Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes in Young Adults – How to Identify Them?

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes in Young Adults

Most of the time, type 2 diabetes is diagnosed in middle aged people. However, the disease is becoming increasingly common in younger people and even children. Young adults in particular are developing the disease at a much faster rate than they once did, and it’s thought that there are over 7 million people who currently have the disease and don’t even know it. This is partially because they don’t think they’re at risk and partially because the signs of type 2 diabetes are not always easy to detect. While many health conditions have specific symptoms associated with them, some of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be harder to detect and identify. In the case of young adults in particular, many might be brushed off entirely or go completely unnoticed. Additionally, the symptoms of type 2 diabetes may be less severe in young adults, making them easier to overlook.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which there is too much glucose in the blood. Diabetes statistics tell us that this secondary type is the most common, and accounts for 95% of all cases of diabetes. It’s a metabolic disorder that is characterized by the body’s inability to properly use insulin, a phenomenon known as insulin resistance. In turn, the body has a harder time turning food into energy, leading to a buildup of sugar in the blood. Initially, the body will try to keep up and prompt the pancreas to produce more insulin as a result. However, this only lasts so long, and when demand outweighs supply, the symptoms of type 2 diabetes may begin to become apparent.

It’s important to understand that some people have type 2 diabetes and do not even know it at all. This is especially true in young adults, where symptoms may be so mild that they are not even considered. Certain symptoms of type 2 diabetes such as unexplained weight loss and fatigue are not only easily written off as consequences of lifestyle or other existing illness, but also easy to overlook and rationalize. Other symptoms may be treated in the same manner such as increased thirst or more frequent urination. Activity level can be directly related to thirst and there are many things that can cause an increase in urination such as natural diuretics like coffee. Therefore these early symptoms of type 2 diabetes can go completely ignored.

It’s often not until more severe signs come about that people consider talking to a health care provider. These signs can include numb or tingling extremities, slow healing sores, blurry vision, and changes in heart rate. The problem is that there is a much greater risk for diabetes complications if the disease is left to progress untreated until these more severe symptoms of type 2 diabetes appear. Some diabetes complications are severe and can even lead to death.

Diabetic neuropathy is one such complication. It refers to the damage and breakdown of nerve fibers within the body. Over time, this common condition leads to pain, organ system damage and eventually, paralysis. Even greater risks are associated with untreated or poorly managed cases including a diabetic coma. This condition refers to an unconscious state brought about by sugar levels too high or too low where external stimuli are not sufficient to bring a person out of the state of unconsciousness. Even this serious and life threatening complication can have no symptoms and people can be unaware that their blood glucose levels are reaching a very dangerous point.

For all of these reasons, it’s imperative that all people but especially young adults see a health care provider and discuss a potential diagnosis of diabetes if any symptoms are present at all that are unusual or could signal diabetes. The condition can and often is well managed but treatment and management cannot start until a diagnosis of diabetes has been made. If the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, even the early or sporadic ones, go ignored, treatment and management become more challenging and the risk of complications increases. This is even more important in young adults who have risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes in the first place. This can include a family history of the disease, being overweight, smoking, a history of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inactivity, race, and even giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds. Any of these risk factors in conjunction with the early symptoms of type 2 diabetes should warrant a consultation with a health care provider in order to determine if a diagnosis of diabetes is possible or probable.

These same risk factors are essentially the type 2 diabetes root causes. Being overweight is one of the most prevalent, but inactivity, family history and sleeping and eating habits are also contributing causes. It perhaps comes as no surprise that these risk factors and causes form the root treatment for the condition too and therefore the symptoms of type 2 diabetes as well, in addition to medical care and medicine. A special type 2 diabetes diet may be recommended as well as more exercise and a change in lifestyle habits. Therefore, preventing the disease aside from with regards family history is possible as well by making healthy choices each and every day.