Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic condition that usually develops in the middle age, with increasing incidence as age advances.
Diabetes is known, as the ‘silent killer’ as the signs and symptoms of diabetes may not be apparent for many years. Many individuals come to know of the disease when it is manifested clinically or complications are encountered. This is because the human body has an amazing ability to adjust to its surroundings, be it endogenous or exogenous. The clinical signs of diabetes are an example of body’s long struggle to adjust to declining levels of insulin.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 18 million of the US citizens are suffering from this debilitating condition. Out of these, a one third or 5.2 million individuals remain undiagnosed, living in total ignorance of their circumstance.
According to Diabetes UK, the unaware figures stand at 500,000, who might get a diagnosis of diabetes by chance. Only 16 percent of this data proactively ask for a blood sugar profile.
According to a new research, diagnosis of diabetes in middle age cuts a ten year out of your lifespan.
“A University of Oxford study of more than half a million Chinese people found those diagnosed with the condition before 50 lived an average of nine years less than those without the condition. That figure rose to ten years for patients in rural areas”
The importance of early detection of diabetes lies in the fact that most often when the diagnosis is made, the disease has already progressed to a stage, which presents itself as a complication. Therefore, early diagnosis is absolutely imperative to avoid the debilitating, and sometimes fatal holdup resulting from diabetes (kidney failure, chronic liver disease, cardiac disease, stroke, infections).
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Though called ‘silent’ the signs and symptoms of type 2 Diabetes are not unvoiced for the ones that keep a watch for them. With so much of awareness around us, to term diabetes, as a household topic would not be wrong.
If you have one or more factors that include you in the high-risk groups, then precautionary approach with healthy lifestyle choices may save you from complications. The high-risk status may accompany the prediabetic stage; a situation where the blood sugar levels are not elevated enough to provide a clinically significant diagnosis (a positive result) but are sufficient to raise the red flag. Here are some of these:
Individuals with a family history of diabetes should be vigilant regarding their health.
A BMI over 25 should start ringing the alarms while overweight and obesity with belly fat should be taken as clear indications to be in command of your body.
Any woman diagnosed with gestational diabetes or giving birth to a child weighing more than 9 pounds should keep a cautious watch over the blood sugar profile.
Diagnosed with PCOS or hypothyroidism, you must keep a regular check of your blood sugar profile.
Do you belong to African-American, Native American, Latino, or Pacific Island? Research has already placed you in the high-risk group.
Is your lipid profile unbalanced? You must get a random sugar test done at regular intervals.
Finally, if you are otherwise healthy but do not exercise and are crossing the forties, better watch out for symptoms that could label you as diabetic.
- Excessive urination
- Continuous thirst
- Unwanted hunger spells
- Unusual and unexplained weight loss
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurred and weak vision
- Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Slow to heal Cuts and bruises
- Dry and itchy skin
- Frequent and recurring infections such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), boils, and fungus
- Difficulty with erections in men
- Unusual vaginal dryness in women
- Decreased sex drive
- Feeling nauseated and vomiting
- Velvety and dark appearance of skin of the neck, armpit, and groin, the acanthosis nigricans
An early diagnosis means a fair prognosis of the disease, so if you or anyone from your loved one regularly present with a combination of these symptoms, a consultation with your physician is a must.