Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
Type 2 diabetes is an illness where the body resist the use of its own insulin. This causes blood glucose levels to rise dangerously high. In the early stages of diabetes complications like blurred vision, frequent urination, great thirst are noticed by the person. In most cases, Type 2 diabetes is first detected in adults who are over the age of 40. Although, the age is going down due to the rise of obesity in children. Around 93% of diabetics have Type 2 diabetes.
Although Type 2 diabetes occurs more frequently in adults over the age of 40, there has been sharp rise in Type 2 diagnoses in children and young adults. Obesity is a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. In the contrast, Type 1 diabetes is rarely associated with obesity and is generally not hereditary.
It is very important to understand that diabetes attacks the whole body – every organ, every inch of blood vessels, every inch of nerve tissue, and every square inch of skin. If you understand that the extra sugar in your blood is a poison everything it touches can become damaged over 10, 20,30 years of poor control of blood sugar levels.
The number one cause of death among type 2 diabetics is heart disease. So, protect yourself with tight blood sugar control as well as tight blood pressure and cholesterol control. Learn more at the end of this page.
Avoid the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes— or at worst reduce the severity of the complications. To do that, it takes education, nutrition, physical activity, medication, and most importantly will power. You have to do this for the rest of your life – like eating.
Many people do not know that by the time a person is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the extra sugar in their blood has been attacking all of their organs and blood vessels for years. But, the person feels nothing – for years. Doctors call this asymptomatic (A-sim-toe-mat-ic)–showing no symptoms. Because of this diabetes mellitus is also called the silent killer.
Here are the basics on how sugar (glucose or fructose) causes type 2 diabetes symptoms: Let’s say a person eats a lot of simple carbohydrates like sugar, and starches (white bread, white rice, white potatoes). These are foods have very high glycemic index. These foods are quickly broken down to glucose in the stomach and small intestines. The glucose very quickly enters the bloodstream. Each time this happens a powerful signal is sent to the pancreas to release more insulin. Depending on what you eat one unit of starch can have from 500 to 2 Million units of glucose. Starch is sugar in disguise.
How insulin works to control blood sugar in a person with Type 2 diabetes: Normally, insulin works like a key to unlock and open the cell’s door. This lets sugar (glucose) enter the cell. In Type 2 diabetes, some of the locks do not recognize insulin as the key. When the insulin key cannot unlock the doorway for glucose to enter, the glucose stays and builds up in the blood. The high level of sugar in the blood causes the pancreas to work even harder to make more insulin. This state of high levels of insulin in the blood is called hyperinsulinemia – this causes another set of problems.
After years of overproducing insulin the pancreas becomes worn out. It then makes a lot less insulin. Now the body needs Type 2 Diabetes medications to push it to produce more insulin or increase the sensitivity of the cells to insulin. When the blood glucose won’t go down a doctor will recommend insulin injections. If the pancreas produces very little insulin, the patient may choose insulin pumps, insulin pens, and insulin jet injectors.
Sugar’s role in damaging the body’s cells.
When the glucose is not taken in and used up by the cells, over a period of time its numbers increase in the blood stream. After more time passes, the number of sugar molecules begin to attach to the cells in the capillaries (very small blood vessels)- for example in the eye.
When sugar sticks to enough cells of blood vessel inner walls, the insides of the walls become damaged. The damaged walls can’t expand to allow enough blood to freely flow. The result is high blood pressure (hypertension) and eventually the capillaries burst in the eye causing cloudy vision and if left untreated, blindness (diabetic retinopathy) .
Poor control of blood sugar levels will cause:
High blood sugar levels
- frequent urination (polyuria)
- thirsty (polydipsia ) – always thirsty
- always hungry and overeating (polyphagia)
- gum disease (periodontal) – leads to infections in mouth and body, loss of teeth
- inflammation and damage to arteries – leads to high blood pressure
- poor blood clotting
- slow to heal
High blood pressure (hypertension)
- blurred vision
- kidneys failure
- heart attack or stroke
Nerve damage (neuropathy)
- numb feet, legs, hands, and arms (peripheral neuropathy)
- painful feet and hands (peripheral)
- bladder failure (incontinence) – cannot control urination, soil underwear and clothing
- delayed emptying of the stomach (autonomic neuropathy) – bad breath, stomach ache, vomiting, nausea
- erectile dysfunction – unable to get or keep an erection
Primary care physicians and diabetes specialists will prescribe oral medications to help you control your blood sugar and any further complications. Click on this link for the basics on how oral medications are used to control the level of sugar in the blood.
Researchers are studying to determine exactly why obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are so closely linked. It has been proven that abdominal fat (gut fat) cells secrete a hormone (adiponectin) that prevents the body from effectively using insulin. Other studies indicate that the insulin does not take the correct pathway between cells, so the positive impact of insulin is never felt.