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Signs You Have Type 2 Diabetes, Say Physicians

Diabetes also increases your risk of other health issues.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

According to the American Medical Association, 34 million adults in the U.S. have diabetes, and type 2 diabetes—which is directly attributable to unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices—comprises more than 90% of those cases. Experts say that's a public health crisis in the making: Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, blindness, even amputation. But Type 2 diabetes is treatable. If you have it, making healthier choices and following your doctor's advice for treatment can manage or even reverse the condition. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Frequent Urination

Woman with prostate problem in front of toilet bowl. Lady with hands holding her crotch, People wants to pee - urinary incontinence concept

A common early symptom of diabetes is having to urinate more often than usual. You might even have to get up in the middle of the night more often to go. The reason: Diabetes causes blood sugar to rise to an excessive level, and the body tries to flush out the excess by increasing urine production.


Increased Thirst

woman drinking water

The same process that causes frequent urination can cause you to feel constantly thirsty. As excess blood sugar leaves the body, it pulls water from the body's surrounding tissues along with it, making you feel dehydrated. You may find yourself drinking more water but less able to satisfy your thirst. If that happens, talk with your doctor.


These Skin Issues

Woman scratching arm indoors

If you have very dry or itchy skin, wounds that are slow to heal or won't heal, or have more infected wounds than usual, it could be a sign of diabetes. Dehydration can cause skin to dry out or itch. Blood vessels damaged by the disease can impair circulation, delaying wound healing, particularly on the feet, says the American Academy of Dermatology

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Increased Hunger, Fatigue, or Unintentional Weight Loss

Sad woman in anticipation of an order.

Diabetes increases the level of sugar in the bloodstream but actually prevents cells from using that glucose for energy. As muscles are deprived of energy, you might feel constantly tired or hungry. Your body may start to burn fat stores for energy, causing you to lose weight without trying.  

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Tingling or Burning Hands or Feet


High blood sugar can damage nerves throughout the body, a condition called diabetic neuropathy. The most common form is peripheral neuropathy, which affects the feet, legs, hands and arms. The symptoms—which can include tingling, burning, numbness, decreased sensitivity to pain, or cramps—tend to get worse at night.

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Blurry Vision

Tired mature woman take off glasses suffering from headache

Blurry or double vision can indicate a condition called diabetic retinopathy. High blood sugar can distort the lenses in your eyes, causing vision to become blurry. Diabetes can also cause blood vessels in the retina to leak, or abnormal new blood vessels to grow, leading to vision problems. 

And to ensure your health don't miss these 101 Health Habits You Didn't Know Were Deadly.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael
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