Type 2 diabetes makes a person’s blood sugar levels too high. Recognizing the early signs and symptoms of this chronic condition can lead to a person receiving treatment earlier, reducing the risk of serious complications.
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition. A 2017 report from a trusted source from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 30.3 million adults in the United States have diabetes. The report also estimated that another 84.1 million American adults have prediabetes.
People with prediabetes have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but doctors still don’t think they have diabetes. According to CDCTrusted Source, people with prediabetes often develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years if they do not receive treatment.
The onset of type 2 diabetes can be gradual, and symptoms can be mild during the early stages. As a result, many people may not even realize they have this condition.
In this article, we look at the early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes and the importance of early diagnosis. We also discuss the risk factors for developing this condition.
Early signs and symptoms
The early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include:
1. Frequent urination
When blood sugar levels are high, the kidneys try to remove excess sugar by filtering it out of the blood. This can cause a person to need to urinate more often, especially at night.
2. Increased thirst
The frequent urination that is necessary to remove excess sugar from the blood can cause the body to lose extra water. Over time, this can cause dehydration and make the person more thirsty than usual.
3. Always feeling hungry
People with diabetes often do not get enough energy from the food they eat.
The digestive system breaks food down into a simple sugar called glucose, which the body uses for fuel. In people with diabetes, not enough glucose moves from the bloodstream to the cells of the body.
As a result, people with type 2 diabetes often feel constantly hungry, no matter how recently they ate.
4. Feeling very tired
Type 2 diabetes can affect a person’s energy levels and make them feel very tired or fatigued. This tiredness occurs as a result of insufficient amounts of sugar passing from the bloodstream to the cells of the body.
5. Blurred vision
Too much sugar in the blood can damage the tiny blood vessels in the eyes, which can cause blurred vision. This blurred vision can occur in one or both eyes and can come and go.
If a person with diabetes is not treated, the damage to these blood vessels can become more severe and permanent vision loss can eventually occur.
6. Slow healing of cuts and wounds.
High blood sugar levels can damage the body’s nerves and blood vessels, which can affect blood circulation. As a result, even small cuts and wounds can take weeks or months to heal. Slow wound healing also increases the risk of infection.
7. Tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands or feet
High blood sugar levels can affect blood circulation and damage the body’s nerves. In people with type 2 diabetes, this can cause pain or a tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.
This condition is known as neuropathy, and it can get worse over time and lead to more serious complications if a person does not receive treatment for their diabetes.
8. Dark skin spots
Dark skin patches that form in the folds of the neck, armpit, or groin can also mean an increased risk of diabetes. These patches can feel very soft and velvety.
This skin condition is known as acanthosis nigricans.
9. Yeast infections and itching
Excess sugar in the blood and urine provides food for the yeast, which can lead to an infection. Yeast infections tend to occur in warm, moist areas of the skin, such as the mouth, genital areas, and armpits.
The affected areas are usually itchy, but a person may also experience burning, redness, and pain.
Importance of early diagnosis
Recognizing the early signs of type 2 diabetes can allow a person to get an earlier diagnosis and treatment. Getting the right treatment, making lifestyle changes, and controlling blood sugar levels can greatly improve a person’s health and quality of life and reduce the risk of complications.
Without treatment, persistently high blood sugar levels can lead to serious and sometimes life-threatening complications, including:
- heart disease
- nerve damage or neuropathy
- foot problems
- kidney disease, which can cause a person to need dialysis
- eye disease or vision loss
- sexual problems in both men and women
Untreated diabetes can also lead to hyperosmolar nonketotic hyperglycemic syndrome (HHNS), which causes a severe and persistent rise in blood sugar levels. An illness or infection will usually trigger HHNS, which may require hospitalization. This sudden complication tends to affect older people.
Keeping blood sugar levels under control is essential to prevent some of these complications. The longer blood sugar levels remain uncontrolled, the greater the risk of other health problems.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes
Anyone can develop type 2 diabetes, but certain factors can increase a person’s risk. These risk factors include:
- be 45 years or older
- living a sedentary lifestyle
- being overweight or obese
- eating an unhealthy diet
- having a family history of diabetes
- having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- have a medical history of gestational diabetes, heart disease, or stroke
- have prediabetes
- be of African American, Alaska Native, Hispanic / Latino, American Indian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander descent
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes high blood sugar levels. Early signs and symptoms may include frequent urination, increased thirst, feeling tired and hungry, vision problems, slow wound healing, and yeast infections.
Anyone experiencing possible signs and symptoms of diabetes should see a doctor for an evaluation, especially if they have other risk factors for developing this condition. Early detection and treatment of type 2 diabetes can improve a person’s quality of life and reduce the risk of serious complications.
Having a support system that understands what it is like to be diagnosed and living with type 2 diabetes is vital. T2D Healthline is a free app that provides support through live one-on-one conversations and group discussions with the people who get it. Download the app for iPhone or Android.
Why is my urine foamy?
Foamy urine can often result from having a rapid urine stream. However, a variety of medical conditions can also have this effect.
Urine is usually flat but can appear foamy under certain circumstances. Causes of foamy urine range from the need to urinate forcefully to dehydration. It can also be a symptom of kidney disease.
If a person notices foamy urine frequently, or if foamy urine accompanies other symptoms, they should speak to a doctor.
This article will look at the causes of foamy urine and some of the treatment options available for each condition.
If a person releases a lot of urine at once, especially quickly or forcefully, the urine may appear foamy. Speed can cause temporary bubbling. Organic compounds called surfactants can also cause bubbles, a research source suggests.
Surfactants diffuse into water and contain hydrophilic and hydrophobic ends. This means that they can help trap pockets of gas on the surface of a liquid, creating bubbles.
The soap contains these surfactants. Because of this, the presence of soap or other cleaning products in toilet water can also cause a person’s urine to bubble.
However, various medical conditions can also cause foamy or bubbly urine. The following sections will discuss some of these conditions in more detail.
If a person is dehydrated, their urine may appear darker and more concentrated than usual. This is because they do not drink enough clear liquids to dilute the other substances, such as protein, in their urine.
Proteins have surfactant properties and, when present in large amounts, can cause urine to foam on passing, according to a 2019 review.
If a person experiences foamy urine regularly, even when fully hydrated, it can be a symptom of proteinuria (protein in the urine). This can be an early symptom of kidney disease.
A vital function of the kidneys is to filter proteins in the blood. These proteins perform essential functions in the body, such as maintaining a fluid balance.
If a person has kidney damage or disease, protein can leak from the kidneys into the urine, some tests suggest.
Albumin is a protein present in the blood. A fully functional kidney does not allow large amounts of this protein to pass into a person’s urine, whereas a damaged kidney can.
The presence of albumin in the urine is called albuminuria or sometimes proteinuria, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
If a person’s urine is persistently foamy, it may indicate proteinuria. This can be an early symptom of kidney disease.
Some other symptoms of kidney disease can include:
- skin itch
- difficulty breathing
- unexplained fatigue
- frequent urination
- throwing up
- If a person has these symptoms and a family history of kidney disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, they should contact a doctor for a test.
Medical guidance states that diabetes and other causes of high blood sugar can result in higher levels of albumin passing through the kidneys. This can result in foamy urine.
Diabetic nephropathy is a complication associated with type 2 diabetes. It is due to changes in the structure and formation of the kidneys.
Some research suggests that damage to the kidney’s microvascular (small blood vessels) and filtration systems due to diabetic nephropathy may allow proteins to pass into the urine more freely. This can result in proteinuria and therefore foamy urine.
Treatment options for foamy urine depend on the underlying cause.
If a person is dehydrated, they should drink more clear liquids until the urine is pale yellow or almost clear.
If diabetes is the underlying cause, a doctor may prescribe oral medications or insulin injections to lower blood sugar levels. Also, a person may need to check their blood sugar levels regularly to make sure they are within an acceptable range.
Doctors can prescribe medications for people with early kidney disease. They may also recommend making positive lifestyle changes, such as:
- eating a healthy, low-sodium diet
- control high blood pressure
- control blood sugar levels
- exercise regularly
- No Smoking
People with severe kidney disease or kidneys that are not working may require dialysis. This is a procedure that cleanses the blood of excess waste.
If a person has foamy urine, you should first consider the most likely causes. These include urinating with a strong stream, being dehydrated, and shaving soap or another cleaning product in the toilet bowl.
However, if the foamy urine accompanies other symptoms or recurs, the person should contact a doctor for further evaluation.