According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 21 million people in the United States had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as of 2014. The CDC estimated that about 8.1 million people had the disease, but were undiagnosed. Untreated diabetes can become dangerous and can lead to other serious health complications. If you have the following symptoms, you may have type 2 diabetes.
Increased Thirst and Urination
One of the most often dismissed symptoms of diabetes is an increase in thirst and urination. What happens is that the kidneys have to work harder to rid the body of the excess glucose. This glucose is eliminated through urination. Along with the glucose, you lose fluid that you need to stay hydrated. The body signals thirst to help you replenish the hydration.
Fluctuations in blood sugar can cause skin problems. One of the most common is itchy skin, which may be a result of poor circulation. Darkened skin around the neck and armpits can also be a symptom of insulin resistance.
Grumpiness and Shakiness Accompanying Hunger
Diabetes makes it difficult for your body to regulate sugar levels without assistance. This means that when you are hungry, you may feel unsteady and ill as a result of your sugar dropping below normal levels. High sugar may also induce crankiness as your body struggles to lower your sugar without the normal assistance of insulin. In some cases, the side effects of high sugar are mistaken for depression and other issues.
Numbness or Pain in the Feet
The feet are often the first place that diabetics experience nerve damage as a result of diabetes. This nerve damage is what causes the feet to tingle or go numb. In some cases the feet may also swell and feel painful. If diabetes is caught early enough, the nerve damage may be reversed. However, if diabetes goes untreated for too long, it may end up causing permanent nerve damage.
Extreme Weight Loss
Extreme weight loss can be a welcome occurrence if you are overweight. If you know that your eating or exercise habits have not changed in any substantial way, however, it is important to consider that diabetes may be at the root of the weight loss. Since the cells cannot process glucose properly when you have diabetes, the body goes into starvation mode and begins to break down muscle mass. Your muscles and even your organs may suffer from this unhealthy weight loss.
If you suspect that you may have diabetes, your doctor can order a simple blood test to find out. This test may be considered preventative maintenance and may be covered by your health insurance. It is important to get tested for diabetes if you have any of these symptoms, so that you can start treating it before the disease can do lasting harm to your body.