Through all of this I realized that I haven’t talked about the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, although I expect that just about everyone interested in diabetes enough to even be here will likely already have it, but even so, I do want to make this site comprehensive and type 2 diabetes symptoms are a pretty basic and fundamental component of any general diabetes site, so this bears mentioning I would say.
Of course I don’t just want to list them off, like you would get on many sites, I’ve picked one, the one run by the Mayo Clinic, to have a look at what they have to say and see if I can add anything to that.
By the way it would be fun to look at several other pages on diabetes on this site and go over them with you, but for now let’s look at this one, and this shouldn’t be too controversial actually, even though a lot of them will give us plenty to talk about.
Often times, the symptoms of diabetes can be so minor that one may not even notice them, and the symptoms may also have other causes, although these causes are often related to diabetes. I never really had any symptoms of any note before I got diagnosed, at least not ones I associated with diabetes, other than feeling a little dizzy one time when I had cake, but I never could handle stuff that sweet so I just put it off to a sugar overload, which is actually what it was, although I didn’t realize that it was a diabetic overload.
I think that we tend to be often a little reluctant to face the fact that we may have diabetes, and if we end up urinating more for instance we may look at other reasons for this, and there often are. For instance I always drank a lot of coffee and that makes you urinate more, the sheer amount of liquid I drank would cause this, and I didn’t suspect that it was due to diabetes, but some of it may have been, I still urinate as much though with lower blood sugar so I don’t think that affected me.
So let’s look at the symptoms they list, and by having a look, this is all pretty typical. The first one is increased thirst and frequent urination, if you are urinating too frequently that can certainly make you thirsty, it can also give you dry mouth and I think that dry mouth is even more telling.
If you are urinating more from high blood sugar though then you just aren’t diabetic, you’ve exceeded the renal threshold for blood sugar, which differs among people, but it differs from alarmingly high to very alarmingly high, generally we’re looking at blood sugar of 250 or more for this to start happening, and even higher for it to happen enough to cause dehydration.
So this is a symptom, but it’s one of advanced diabetes, you definitely want to catch it long before this, which is why blood sugar screening is so important.
Next they list increased hunger, and they claim it’s because our cells aren’t getting enough glucose, that’s not even the case though generally, our cells tend to get too much glucose actually. High levels of insulin cause hunger, as does leptin resistance, and that is very commonly seen in diabetics. It’s probably more the leptin resistance actually, in addition to abnormally high levels of grehlin, another hormone that is out of whack with us, although high insulin does contribute to this as well. So that’s a good one, but for different reasons, and this does suggest a real problem, and may also be present before actual diabetes, as obese people whose blood sugar is still pretty normal suffer from this as well.
The next one they mention is weight loss, this only really happens if your insulin levels drop way too low, which they can in cases of very advanced diabetes, if you are a type 1 or 1.5 and actually have a deficiency of insulin, or if you go well over the renal threshold. For type 2’s, it’s almost always the latter, and like urinating too much, this only happens with very high blood sugar and you’re pretty bad off to see weight loss without trying as a type 2 in any event.
Fatigue is mentioned, fatigue is caused by so many things though, diabetes doesn’t really normally cause it in itself unless you actually have low insulin, they are assuming once again that we get less glucose in our cells with high blood sugar but that’s wrong, but we certainly can have some issues with metabolism, particularly with fat metabolism, and there are a host of things that can cause this. Pretty much every dysregulation involves fatigue though, except for things like high cortisol or hyperthyroidism, both of which increase metabolism, diseases generally decrease it as the body will look to conserve energy to fight the condition.
Often times, this is due to low thyroid function, which is present in a lot of diabetics, although there are a number of things that can cause this, and there’s not even any reason to suspect diabetes if one is fatigued. However, in the presence of some other symptoms listed here, it might.
Blurred vision can be present in people with very high blood sugar, they say that high blood sugar pulls fluid from the eyes, I’m not sure about that one actually but I suspect that if fluid is pulled from the eyes it’s probably from dehydration, I have experienced very high blood sugar levels in the 400’s and never got this for instance.
Slow healing wounds is definitely a symptom and not one that is well known among the public, and you definitely have it bad to get this.
The last one mentioned is areas of darkened skin, I actually had this myself and didn’t know that it was from high levels of insulin, they don’t mention that but this is what causes it, it went away when I lowered my carb intake though and therefore lowered my insulin levels. They definitely have to be high to get this.
So they say this is a sign of insulin resistance, and that’s true, but it’s not the insulin resistance that causes it, it causes higher levels of insulin and that’s what does it. They probably want to give you some more though, it certainly is odd that they want to combat insulin resistance with more insulin, yikes.
So there’s a good recap of some of the symptoms, but pretty much all of these present themselves in advanced cases of diabetes, and again, this is not where we want to be discovering this.