If you're at risk for diabetes—whether through family history, high blood pressure, or obesity—you should keep an eye on how your body is functioning.
There are early symptoms of type 2 diabetes that indicate you should see your doctor to get checked out and discuss next steps. Remember, having these symptoms alone doesn’t necessarily mean you have diabetes—only a doctor can diagnose you.
3 common diabetes symptoms
1. Increased thirst and hunger. If you find yourself feeling very thirsty, this may be an indication of diabetes. This is often one of the first symptoms people notice. It happens because high blood glucose levels impact your kidney function to the point that water can't be absorbed back into your bloodstream, causing extreme thirst. This can be a dangerous condition if it progresses to the point of major dehydration.
Similarly, extreme hunger can signal diabetes, especially if you have it right after eating. This is an effect of insulin resistance, which keeps glucose from entering your muscles and giving you the energy you need from your food. When this happens, your body signals that it needs more energy, therefore making you feel hungry.
2. Weight loss. While a lot of people would love to experience unexplained weight loss without changing their habits, it can be a sign of diabetes. When your insulin resistance is very high, your body can't absorb energy from what you eat. Instead, it begins to break down your muscles and fat to get the energy it desperately needs, which leads to weight loss. If you're at risk for diabetes and losing weight without changing any of your habits, make an appointment to see your doctor.
3. Fatigue. We all know what it feels like to be very tired—maybe after a day of strenuous exercise or an all-nighter you pulled to finish a project or to take care of a newborn. If you feel like that all the time with no clear reason, though, pay attention. This is another effect of your body not being able to get energy from your food.
If you have these symptoms and are at risk for diabetes, it's time to call your doctor to schedule a test.