These Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes May Surprise You
So, you think you have type 2 diabetes. Maybe you’ve noticed some of the typical symptoms, like constant thirst or a frequent need to urinate. Or, maybe you’ve spent hours plugging your symptoms into search engines as a way to self-diagnose. Trust us, we’ve been there.
If you think you have type 2 diabetes, then you’re not alone. In fact, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes, and approximately 90 to 95% of those people are type 2 diabetics. Pretty crazy, right?
Type 2 diabetes may be a common condition, but that doesn’t mean all symptoms are created equally. Sure, some people develop the well-known symptoms. But for many others, it’s not that simple — and as a result, their diabetes may go unnoticed and untreated.
The warning signs of type 2 diabetes affect every part of your body. Here are 10 uncommon symptoms of type 2 diabetes that you should look out for, as well as next steps you can take to find sweet relief.
Common Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
Before we dive into the unexpected type 2 diabetes symptoms, here are some common symptoms that you’re probably more familiar with.
- Frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Increased hunger or cravings
- Slow-healing wounds
- Nerve pain or numbness
- Sudden weight gain
If you think you might be experiencing any of these symptoms, see a doctor right away. As is the case with any disease, getting diagnosed and treated as soon as possible is crucial.
10 Unexpected Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
1. Inflamed or Infected Gums
Inflamed gums can be a sign that you need to go to the dentist — but they can also be an early symptom of diabetes. Studies have shown that gingivitis and periodontitis, commonly known as gum disease, can be linked to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can lead to higher blood sugar levels in saliva, which promotes the growth of bacteria that causes gum disease.
Common symptoms of gum disease include gums that are swollen or puffy, bleed easily, and are tender or inflamed. So, if you notice red, swollen, or bleeding gyms, it might be a sign that you have type 2 diabetes. (But you should probably floss just in case.)
2. Dry Mouth and Fruity-Smelling Breath
Fruity-smelling breath, or diabetic ketoacidosis, is another one of the unexpected symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Although this condition is more common with type 1 diabetics, it can be a type 2 diabetes symptom as well. With diabetes, your body isn’t able to use insulin for energy, so it resorts to breaking down fat cells for energy instead. When this happens, the result can be fruity-smelling breath, as well as breath that smells like acetone.
In addition to gum disease or fruity-smelling breath, another symptom to look out for is a dry mouth. Yes, anyone can have a dry mouth, but this tends to be a common symptom of type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar decreases the amount of saliva being produced, causing a dry mouth to occur.
3. Recurrent Infections
Having diabetes also weakens your immune system, making diabetics more susceptible to other illnesses. When your body isn’t able to successfully process sugar and there’s too much glucose in your blood, white blood cells have a hard time traveling through the bloodstream. This lowers your body’s ability to fight off infections — and as a result, recurrent infections are common in someone with diabetes. See a doctor if you notice a pattern of frequently getting vaginal, yeast, bladder, or skin infections. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
4. Skin Discoloration
You might be surprised to find out that skin discoloration is one of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Look out for the development of dark, thickened patches on your skin, particularly your neck. Known as acanthosis nigricans, this condition is typically a sign of insulin resistance. Insulin allows your body to process sugar, so once your body becomes resistant to this hormone, full-blown diabetes often follows.
5. Tingling Sensations in Your Feet
Have you noticed a tingling or numb feeling in your feet? And we’re not talking about the occasional “pins and needles” feeling that occurs when your feet fall asleep.
This is often a symptom of neuropathy, which is a common complication related to type 2 diabetes that’s caused by poor blood sugar control. Experts say that the higher the blood sugar — and the longer it stays high — the more likely it is for someone to develop neuropathy.
But, why does this occur? High blood sugar tends to affect the longest nerves in your body, which are the nerves that go from the spine to the toes. As a result, your feet tend to be impacted before other body parts, such as your arms or hands.
6. Frequent Urge to Itch
The frequent urge to itch might be one of the most annoying symptoms of type 2 diabetes — and you’re probably itching to find out why this occurs. Blood sugar increases can damage nerve fibers in your body, and this damage causes itching. Elevated blood sugar can also reduce the circulation in your limbs, which has the tendency to dry out your skin, leading to itching and peeling as well.
7. Vision Loss
Do you ever find your vision fading or becoming more blurry? Although this could just be a sign that you need glasses, it can also be an indicator of diabetes that isn’t being properly managed.
Perhaps one of the most unexpected signs of all, vision loss is a symptom that can occur in those who have high blood glucose. High blood sugar levels can cause fluid to be pulled from the lenses of the eyes, resulting in swelling and leading to temporarily blurred vision. The good news is that this is typically a temporary issue — and once blood sugar levels return to normal, your vision will likely do the same.
8. Dizziness and Fatigue
Trust us when we say that we understand how exhausting diabetes can be. This disease not only affects you physically, but also emotionally as well. Although there are obviously many reasons why you might be feeling fatigued, this can be one of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes — especially when paired with the other signs we’ve mentioned in this blog.
If you notice that you are constantly feeling fatigued, this could be a sign there is an underlying problem, such as sleep deprivation, depression, or sleep apnea, which are all conditions associated with an increased risk of diabetes.
9. Irritability or Moodiness
Everyone has their moments where they are a bit more irritable or moody than normal. But for those who suffer from type 2 diabetes, these mood swings are often a result of sudden fluctuations in their blood sugar levels. Think of this as the diabetic equivalent of being “hangry.” But don’t worry — if you have diabetes, you’re not doomed to a life of being irritable and moody. These cranky feelings typically resolve as blood sugar levels return back to a normal level.
10. Sudden Weight Loss
It might seem counterintuitive at first to think that weight loss would be a symptom of type 2 diabetes. After all, a common symptom of type 2 diabetes is an increase in hunger levels and cravings. That being said, a diabetic’s body typically doesn't produce enough insulin. When your body doesn’t have enough insulin, it turns to burning fat and muscle for energy, which causes someone to lose weight.
So, what’s next?
As always, if you think you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor for a professional opinion. We’re here to be your friendly resource for all things diabetes related, but at the end of the day, only a professional can officially diagnose you with type 2.
You might be feeling overwhelmed after reading these unexpected symptoms of type 2 diabetes, but find solace in the fact that there are ways to manage these symptoms. When you manage your diabetes well and maintain control of your blood sugar, most of these symptoms are preventable — and in some cases, they’re even reversible.
Fighting type 2 diabetes has both a physical and emotional benefit. Having a plan, taking control, and making progress can all support good health — and we’re here to help you every step of the way.
Find Sweet Relief With Swee2ooth
The good news is that type 2 diabetes is reversible. Our goal is to help you not only manage your symptoms of type 2 diabetes, but take control of your diagnosis.
Research has shown that small, incremental changes to reduce carb intake is critical to managing type 2 diabetes. Adding whey protein and choosing healthy fats, fiber, and a blend of certain vitamins and minerals to your daily routine can also help stabilize blood sugar and curb cravings.
We created Swee2ooth specifically with type 2 diabetes in mind. Our diabetic-friendly protein powder is filled with quality ingredients that have been clinically shown to help manage cravings, regulate blood sugar, and prevent glucose spikes. Plus, our Super Blends are just as delicious as they are effective!
So, what are you waiting for? If you’re ready to start managing your type 2 diabetes symptoms, click the link below to get started with your Swee2ooth order!