Type 2 Diabetes: Symptoms

Health Monitor Staff
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Some people with diabetes experience obvious symptoms. However, others may have the disease for years and not know it because they don't feel sick.

Common type 2 diabetes symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Vision problems, such as blurry eyesight
  • Numbness, tingling or pain in your feet
  • Slow-healing cuts, bruises and sores
  • Dry skin
  • Flushed face

When blood sugar levels are too high over a long period of time, damage can occur throughout your body, causing you to experience other health problems. That's why it's so important to carefully manage your diabetes.

Common type 2 diabetes complications:

  • Eye problems. Retinopathy (damage to the retina in the back of the eye) is the most common eye complication for people with type 2 diabetes. Symptoms include blurry or double vision. Other common eye problems related to diabetes include dry eye, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
  • Foot complications. Nerve damage and poor blood circulation can cause tingling, pain, weakness, loss of feeling, ulcers, and dry or cracked skin. Sores and wounds on your legs and feet can heal slowly and are more likely to become infected.
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure). This is a common condition that often accompanies high blood sugar and high cholesterol (a waxy fat), which can clog and narrow blood vessels. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels and cause problems with how different organs work. Eventually, this can lead to heart attack, stroke and other serious problems.
  • Nephropathy (kidney disease). The filters in your kidneys can become damaged and your kidneys could decline in function.
  • Neuropathy (nerve damage). Your nervous system can become damaged, affecting your entire body. Your feet and legs are most commonly affected, often developing tingling, burning or pain.
  • Periodontal disease (gum disease). Your gums become red and swollen and can start to bleed.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD). Blood flow to your lower legs and feet becomes restricted. Your legs and feet may feel numb, tingly and cold, and have slow-healing sores.
  • Pregnancy problems. If your blood sugar is not regulated while you are pregnant, you could have a miscarriage or your baby may have a low birth weight or birth defects.
  • Skin complications. Your skin may be dry and itchy, or you may develop bacterial and fungal infections.
  • Stroke. Reduced blood flow, narrowed blood vessels and broken blood vessels that result from under-managed blood sugar can increase your risk of experiencing a stroke.
April 2013