Diabetes is a life-long disease that affects the way your body handles glucose, a kind of sugar in your blood. Most people with the condition have type 2. A person with Type 2 diabetes has insulin resistance and can face severe health complications. Their pancreas can produce enough insulin to manage glucose or sugar levels in the body. Research study shows that people over 40 can be attacked by Type 2 diabetes due to overweight, obese or having a family history of diabetes. Hence it is very important to know the symptoms so that you can protect from major ailments. Undergoing diabetes test frequently once you attain the age of 40 yrs will reduce the chance of getting Type 2 diabetes.
What Causes Diabetes?
Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin. It’ll let your cells turn glucose from the food you eat into energy. People with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but their cells don’t use it as well as they should. Doctors call this insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes more insulin to try to get glucose into the cells. But eventually it can’t keep up, and the sugar builds up in your blood instead.
Type 2 Diabetes – Symptoms
Thirst is the feeling of needing to drink something. It occurs whenever the body is dehydrated for any reason. Any condition that can result in a loss of body water can lead to thirst or excessive thirst. For this reason, thirst is a characteristic symptoms of certain medical conditions, most notably diabetes mellitus. Thirst may be accompanied by other signs of dehydration such as decreased urine output, reduced sweating and tear production, muscle cramps, weakness, lightheadedness, and nausea. Dehydration and thirst may be minor or severe, depending upon the amount of water lost by the body. Polydipsia is the medical term that refers to increased or excessive thirst.
Dry mouth is more than just feeling thirsty. You get it when your mouth makes very little saliva. Dry mouth is a condition that results from a decreased volume of saliva in the mouth. Dry mouth is also called xerostomia. Xerostomia can make it difficult to speak, eat, and digest food and can lead to malnutrition. Extreme dry mouth and salivary gland dysfunction can produce significant anxiety, permanent mouth and throat disorders, and can impair a person’s quality of life.
The sensation of constant hunger is a symptom of several diseases. It may occur on its own or with other symptoms and if not treated it will lead to excessive eating. This in turn will result in weight gain in most people. However, this sensation of hunger is also sometimes confused with other sensations like pain in the stomach region and even low energy levels.
Not all of the causes of constant hunger are diseases. Sometimes it can be a symptom of a physiologic change in the body, like with pregnancy. This is usually short lived. However, when constant hunger is associated with excessive weight gain or even weight loss, and other symptoms then it needs to be investigated further.
Numbness in Hands and Legs
Tingling in the hands and feet is often associated with other symptoms like pain, burning, or numbness in the hands and feet. These type of sensations commonly reflect damage to the nerves in the area (neuropathy); because these are peripheral areas of the body, the term peripheral neuropathy is used to refer to this type of symptom. Peripheral neuropathy has a number of causes and varies in severity among affected people. Vitamin deficiency, diabetes, and kidney failure are among the medical causes of tingling in the hands and feet due to nerve damage. Taking certain medications can also cause tingling in the hands and feet. Other potential causes of peripheral neuropathy include autoimmune diseases, toxins, alcoholism, and infections.
Slow healing cuts or sores
High levels of blood glucose caused by diabetes can, over time, affect the nerves (neuropathy) and lead to poor blood circulation, making it hard for blood – needed for skin repair – to reach areas of the body affected by sores or wounds.
This can cause them to remain open and unhealed for months, increasing the risk of:
- Fungal infections
- Bacterial infections
Frequent urination, where you feel an urge to pass urine more often than usual, is not just a a nuisance and a cause of poor sleep, it can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.
Polyuria is a medical term that refers to the excessive passing of urine (frequent urination).
For instance, frequent urination can result from drinking too many fluids, particularly those containing caffeine or alcohol. Pregnant women often have the condition, due to the enlarged uterus pressing on the bladder.
Blurry vision is the loss of sharpness of eyesight, making objects appear out of focus and hazy.
The primary causes of blurred vision are refractive errors — nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism — or presbyopia. But blurry vision also can be a symptom of more serious problems, including a potentially sight-threatening eye disease or neurological disorder.
Blurred vision can affect both eyes, but some people experience blurry vision in one eye only.
Cloudy vision, where objects are obscured and appear “milky,” is often mistaken for blurry vision. Cloudy vision usually is a symptom of specific conditions such as cataracts, but blurry and cloudy vision can both be symptoms of a serious eye problem.
Unexplained weight loss, or losing weight without trying — particularly if it’s significant or persistent — may be a sign of an underlying medical disorder.
The point at which unexplained weight loss becomes a medical concern is not exact. But many doctors agree that a medical evaluation is called for if you lose more than 5 percent of your weight in six months to a year, especially if you’re an older adult. For example, a 5 percent weight loss in someone who is 160 pounds (72 kilograms) is 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms). In someone who is 200 pounds (90 kilograms), it’s 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms).
Your weight is affected by your calorie intake, activity level, overall health, age, nutrient absorption, and economic and social factors.
Fatigue (either physical, mental or both) is a symptom that may be difficult for the patient to describe and words like lethargic, exhausted and tired may be used. Taking a careful and complete history is the key to help making the underlying diagnosis of the cause for the symptom of fatigue. However, in about a third of patients the cause is not found and the diagnosis is not known. There are numerous causes of fatigue symptoms. Examples of some treatable causes of fatigue include anemia, diabetes,thyroid disease, heart disease, COPD and sleep disorders (Table). Long lasting complaints of fatigue do not equate to chronic fatigue syndrome. Specific criteria as set by the CDC need to be met to make that particular diagnosis.
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that results in blood sugar, or glucose, abnormalities. This causes a host of symptoms and related complications, some of which can be life-threatening. A common symptom of high or low blood glucose is a headache. Headaches alone aren’t harmful, but they can signal that your blood sugar is out of its target range. If you have frequent headaches, diabetes may be to blame. Find out if diabetes is the cause of your headache so you can take proper action.
Headaches are classified as being primary or secondary. Primary headaches occur when brain cells or nerves, blood vessels, or muscles around the head send pain signals to the brain. Migraines and tension headaches are common examples.
Secondary headaches, on the other hand, are not directly caused by the type of pain signals mentioned above. These types of headaches are attributed to underlying health conditions or medical problems. Diabetes is one cause of secondary headaches. Other causes can include:
- fever or infection
- high blood pressure, or hypertension
- anxiety or stress
- hormone fluctuations, such as those occurring during menstrual cycle
- eye disorders
- structural abnormalities within the brain
For people with diabetes, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) occurs when there’s too much insulin and not enough sugar (glucose) in the blood. Hypoglycemia is defined as blood sugar below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.9 millimoles per liter (mmol/L).
Several factors can cause hypoglycemia in people with diabetes, including taking too much insulin or other diabetes medications, skipping a meal, or exercising harder than usual.
Pay attention to early warning signs, so you can treat low blood sugar promptly. Treatment involves short-term solutions — such as taking glucose tablets — to raise your blood sugar into a normal range.
Untreated, diabetic hypoglycemia can lead to seizures and loss of consciousness — a medical emergency. Rarely, it can be deadly. Tell family and friends what symptoms to look for and what to do in case you’re not able to treat the condition yourself.
Over time, high blood sugar can damage and cause problems with your:
- Heart and blood vessels
- Nerves, which can lead to trouble with digestion, the feeling in your feet, and your sexual response
- Wound healing
If you find any of the symptom(s) above, you may have High Blood Sugar. But don’t worry, you can control your High Blood Sugar and lower your risk taking necessary treatment timely.
The best way to avoid these complications is to manage your diabetes well.
- Take your diabetes medications or insulin on time.
- Check your blood glucose.
- Eat right, and don’t skip meals.
- See your doctor regularly to check for early signs of trouble.
Diabetes Can Lead To Infection
High Blood Sugar helps bacteria and fungus to thrive easily.
Neural and vascular skin damage in diabetic skin leads to nerve and blood vessel damage. This makes the skin’s defence weak, thereby allowing infections to thrive.
Dehydration in summer reduces the water content in the body leading to frequent urinary tract infections and further casuing dehydration.
When obesity and other metabolic diseases like high cholesterol coexist with diabetes, the chances of skin diseases are higher.
Common skin diseases are bacterial infections, boils, carbuncles, abscess, cysts, fungal infections, yeasts etc especially on skin folds like groin and armpits.
DIABETICS ARE MORE PRONE TO SKIN INFECTIONS
Taking good care of your skin daily, exercising and keeping blood sugar levels in check can help
Statistics say that 10 per cent of Indians are diabetic and 20 per cent pre-diabetic. The staggering number of people dealing with this disease undergo a vast range of related problems and skin infections is one of the top ones in that list.
Our skin, the largest organ in our body, is affected by this disease in many different ways. Experts say that one-third of diabetic patients have to deal with some kind of skin infection or the other. There are conditions that are unique and others that are common among people with diabetes.
WHY DOES IT HAPPEN
Diabetics are more prone to skin infections especially during the hot summer months. This happens due to a combination of heat and humidity.Also, factors in a diabetic patient make them prone to skin diseases and infections more than others. Itchy skin is a common symptom of diabetes, and if one has been suffering from long-standing diabetes, it can lead to dry skin as well. This is because high blood sugar provides a favourable condition for fungal growth, thereby increasing the risk of skin problems like fungal and bacterial infections.
CHECK FOR SKIN PROBLEMS REGULARLY
Experts say that it is very important for people who are suffering from diabetes to check for skin problems regularly . They should check for rashes or bumps, especially in the areas where they inject their insulin.
EFFECT OF UNCONTROLLED BLOOD GLUCOSE
Uncontrolled blood glucose affects sebaceous glands or sweat glands, leading to itching in feet and legs, which is attributed to fungal infection. When coupled with other risk factors of diabetes like eczema, stress and anxiety, it gets aggravated.
TREATMENT Bringing the blood sugar levels under proper control is one of the best ways to treat these skin infections say experts. Apart from that, one must eat healthy, exercise daily and also stick to one’s medication to avoid skin problems. Taking care of your skin regularly can also help to reduce the risk of skin infections that are related to diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes – Treatment
Getting a Diagnosis
Your doctor can test your blood for signs of diabetes. Usually doctors will test you on two different days to confirm the diagnosis. But if your blood glucose is very high or you have a lot of symptoms, one test may be all you need.
A1C: The A1C test is a blood test that provides your average levels of blood glucose over the past 3 months. Other names for the A1C test are hemoglobin A1C, HbA1C, glycated hemoglobin, and glycosylated hemoglobin test. You can eat and drink before this test. When it comes to using the A1C to diagnose diabetes, your doctor will consider factors such as your age and whether you have anemia or another problem with your blood.1 The A1C test is not accurate in people with anemia.
Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG): The FPG blood test measures your blood glucose level at a single point in time. For the most reliable results, it is best to have this test in the morning, after you fast for at least 8 hours. Fasting means having nothing to eat or drink except sips of water.
Random Plasma Glucose (RPG) test:
Sometimes health care professionals use the RPG test to diagnose diabetes when diabetes symptoms are present and they do not want to wait until you have fasted. You do not need to fast overnight for the RPG test. You may have this blood test at any time.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT): The OGTT measures blood glucose after you fast for at least 8 hours. First, a health care professional will draw your blood. Then you will drink the liquid containing glucose. For diagnosing gestational diabetes, you will need your blood drawn every hour for 2 to 3 hours.
High blood glucose levels at any two or more blood test times during the OGTT—fasting, 1 hour, 2 hours, or 3 hours—mean you have gestational diabetes. Your health care team will explain what your OGTT results mean.
|Diagnosis||A1C (percent)||Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG)||Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)||Random Plasma Glucose Test (RPG)|
|Normal||below 5.7||99 or below||139 or below|
|Prediabetes||5.7 to 6.4||100 to 125||140 to 199|
|Diabetes||6.5 or above||126 or above||200 or above||200 or above|