More than 100 million American adults are living with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. But the number of people who know they have the diseases which can lead to life threatening complications, like blindness and heart disease is far lower. Data from the CDC suggests that of the estimated 30.3 million Americans with type 2 diabetes, 7.2 million, or 1 in 4 adults living with the disease, are not aware of it. And among those people living with prediabetes, only 11.6 percent are aware that they have the disease. Prediabetes is marked by higher than normal blood sugar levels though not high enough to qualify as diabetes. This condition often leads to full blown type 2 diabetes within five years if it's left untreated through diet and lifestyle modifications. Type 2 diabetes, which is often diagnosed when a person has an A1C of at least 7 on two separate occasions, can lead to potentially serious issues, like neuropathy, or nerve damage; vision problems; an increased risk of heart disease; and other diabetes complications. A person’s A1C is the two to three month average of his or her blood sugar levels. Doctors may use other tests to diagnose diabetes. For example, they may conduct a fasting blood glucose test, which is a blood glucose test done after a night of fasting. While a fasting blood sugar level of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is normal, one that is between 100 to 125 mg/dL signals prediabetes, and a reading that reaches 126 mg/dL on two separate occasions means you have diabetes. People with full blown type 2 diabetes are not able to use the hormone insulin properly, and have what’s called insulin resistance. Insulin is necessary for glucose, or sugar, to get from your blood into your cells to be used for energy. When there is not enough insulin or when the hormone doesn’t function as it should glucose accumulates in the blood instead of being used by the cells. This sugar accumulation may lead to the aforementioned complications.
When there is excess glucose present in the blood, as with type 2 diabetes, the kidneys react by flushing it out of the blood and into the urine. This results in more urine production and the need to urinate more frequently, as well as an increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in men and women.
High blood glucose sets up a domino effect of sorts within your body. High blood sugar leads to increased production of urine and the need to urinate more often. Frequent urination causes you to lose a lot of fluid and become dehydrated.
Unexpected Weight Loss
When you have type 2 diabetes, your cells don't get enough glucose, which may cause you to lose weight. Also, if you are urinating more frequently because of uncontrolled diabetes, you may lose more calories and water, resulting in weight loss.
People with type 2 diabetes have insulin resistance, which means the body cannot use insulin properly to help glucose get into the cells.
Over time, a prolonged exposure to high blood sugar can damage the nerves throughout the body a condition called diabetic neuropathy. Some people may not have any symptoms of the damage, while others may notice numbness, tingling, or pain in the extremities.
Because both yeast and bacteria multiply more quickly when blood sugar levels are elevated, women with diabetes are overall at a higher risk of feminine health issues, such as bacterial infections, yeast infections, and vaginal thrush, especially when blood sugar isn't well controlled.
The lens of the eye is a flexible membrane suspended by muscles that change the shape of the lens to focus the eye. In a high sugar environment, such as with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, the lens’s ability to bend is altered. Although the lens is not damaged, the muscles of the eye have to work harder to focus.