Type 2 diabetes often presents several clear symptoms, including incredible thirst, the frequent need to urinate, and numbness in the extremities. However, the condition also comes with a number of other symptoms which are unfortunately both easy to ignore and hard to connect to diabetes. Here are the most common.
1. Unpleasant Changes to the Skin
High blood sugar levels causes the growth of skin cells, and their pigment – melanin – can cause dark patches on your skin, usually on the elbows, knuckles, or the back of the neck. These patches can also be caused by hormonal conditions or genetics, but it's always worth getting your blood sugar checked if any show themselves, especially since you might be able to correct your blood sugar levels before actually developing the disease.
2. Vision Improvement
If you wake up one morning with better sight than the day before, it actually isn't very good news. Most people know that blurry vision is a symptom of diabetes, but your vision can actually get better as well as worse. This is because the condition causes the fluid levels in your body to change. This includes the fluid within your eyes.
3. Persistent Itching
Itchy skin probably seems like something too silly to bother your doctor about, but this isn't true at all. That dryness and itchiness can often be an early symptom of diabetes, particularly when it occurs in the hands, calves, and feet, since diabetes impairs your body's ability to properly circulate blood. Try using a moisturizer for a few days. If nothing changes, you should contact a doctor.
4. Impaired Hearing
Researchers now believe that having diabetes can cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels of your inner ear. This will clearly lead to problems with your hearing, so unexplained hearing loss could be an early sign of diabetes. Of course, there are a number of other reasons why your hearing might be deteriorating, but it's worth getting a blood sugar test to make sure the problem isn't related to diabetes.
5. You're Snoring Badly
Like itching, snoring is a problem that many people would hesitate to bring to the attention of a medical professional. Unfortunately, studies have shown that diabetes is strongly linked to obstructive sleep apnoea, a condition which causes your airway to become temporarily blocked as you sleep. This causes loud snoring, and it also interferes with your ability to get a full night of sleep, so don't hesitate to get a blood sugar test if you're either frequently snoring loudly or have recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea.
These signs don't necessarily mean that you have diabetes, but it's certainly worth going to your nearest medical centre for a test if they give you reason to believe that you might have developed the condition.