As difficult as it may be to believe, many people living with type II diabetes do not know they have the disease. In fact, the Center for Disease Control estimated in that there were as many as 8.1 million undiagnosed cases of diabetes in the US.
The reason type II diabetes can go undetected for so many is that the symptoms are often mistaken for other illnesses. Going without proper treatment can put you at risk for serious future issues. By learning the symptoms of type II diabetes, you can learn if you need to be tested or treated.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Type II Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes, also called adult onset diabetes, is a chronic, acquired illness that affects your body’s ability to process sugars. This occurs when cells become less able to use insulin, the hormone that lets your body absorb sugars. Eventually, blood sugar levels will become much higher than normal, a condition known as hyperglycemia.
Are You at Risk for Type II Diabetes?
A variety of different factors contribute to the onset of type II diabetes. When determining your risk for diabetes, consider:
- Are you obese or overweight?
- Are you over 45 years old?
- Do you have high blood pressure?
- Do you lead a sedentary lifestyle?
- Do any of your close relatives have type II diabetes?
Falling into one or several of these groups doesn’t guarantee that you will develop diabetes, but it does put you at higher risk. If any of the above apply to you, consider getting tested.
What are the Symptoms of Type II Diabetes?
When a person first develops diabetes, the symptoms are relatively light. At this stage, the disease often goes untreated. Some of the earliest signs of diabetes are:
- Sudden weight loss
- Low energy
- Constant hunger or thirst
- More frequent urination
- Blurred vision
If diabetes goes untreated, symptoms will eventually worsen. These later-stage symptoms are easier to notice but are still often misattributed to other diseases. Some of the more severe signs of diabetes are:
- Numbness in hands, feet, or limbs
- Dark patches on skin
- Slower healing of cuts and sores
Risks of Undiagnosed Diabetes
If you have any of the tell-tale type II diabetes symptoms, see a doctor to get diagnosed, especially if you fall into one or more of the risk groups. Going too long without treating diabetes can lead to severe and potentially life-threatening illnesses, including:
- Heart disease or failure
- Kidney failure
- Possible limb amputation
- Eye damage
- Gum disease
How is Type II Diabetes Diagnosed?
The most common way to test for type II diabetes is a doctor-administered blood test. This measures your average blood sugar level over the past several months. A blood sugar level of 6.5% or more indicates diabetes. If you believe you may have type II diabetes, don’t risk going undiagnosed. Visit a doctor to find out if you need treatment.
Fortunately, if you do have type II diabetes, you don’t need to treat it with insulin injections. Dynamic Health & Pain Management’s diabetes treatments address the reasons why bodies don’t process blood sugar for a more holistic approach to wellness. Sign up for an appointment or contact us at (704) 525-6288 to learn more.