Top 5 Signs and Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes – Do you have it?

I drink a lot of water. I mean – A LOT! And so does my husband. Naturally, since we drink a ton of water we go to the bathroom more than the average person. Does this mean we have diabetes? Not necessarily, but it is one of the early signs of diabetes development.

Three classic signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes is frequent thirst, urination and hunger. Sounds easy to pin point, right? But what if you naturally drink a lot of fluids like my husband and I or you work out regularly so your appetite is increased?

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have diabetes which I know can be confusing. This makes it difficult to self-diagnose when these are your everyday symptoms.

This is why it’s important for you to get lab work done and see your doctor annually.

Chalkboard with Diabetes. 3D Illustration.

These are some of the top 5 warnings signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes:

# 1 – Excessive Thirst

Due to excess blood sugar and frequent urination (read below) you tend to lose a lot of fluids. This makes your body thirsty for more fluids. Your mouth tends to get dry and you’ll crave more water than you’re used to.

# 2 – Frequent Urination

When there is extra blood sugar in the blood, as there is with type 2 diabetes, the kidneys react by flushing it out of the blood and into the urine. You also tend to dink more fluids (as noted above) which makes you urinate more.

If you notice that you need to go to the bathroom more frequently that you used to – especially if you notice yourself waking up more often in the middle of the night – I would talk to your doctor about getting screened for diabetes.

#3 – Increased Hunger/Appetite

Most of the food that we eat contains carbohydrates. When you eat carbohydrates these are broken down in to sugar, or glucose, into your blood stream. This signals our organ, the pancreas, to release a hormone called insulin.

Outside the blood stream we have cells. Cells for energy, cells for hair growth, cells for lots of different needs in the body. These cells use blood sugar as fuel. Imagine the cells are the engine of your car and blood sugar is the gasoline. Insulin is the key toy our gas tank. It unlocks the door between the blood stream and the cells to allow the blood sugar to move into the cells to be used for energy. Still with me?

Simply put: Blood Sugar (gasoline) ⇒ Insulin (key to gas tank) ⇒ Cells (engine) → you need the key to the gas tank in order to open the door and be able to put gas into your car so your engine can run.

With type 2 diabetes there is often insulin resistance. Meaning you are making insulin, but it’s not working as well. The lock is jammed. The key won’t open the gas tank to allow the gasoline (blood sugar) inside. Because of this your brain thinks you are starving and your appetite increases.

#4 – Fatigue

Now that you understand the whole key-gasoline-engine analogy it’s important to also note that your cells are not being fed. Due to insulin resistance various cells throughout your body are not able to get the energy they need; therefore, you suffer in the form of fatigue.

No gasoline in your gas tank = no energy = pumping gasoline fuel in car at gas station

#5 – Blurred vision

Ever drop a jar of honey or get it all over your clothes? It’s sticky, huh? Blood sugar is like honey in your blood stream. Due to this, it coats around different organs, nerves and vascular systems. The eyes can be effected by this. The lens of your eye is suspended by muscles. These muscles have to work extra hard in this honey-like environment.

Blurred vision can occur when there is rapid changes in blood sugar (such as very high or very low blood sugar) and these eye muscles have not adapted to it. Once your eye adapts the blurred vision will go away.

Although these signs may be symptoms of something else it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Being aware of these common symptoms is imperative to your health. If you’re not sure if you have diabetes or not go ahead and make an appointment with your doctor. Make sure to get lab work done and screen for diabetes.

If you were diagnosed with diabetes, what were some of your symptoms? Sometimes you don’t have any symptoms at all! Leave me a comment below or email me with any questions:

Author: Katie

Hi! I'm Katie, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. This website it dedicated to those looking to heal their bodies from the inside out - and it all starts with balancing out your blood sugar. Let's heal disease together one plate at a time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *