Type 1 diabetes is sometimes called Juvenile diabetes, as it’s found often times in people under 20, but it can appear in any age. This type of diabetes affects the pancreas where beta cells create insulin. Beta cells are targeted by the bodies immune system, and this stops the bodies ability to make insulin.
In the case of Type 2 diabetes the factors are slightly different.
The human pancreas creates the hormone insulin, and that’s what lets your cells turn glucose from the food you eat into energy that it can use.
In those living with Type 2 diabetes their cells don’t use the glucose as well as it should, and doctors call this insulin resistance.
Some health issues are considered risk factors to type 2 diabetes:
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- High blood pressure, even if it's treated and under control
- Low HDL ("good") cholesterol
- High triglycerides
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds
- Having gestational diabetes while you were pregnant
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition with dark rashes around neck or armpits
Other risk factors WITHIN your control are:
- Getting little to no exercise
- Sleeping too little or too much
Signs you may already be at risk for type 2 diabetes:
Your urine smells fruity or sweet
Urine should have a faint or non-existent odor, so if you notice a fruity scent this could be a bad sign and you should go to the doctor.
You're still very hungry even after eating
Feeling hunger after a meal has to do with how the body processes food. A healthy body uses insulin to converts the glucose into food energy. The lack of insulin in diabetics makes the body feel tired and hungry even after a meal.
You get frequent infections
Diabetics have a harder time fighting off infections because high blood sugar levels can actually slow the healing process. Areas that are getting infected include bladder, vagina, feet, kidneys, skin, and gums.
If you feel like you’re coming down with some infections or not quickly healing from any small cuts or scrapes, contact your doctor straight away.
You're constantly running to the bathroom especially at night
Frequent urination can be especially noticeable at night if you find yourself waking up constantly to go to the bathroom. This may be caused by things such as urinary tract infections and pregnancy, it’s important to talk to your doctor to rule out other conditions.
You have numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
Numbness in hands and feet is a result of diabetic neuropathy, a condition that can arise when chronic high blood sugar damages the nerves that send signals to your limbs.
This sensation affects roughly 50% of type 2 diabetics, and if it progresses even the lightest touches cause pain.
Your nether regions are frequently itchy
Poor circulation can result in some itching, dry skin, or yeast infections. This discomfort in your genital area can be a symptom of diabetes.
High blood sugar levels make it harder for the body to fight off some of the infections.
Your vision is blurry
Blurry vision can be a common symptom of diabetes.
You often feel very thirsty
Blood sugar creates an increase in urination, which can lead to dehydration if you’re not taking in adequate fluids.