The symptoms of type 2 diabetes sometimes “sneak” into your life silently without you noticing, making it easy to ignore. Therefore, many patients are not detected and treated early, causing many complications. According to a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2015, 30.2 million American adults had diabetes, but only 23 million people knew they had it.
The rest live with diabetes without even knowing it. Simply, it is because the disease has no symptoms at all or the symptoms do not make much difference to them. “This usually happens because type 2 diabetes is caused by high blood sugar levels. If blood sugar rises slowly over time, you may have no or no symptoms. David Nathan, director of the Massachusetts Hospital Diabetes Center.
Diabetes is a disease known as the “silent killer”, the third leading cause of death in the world after cancer and heart disease. Nowadays, people with diabetes are getting younger and younger. The reason is that the social life is improving, children are less and less sedentary, the diet is too high in energy, leading to overweight and obesity, and over time, they will suffer from metabolic diseases, including diabetes.
However, there are warning signs that could indicate you have type 2 diabetes. If you have any of the symptoms below, see your doctor. It’s important to get diagnosed as early as possible, not only because of the risk of vascular, nerve, kidney, and retinal complications, but also the risk of heart disease associated with type 2 diabetes, the culprit high mortality in these patients.
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1. Symptoms of High Blood Sugar in People with Diabetes?
Common symptoms of hyperglycemia can be a warning sign for people with undiagnosed diabetes. If you know you have diabetes, your symptoms can also be a sign that you need to adjust your treatment plan.
Hyperglycemia usually does not cause symptoms until blood glucose levels are above 200 mg/dL (equivalent to 11 mmol/L), symptoms may develop slowly, over several days or weeks. Blood sugar levels higher in the longer time, the symptoms become more and more serious, many cases can cause shock, coma, or even death.
When blood sugar is high, people with diabetes often have the following symptoms:
• Blurred vision.
• Loss of weight
• Urinate frequently.
• Bone pain
If blood sugar goes up and down erratically or exceeds the safe limit (> 7 mmol/L) for a long time, it will cause chronic complications such as: Damage to the heart, nerves; kidney damage or kidney failure; damage to the retinal blood vessels leading to blindness; Cataract; foot pathology; skin problems, including bacterial, fungal and non-healing wounds; root damage and gum infection…
If blood sugar is too high (> 20 mmol/l) not treated in time, it can cause many dangerous acute complications including coma or death.
2. 12 Symptoms of Diabetes
Diabetes symptoms vary depending on how high blood sugar is. Some people, especially those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, may not have early signs. In type 1 diabetes, symptoms tend to come on quickly and be more severe.
Dr Aaron Cypess, from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the US National Institutes of Health said that most people don’t know they have diabetes in its early stage and 2nd stage.
Early detection and treatment of type 2 diabetes is extremely important because if left untreated, the disease will have dangerous complications, affecting the patient’s health. Here are the first 12 signs of type 2 diabetes that you shouldn’t ignore.
2.1. Frequent urination
The normal person has to urinate four to seven times in 24 hours, but people with diabetes due to high blood sugar can go many times more than usual. Why is it like that?.
High blood sugar causes the body to signal to the brain to remove excess sugar. At this time, the kidneys receive that signal, so they will work more than usual, resulting in the patient urinating more. If the frequency of urination is more than 7 times a day, then the patient may have diabetes.
Frequent urination is one of the early symptoms of diabetes that is easily overlooked. Dr. Cypess is concerned that most people don’t even realize they’re urinating more than usual. These are warning signs: Must wake up at night to urinate, disrupt sleep, which can be a symptom of diabetes should pay attention, according to The Healthy.
2.2. Thirst than usual
Feeling thirsty all the time is one of the first noticeable symptoms of diabetes The patient with diabetes is thirsty and drinks a lot of water but does not quench his thirst. This condition occurs when blood sugar is high, the patient’s body automatically separates the water in the cells and pumps it directly into the blood to dilute the remaining sugar. At this time, there is a lack of water in the cells, sending signals to stimulate the brain, causing a feeling of constant thirst.
2.3. Feeling more hungry than usual
Appetite or intense hunger is also an early warning sign of diabetes. Hunger is caused by your blood sugar being too high or too low.
Your body converts the food you eat into glucose that your cells use for energy. But your cells need insulin to absorb glucose. But the body does not produce enough insulin to meet the body’s needs, so it cannot convert food into glucose to create energy for cells. As a result, patients always feel hungry even though they always eat, eat often. This action only causes the patient’s blood sugar to rise higher.
Please note that when the patient continues to eat, eats continuously, eats a lot but the hunger does not go away, the patient needs to see a doctor even if there does not seem to be any other symptoms of diabetes.
2.4. Sudden and unusual weight loss
Dr. Cypess explains, weight loss is caused by two things: dehydration when urinating, and the calories lost from not absorbing all the calories from the blood sugar.
The fuel that provides energy for the human body to function is sugar (glucose). When the body loses too much sugar through the urine and the cells are limited in the amount of sugar for energy, the body will lose weight quickly.
In addition, the lack of insulin leads to the inability to metabolize energy from food, the lack of energy will be obtained from fat and muscles. When the synthesis of protein and fat is reduced, and the breakdown of protein and fat is increased, the body will lose weight abnormally and rapidly.
2.5. Tired all the time
It’s normal to be exhausted from time to time. But constant fatigue is an important symptom to look out for, also because the food you eat for energy isn’t being used normally by your cells.
The body does not provide enough insulin, so it cannot absorb the necessary amount of sugar to provide energy for activities, sugar will be stored in an excess in the blood and continuously eliminated from the body. This condition makes the patient always in a state of excessive fatigue due to frequent lack of energy and the body can not respond to compensate for the lack of energy.
If a person does not get the necessary energy for the body, he will get tired. That constant fatigue could be an early sign of diabetes.
2.6. Decreased eyesight, Blurred vision
When the patient’s eyes do not see clearly, the image is blurred but not due to eye diseases, this is a sign of diabetes that is worth noting. That is when the disease is at an early stage, the patient has high blood sugar, leading to destruction of the capillaries at the bottom of the eye, bleeding, corneal detachment, and retinal microvascular damage. If blood sugar is stable, vision may improve. But if the disease does not improve, the patient may go blind.
Dr. Cypess says that blurred vision in the early stages of diabetes is a sign that the lens is fluid because the concentration of sugar inside the lens is different from the rest of the body.
2.7. Irritability, anger easily
When blood sugar drops, the person will feel unwell and may become more irritable. High blood sugar can have depression-like symptoms. Fluctuations in blood sugar can lead to rapid mood swings, including depression and irritability. This is especially true during episodes of hypoglycaemia, in which blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL, and diabetics are more likely to be depressed and confused.
Prolonged periods of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels above 250 mg/dl) create the perfect conditions for emotional irritation.
2.8. Dry skin, itchy skin
Dry skin, itchy skin, the main cause is frequent urination that causes dehydration of the body, the appearance of dry mouth, always thirsty and dry skin that causes itching.
Known as diabetic neuropathy, this condition occurs when nerves are damaged. When blood sugar is high, it enters tissues that do not respond to insulin. One of these tissues is the iris, the other is the cells that wrap around the nerve. When this occurs in a nerve, it causes damage, leading to problems with nerve signal reception.
If there are dark patches of skin on the body, especially in the folds of the skin such as in the armpits, neck, groin, etc., it is most likely a sign that you have type 2 diabetes symptoms This is called acanthosis nigricans, which is a sign of insulin resistance
2.9. Wound healing for a long time
Slow wound healing can be an early sign of diabetes. The immune system and wound healing process don’t work as well when sugar levels are high, Dr. Cypess explains.The immune system has many components, he says, and almost all of them don’t work well when blood sugar is high.
High blood sugar causes increased inflammation in wounds and ulcers, poorer blood circulation than normal people, blood difficult to move to damaged sites to repair and restore damaged skin.
2.10. More susceptible to urinary tract infections and fungal infections
High levels of sugar in the urine and vagina can become a breeding ground for the bacteria and fungi that cause these infections.
Research shows that people with type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of urinary tract infections. Recurrent infections are particularly worrisome.
Patients with diabetes often have gum infections, skin infections, and vaginal infections. High blood sugar along with a suppressed immune system, the body’s resistance is reduced, leading to the patient’s susceptibility to infections and fungi. Common sites of infection include gums, skin, and genitals.
2.11. Pain or numbness in hands and feet
Tingling sensations or numbness in the hands, fingers, feet, and toes are common in people with diabetes. This is a neurological sign of diabetes, mild may be transient numbness, but when swelling, pain has appeared severe nerve damage. If people with diabetes are left untreated, serious complications of diabetes such as numbness or pain in the limbs will become more and more severe.
If people with diabetes are left untreated, serious complications of diabetes such as numbness or pain in the limbs will become more and more severe.
2.12. The presence of ketones in the urine
If the cells don’t get enough glucose because there isn’t enough insulin or the insulin isn’t working properly, the body burns fat for energy. This process produces a substance called a ketone, a by-product of the muscle breakdown and fat burning that occurs in the absence of insulin, which can appear in the blood and urine. High urine ketone levels may indicate diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a complication of diabetes that can lead to coma or even death.
3. Notes with Acute Complications of Diabetes
Acidosis ketones: Occurs when there is too little insulin in the body. Without enough insulin, glucose cannot enter cells for energy. The body lacks energy to function, while high blood sugar leads the body to find another way to create energy, which is to break down fat. This process produces toxic acids called ketones. Excess ketones build up in the blood, “spill” into the urine, and change the pH of the blood – commonly known as ketoacidosis. If left untreated, ketoacidosis can lead to a life-threatening coma.
Syndrome increases osmotic pressure: This condition occurs when the patient’s body produces insulin but it does not work. Blood sugar becomes very high – above 600mg/dL (equivalent to 33mmol/L). Because insulin is present but not working, the body cannot use glucose or fat for energy. The sugar is then poured into the urine, leading to a large amount of body water, causing increased urination and dehydration very quickly. Left untreated, hyperosmolar syndrome leads to coma and life-threatening dehydration.
Signs of acute complications of diabetes:
• Breath that smells like ripe fruit (ketones).
• Abdominal pain, dry mouth, nausea and vomiting.
• Shortness of breath.
• Weakness, confusion, coma.
When there are signs on the family, it is necessary to take the patient to the emergency room as soon as possible to receive timely treatment, avoiding serious consequences.
4. Doctor’s advice
If you feel yourself having unusual symptoms and suspect you have high blood sugar, get checked out for an early diagnosis.
In case you do not have diabetes and the hyperglycemia is only temporary, you should adjust your lifestyle according to the advice of your doctor.
If you have diabetes, you should check your blood sugar if you have any of the above signs. You should increase walking or light exercise, proper nutrition, drink more water and adjust medication as prescribed by your doctor.
You may need emergency treatment if you experience any symptoms of non-ketotic hyperglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis.
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