10 Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
February 23, 2019
Over 30 million Americans live with Diabetes, and that’s not counting the millions of cases where there hasn’t been an official diagnosis. It’s also one of the leading causes of death in our country, and there are 1.5 million new diagnoses every single year.
With these high numbers, it’s important to be well-informed to avoid becoming yet another statistic.
What is Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic illness in which the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to it. Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use glucose (blood sugar) for energy. Uncontrolled, Type 2 Diabetes can have serious complications, such as fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, nerve or kidney damage, impaired eyesight, sleep apnea, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
While in some cases, the cause of Type 2 Diabetes is unknown, being overweight and having a sedentary lifestyle are known factors as are unhealthy eating habits and a family history of the disease.
Early Signs of Type 2 Diabetes
Since Type 2 Diabetes can have many dire consequences, it’s essential to identify symptoms early. Keep in mind that symptoms can take years to develop, and they often go unnoticed initially. These include:
- Increased hunger
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Darkened skin, usually around the neck or armpits
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth
- Tingling in hands and feet
- Itchy skin
Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Options
If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, you must constantly monitor your blood sugar levels. Your medical provider may prescribe medication and/or insulin therapy.
If you’re overweight, it’s important to lose weight. If you’re dealing with obesity, your doctor can determine whether you’re a good candidate for bariatric surgery.
In addition to treatment, it’s crucial to implement long-term lifestyle changes, such as the ones described below.
There are several lifestyle changes that are essential to prevent and to manage Type 2 Diabetes.
- Eliminate sugary drinks from your diet. This not only includes soda but also store-bought fruit juices and energy drinks. They are calorie-dense and offer little to no nutritional value. Therefore, the American Diabetes Association recommends avoiding them.
- Get used to eating healthy. We get it. The Standard American Diet, (SAD) is full of sugar, fat, and unhealthy fare that many people consider delicious. Instead, incorporate whole foods into meals including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Significantly reduce consumption of processed foods (typically anything with a long ingredients list) and food items with a lot of sugar.
- Get active. But don’t just join any exercise program. In order for it to be effective, you need to find something you’ll actually enjoy doing. It shouldn’t feel like a chore, but instead, it should be something you look forward to, such as swimming, biking, playing sports, dancing, or playing with a pet, or even just taking a walk. There are different ways to find motivation, such as enlisting a friend to join you, who will also keep you accountable.
- Manage stress. Constant stress releases cortisol which increases your blood sugar level. Exercising, spending time with your pet, meditating, taking time to do things you enjoy, and severing ties with toxic people will do wonders for your health.
- Prioritize sleep. In our culture, people take pride in being perennially busy. However, there’s a link between poor sleeping habits and Type 2 Diabetes. This is because a lack of sleep causes the body to reduce the amount of insulin it releases while at the same time releasing more cortisol.
If You Believe You May Have Diabetes, Let Us Help You.
At Pinnacle, we work with over 70 referring physicians in San Antonio and Austin. Contact us to discuss how we can help you.