type 2 Diabetes
There are two common types of diabetes.
Type 1 usually affects people who have some autoimmune illness. This causes their bodies to stop making insulin. Usually, if a person has type 1 diabetes, their chances of getting an early diagnosis are better.
The second kind, Type 2, is sometimes also called acquired diabetes. This means that it isn’t something a person is born with.
People with Type 2 Diabetes often have a genetic predisposition to the disease.
It happens over time. For people with Type 2 Diabetes, their cells may stop working with insulin or their body may stop making insulin. However, not all people are genetically predisposed to this. Many end up with it due to the typical high processed carbohydrate western diet.
Risk Factors of Type 2 Diabetes
People often experience something called risk factors before they start showing symptoms. This is because Type 2 diabetes develops over time.
Risk factors are personal characteristics that people display before they ever get diagnosed.
Type 2 diabetes is more likely to happen in people who eat (and these days drink) diets high in sugar.
These sugars are called carbohydrates (carbs.) They include things like chips, juice, soda, candy, and coffee-type drinks. Some of these drinks might as well be dessert. They also can be foods like pasta, bread, pastries, cereals… you know, everyone’s favorite foods!
Eating unhealthy food every once in a while is usually not enough to cause Type 2 diabetes.
It usually comes from eating unhealthy foods every day.
There are other factors that may be out of someone’s control, over a long period of time. With that in mind, risk factors3 for Type 2 diabetes include things like:
- hormonal factors
- stress factors
- being at a heavier weight
- being over the age of 45
- not getting regular exercise
- having sleep apnea
- using tobacco
- having a family history of diabetes
Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Risk factors are always a great way to tell if you should be on the lookout for Type 2 diabetes4. But until you start showing signs of diabetes, there is no way to know if you could be at risk. Looking at family history and early testing is key.
High Blood Sugar
Diabetes patients can take a long time to show specific signs and symptoms.
One early warning sign is testing fasting blood glucose numbers. High blood glucose levels are a sign that you may be developing diabetes.
If you want to be proactive, start checking with a blood glucose tracker daily.
Regular testing that shows high blood glucose levels is a sign of prediabetes. Even if you don’t yet have any other symptoms, you need to watch out for this early indicator.
You can also ask your doctor to add the A1c and fasting blood sugar tests to your routine appointment.
One of the first signs that your body is beginning to enter actual diabetes is dehydration.
When glucose levels in your blood get too high, your kidneys start working hard to remove all that sugar. The problem is that when a lot of glucose is removed from the blood, so is a lot of water. This can cause you to pee more than normal, feel very thirsty, have dry skin, or have a dry mouth.
Damage to Parts of the Body
Many of the other red flags for diabetes are due to the damage that high blood sugar does to our bodies over time.
When the blood has a lot of glucose, it can become thicker than normal. This can cause issues such as damaging small blood vessels. It overworks certain organs and leaves parts of the body with poor blood flow.
Signs of this may include:
- vision changes
- nerve pain
- electrolyte imbalances
- heart damage
- poor immune system
- kidney damage.
Why Do You Need to Know This?
Type 2 Diabetes is not only extremely common; it can cause long-term damage or even death if it isn’t treated. The odds of developing type 2 diabetes have never been higher. There currently about are 96 million Americans5 with prediabetes. If you know the signs and symptoms to look for, you can make sure you get checked sooner. This could save your life!