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Tired, Thirsty, Tingly? This Might Point to Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can be tricky. Sometimes this metabolic disorder can be active - with telltale blood sugars spikes and insulin resistance -- without demonstrating obvious symptoms. That's why the disease is often dubbed "silent." Not everyone notices when blood sugar levels are high. Some feel no symptoms at all as the disease slowly progresses.

Undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes

When this happens, it's called uncontrolled diabetes, and the resulting damage can affect nearly every organ in your body. The disease can even be both uncontrolled and undiagnosed. Of the 30 million adults with diabetes in 2015, more than 7 million were undiagnosed.

That's why it's important to pay attention to these signs that may mean type 2 diabetes is wreaking havoc, and see your health care provider as soon as possible to prevent complications.

Signs of Type 2 Diabetes

Extreme thirst/frequent urination

When blood sugar builds up in your system, your kidneys try to get rid of it by flushing excess sugar out with urine. Besides making extra trips to the bathroom, you may end up feeling dehydrated or dizzy.

Chronic dry mouth or sweet-smelling breath

This is caused by a chemical called acetone, which is produced when blood glucose is high and the body breaks down fat for energy. It's also a sign of ketoacidosis, a serious complication which occurs when the body produces excess blood acids called ketones.

Hunger without weight gain or unexpected weight loss

Decreased glucose metabolism can make you extra hungry while not causing weight gain, or even causing weight loss.

Slow-healing sores or frequent infections

Diabetes impairs your body's ability to resist infections and can slow healing. If you are having frequent urinary tract infections or other infections, make sure to let your primary care provider know.

Extreme tiredness

When sugar stays in the blood rather than getting into cells where it is used for energy, it can result in fatigue.

Blurry vision

High blood sugar causes the lenses in your eyes to swell, changing their shape and resulting in difficulty focusing and blurred vision.

Tingling/numbness in hands or feet

Nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy can cause tingling and numbness of extremities.

Sanjeev Sharma, MD
Sanjeev Sharma, MD

Dr. Sharma is a primary care physician at CHI Health Clinic Family Medicine (Benson).

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