November is Diabetes Awareness month. There are different types of diabetes. Complications and the dangers of diabetes are the same for everyone but the cause of diabetes and how it can be managed differ. Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose), your body’s important source of fuel.
With type 2 diabetes, your body either resists the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells — or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level.
More common in adults, type 2 diabetes increasingly affects children as childhood obesity increases. There’s no cure for type 2 diabetes, but you may be able to manage the condition by eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. If diet and exercise aren’t enough to manage your blood sugar well, you also may need diabetes medications or insulin therapy.
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes due to high blood sugar may include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger (especially after eating)
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
- Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness (rare)
Type 2 diabetes is usually not diagnosed until health complications have occurred. Most often, there are no diabetes symptoms or a very gradual development of the above symptoms of type 2 diabetes. In fact, about one out of every four people with type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it.
Other symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include:
- Slow-healing sores or cuts
- Itching of the skin (usually around the groin area)
- Frequent yeast infections
- Recent weight gain or unexplained weight loss
- Velvety dark skin changes of the neck, armpit, and groin, called acanthosis nigricans
- Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet
- Decreased vision