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Type 2 Diabetes – Making the Diagnosis

Type 2 Diabetes – Making the Diagnosis

According to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated 6 million people in the United States have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes but don’t know it yet!  This is because the signs and symptoms of this insidious disease are often subtle in onset, slow in development and sporadic in appearance.  As such, it is often called the “silent” killer.

When you experience any two of the following symptoms coupled with high-risk factors like family history, race and age, you are well advised to hightail it your health care provider so he can order blood tests for you:

1.  Excessive Thirst and Frequent Urination:

Because your body’s insulin supply cannot process glucose in the normal way, glucose simply builds up in your blood.  In turn, your kidneys must work overtime to absorb the excess and filter it out of your body through your urine.

This make frequent urination an inconvenient part of your life, day and night.  And you drink more fluid due to feeling dehydrated and so the cycle continues.

2.  Abnormal Weight Fluctuations:

Sudden weight variations are a result of two things in type 2 diabetes.  First, unintentional weight loss occurs due to the large amount of fluid lost through frequent urination.  Second, you experience constant hunger due to the high amount of insulin in your bloodstream: this causes you to snack on high-carbohydrate, high-fat foods and gain weight in the process.

It’s a vicious cycle and you might just attribute it to stress.

3.  Slow Healing Rate for Infections:

Those who unknowingly suffer from diabetes will observe that frequent infections of the skin, gums, bladder and vagina are very slow to heal.  Even with antibiotics and vitamin supplements, people with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes endure sores, cuts and bruises that are easily contracted but difficult to treat; often lingering for weeks on end.

It seems high blood glucose levels reduce your immune system’s ability to fight off infection. Thus, if you notice gum infections that simply will not go away, consult your health care provider instead of your dentist.

4.  Blurred Vision:

If you notice your vision blurring, you have to consider the possibility of diabetes especially if you have several of the high risk factors. This occurs when your ocular lens fill with fluid due to high blood sugar levels and changes the way the lens refracts light. 

And it is not just blurred vision that you have to worry about when type 2 diabetes remains undetected and untreated. You also have to think of the long-term complications like glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy, all of which can and will affect the quality of your life.

Again, it must be emphasized that if you notice any of these symptoms, you must consult your health care provider as soon as possible.  Type 2 diabetes can have many implications on your health.  High blood sugar levels are able to affect every part of your body.