Type 2 diabetes symptoms should never be ignored, because if the condition is left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications. Health problems that can occur range from kidney damage to cardiovascular disease. One symptoms people may associate with type 2 diabetes is feeling thirsty all the time. But other symptoms can easily be overlooked – three to watch out for are weight loss, feeling very tired and feeling hungry, says Diabetes.co.uk.
While weight loss may appear a positive thing for those carrying extra weight, unexplained weight loss can be something of concern.
The diabetes expert says: “Unexplained weight loss is the term to describe a decrease in body weight that occurs unintentionally and can be a warning sign of diabetes.
“Losing or gaining a few pounds here and there is normal, but unexplained weight loss that is significant (10lbs/4.5kg or more or over 5 per cent of your body weight) may signal an underling medical condition.
“In people with diabetes, insufficient insulin prevents the body from getting glucose from the blood into the body’s cells to use as energy.
“When this occurs, the body starts burning fat and muscle for energy, causing a reduction in overall body weight.”
It adds unexpected weight loss is often noticed in people prior to a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes but it may also affect people with type 2 diabetes.
Many factors can cause you to feel tired, such as lack of sleep, but extreme tiredness and exhaustion that doesn’t disappear with rest or sleep is known as fatigue and can be a telling symptom of diabetes.
It says: “With diabetes, fatigue is caused by a number of factors, including high blood sugar levels, either from a lack of the insulin hormone or from insulin resistance, can affect the body’s ability to get glucose from the blood into cells to meet our energy needs.
“People on stronger diabetes medication such as insulin, may also experience fatigue as a symptom of low blood glucose levels.”
Blood glucose testing can help to determine whether high or low sugar levels may be the cause of fatigue.
Increased appetite is medically referred to as polyphagia, and is considered one of the three main signs of diabetes.
It explains: “In uncontrolled diabetes where blood glucose levels remain abnormally high, glucose from the blood cannot enter the cells – due to either a lack of insulin or insulin resistance – so the body can’t convert the food you eat into energy.
“This lack of energy causes an increase in hunger.
“Simply eating will to get rid of the hungry feeling of polyphagia in people with uncontrolled diabetes, as this will just add to the already high blood glucose levels.
“The best way to lower blood glucose levels is to exercise as this can help to stimulate insulin production and reduce blood sugar levels.”
It advises that if the hunger persists, you should see your doctor or diabetes health care team.