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Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

What Are Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms?

What is type 2 diabetes? Also known as diabetes mellitus  type 2, type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolism disorder. It’s characterized by insulin resistance, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and lack of enough insulin in the body.

Type 2-Diabetes commonly affects adults though it has been increasingly affecting children due to an increase in childhood obesity.

There is no known cure for diabetes type 2 but it can be managed by exercising, eating well and observing a healthy body weight. Diabetes medication and insulin therapy may be required if a good diet and exercise are unable to manage your blood sugar levels.

Signs of type 2 diabetes include a feeling to pee, loss of weight and feeling thirsty constantly.

What Are The Early Symptoms of Diabetes?

Anatomy of the human body showing the early signs of diabetes

Sometimes diabetes develops without any warning signs. This is why it’s important to go for a regular checkup if you have any of the following type 2 diabetes symptoms. Early treatment of diabetes can prevent serious complications.

  • Fatigue – Constantly feeling tired and weak
  • Weight loss – Unexplained weight loss even though you are eating well
  • Being famished – Always feeling hungry even after meals
  • Excessive urination – This may also come with a urinary tract infection
  • Headaches
  • Impaired vision
  • Increased thirst which is a direct result of excessive urination
  • Dry mouth

 

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)?

Diabetic people get low blood sugar or hypoglycemia when their bodies lack enough sugar. This can be caused by a number of things like diet, exercise, health conditions or certain medication. Insulin treatment and sulfonylureas a type of diabetes medication can cause low blood sugar.

Consuming alcohol and taking the following medications while diabetes medications may also cause low blood sugar:

One can also get low blood sugar if they consume too much insulin for the amount of carbohydrates they drink or eat. This can happen in the following instances:

  • If you consume a meal with a lot of simple sugars
  • Missing a snack or not eating a full meal
  • Eating later than usual
  • Consuming alcohol before eating

Diabetic people should never skip meals especially if they are on diabetes medication.

Every person with diabetes experiences different symptoms of hypoglycemia and it’s important to spot yours. These symptoms are experienced when your blood sugar levels are 70ml/dl or lower:

  • Uncertainty
  • Grumpiness
  • Migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling shakiness
  • Being famished always
  • Feebleness
  • Perspiration
  • Nervousness
  • Pale skin
  • Racing pulse
  • Trembling

Lack of treatment may cause severe symptoms which may include the following:

  • Mouth and tongue numbness
  • Bad dreams or nightmares
  • Hesitation
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Fainting
  • Lack of attentiveness

 

If you are diabetic and you suspect that you may have hypoglycemia, it’s important that you check your blood sugar levels.

Do you experience a drop of sugar level after taking meals which consist of lots of sugar? If yes, change your diet and avoid sugary foods. You could also consume smaller but frequent meals throughout the day.

Does your blood sugar level drop when you haven’t eaten? Snack on proteins or more complex carbohydrates before bedtime.

If your doctor finds out that you consume more insulin in the evening or morning hours, he may lower your insulin dose or change the time that you get your dose.

 

Things to Do When You Have Low Blood Sugar

First of all, you should drink or eat 15 grams of carbohydrates which is fast acting. This could be:

  • 3-4 glucose tablets
  • A half cup of fruit juice
  • Eat 4-6 pieces of hard candy which is not sugar-free
  • Put 1 tablespoon of honey under your tongue for quick absorption into your bloodstream
  • A tube of glucose gel
  • A cup of skim milk

Drink a half cup of a soft drink which is not sugar-free.

Check your blood sugar levels fifteen minutes after eating foods with sugar. If your blood sugar level is still lower than 70ml/gd, take another serving of the foods listed above. Do this repeatedly till you achieve a desirable blood sugar level.

 

In The Event That You Pass Out

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) may lead to you passing out. If that happens, you will need someone to inject you with a glucagon injection.

Glucagon is a medication which is used to raise blood sugar level and you may need it if you suffer from severe hypoglycemia. Family members and close friends should know how to give a glucagon injection to a diabetic member of their family. This will come in handy when you get a hypoglycemic reaction.

If you happen to see someone suffering from a hypoglycemic reaction, call an ambulance and rush them to the hospital. Do not try to give an unconscious person food or drinks as this may cause choking.

Don’t drive if you have hypoglycemia.

Pull off the road if you experience any hypoglycemia symptoms while driving. Check your sugar level and eat some sugary foods. Wait for fifteen minutes, check your blood sugar level and repeat the process if necessary.

Eat food with carbohydrate or protein before embarking on your journey. Remember to always have a snack or food with high sugar content in your car in case of an emergency.

 

How to Prevent Hypoglycemia If You Are Diabetic

  • A diabetic person should follow the following steps to prevent a hypoglycemia reaction:
  • Follow your meal plan
  • Take at least 3 meals which are evenly spaced daily with snacks in between as prescribed
  • Plan your meals to be between 4 to 5 hours apart
  • Exercise for 30 minutes or one hour after meals and check your blood sugar level before and after the exercise
  • Take blood sugar levels tests as often as prescribed by your doctor
  • Always carry your diabetes identification bracelet
  • Be moderate on alcohol and constantly monitor your blood sugar level
  • Learn to identify when your medicine is at its highest level

 

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia)?

Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar is a condition which occurs when the glucose levels in your blood become elevated.

Our bodies have a capability of controlling blood sugar but diabetic people may develop insulin resistance. This may result in high blood sugar.

Hyperglycemia can be caused by the following:

  • Eating too many carbs for the amount of insulin you took
  • If you are stressed your blood sugar may rise
  • If you exercise less frequently
  • Participating in strenuous physical activity when you have low insulin and high blood sugar
  • Skipping your oral glucose-lowering medicine or insulin
  • If you are sick or have an infection

 

These are some of the early signs and symptoms of high blood sugar:

Fatigue

Being fatigued, weak and tired are non-specific hyperglycemia symptoms. These are also low blood sugar symptoms that’s why it’s important to get checked if you are fatigued often.

Migraines

A man in pain from a migraine

If you suffer from chronic headaches it’s advisable that you consult your doctor to rule out high blood sugar.

Impaired Vision

Excess amounts of glucose may cause diabetic retinopathy which might cause blurred vision.

Increased Urination

This is caused by the damage to the blood vessels caused by extra glucose in the kidneys. This inhibits the filtration process causing you to urinate more.

Increased Thirst

Increased thirst is directly related to frequent urination.

 

When high blood sugar is left untreated, the symptoms may become more severe over a course of few days. The following conditions can be caused by very high blood sugar:

  • Stomach disorders
  • Dry patchy mouth
  • Skepticism
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lack of concentration
  • Increased hunger

 

If you are diabetic it’s wise to stick to a regular individualized meal plan. Lifestyle changes which may include a healthy diet and exercise can help lower high blood sugar.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help lower high blood sugar. Sugary foods should be consumed in moderation depending on your individual condition.

Keeping your blood sugar level in control is important and you can control it by observing the following:

  • Follow your meal plan religiously
  • Follow your medication and exercise program
  • Count the number of carbs in every snack and food you take
  • Regularly test your blood sugar level
  • Always have your diabetes identification to notify people you are diabetic in case of an emergency

 

How Can You Manage High Blood Sugar?

  • Drink a lot of water – Water is important in removing excess sugar from your blood through urine and also helps prevent dehydration
  • Ask your doctor what exercise is good for you since under certain conditions, working out can raise your blood sugar
  • Switch medication – Your doctor may have to change the type of medications you are using, timing and the amount of medication you take (before making these changes, consult your doctor first)
  • Notify your doctor if you have repeated abnormal readings of high blood sugar

 

Hyperglycemia Acute Symptoms and Chronic Symptoms

Acute hyperglycemia can cause serious complications. The following are the symptoms of acute and chronic hyperglycemia:

  • Frequent hunger – This hunger is often pronounced even after meals
  • Persistent urge to pee – This is an increased volume of urination and not the frequency of urination
  • Frequent thirst – Frequent and excessive thirst
  • Restlessness
  • Itchy and dry skin
  • General body weakness
  • Unexplained loss of weight
  • Impaired vision
  • Parched mouth
  • Prolonged cuts, wounds, and scrapes healing
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Recurrent infections
  • Tingly feet and heels
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Increased anxiety and sadness
  • Dehydration caused by frequent urination
  • A fruity smelling mouth odor
  • Hesitation
  • Decreased concentration

 

Prolonged untreated hyperglycemia can cause ketoacidosis which is a life-threatening condition which requires immediate treatment. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include the following:

  • Xerostomia
  • Shortness of breath
  • A fruity smelling breath
  • Nausea and vomiting

 

Hypoglycemia Acute Symptoms and Chronic Symptoms

Low blood sugar is (hypoglycemia) known as insulin reaction/shock. Hypoglycemia symptoms are important indicators of low blood sugar and you should learn your own hypoglycemia signs and symptoms. This is because each person’s reaction to hypoglycemia is different.

Hypoglycemia can cause accidents, coma, injuries and even death. That’s why you should be able to identify your hypoglycemic symptoms and seek treatment immediately. The following are the hypoglycemic symptoms and chronic symptoms:

  • Impatience or irritability
  • A rapid and increased heartbeat
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Insomnia
  • Uneasiness and nervousness
  • Shakiness
  • Increased appetite
  • Nausea
  • Indecision
  • Fatigue and body weakness
  • Improper coordination
  • Headaches
  • Bad dreams and nightmares
  • Impaired or blurred vision
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Anger outbursts, feeling sad and being stubbornness
  • Sweating chills
  • Numbness in the tongue and feet
  • Crying out during sleep
  • Pale skin

 

Severe hypoglycemia can make one appear as if they are intoxicated. They move clumsily and slur their words.

It’s important to see a doctor quickly if you observe that you have hypoglycemic symptoms and you are not diabetic.

If you are diabetic and hypoglycemia is not responding to initial treatment, seek a doctor’s advice. Hypoglycemia initial treatment includes drinking regular soft drinks and juice or taking your glucose tablets.

What To Know If You Are Suffering From Diabetic Symptoms

It is very important for a diabetic person to know the signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes to avoid fatalities.

Detecting the early symptoms of diabetes is crucial in helping you manage type 2 diabetes. This followed by a healthy diet and exercise can help keep type 2 diabetes under control.

The signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia are almost similar that’s why it’s important to do regular blood sugar tests.

Remember to always carry your diabetes identification card and bracelet with you in case of an emergency.

If you experience hypoglycemic symptoms while driving, pull over and eat or drink a snack with high sugar to spike your blood sugar level. Take a blood sugar test after fifteen minutes and repeat this process until your blood sugar rises before you continue driving.

When you see someone having a hypoglycemic reaction, call an ambulance and rush them to the hospital immediately. To avoid choking, do not give foods or drinks to an unconscious diabetic patient.

Type 2 Diabetes Success Story

Avoid the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes all together. Check out John’s story of how he reversed type 2 diabetes and how his symptoms disappeared.