Many people have no signs or symptoms. Symptoms can also be so mild that you might not even notice them. Five million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes and do not know it. Here is what to look for:
- increased thirst
- increased hunger
- increased urination, especially at night
- weight loss
- blurred vision
- sores that do not heal
Sometimes people have symptoms but do not suspect diabetes. They delay scheduling a checkup because they do not feel sick. Many people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes complications, such as blurry vision or heart trouble. It is important to find out early if you have diabetes because treatment can prevent damage to the body from diabetes.
Should You be tested for diabetes?
If you are 45 years old or older, you need to get tested for diabetes, even if you do not have any of the risk factors listed below. If you are younger than 45 and have one or more risk factors, you should also get tested. Ask your doctor for a fasting blood glucose test. The results of this blood test will tell your doctor how much glucose is in your blood. Your doctor may ask you to have the test twice.
Even if your blood glucose level is normal and you have no risk factors, if you are over 45, you may need to remind your doctor to check your blood glucose again in 3 years. If you have at least one of the risk factors below, have your blood checked more frequently.
What does it mean to be at risk for type 2 diabetes?
You are more likely to get type 2 diabetes if you are age 45 or older, are overweight, are inactive, or have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. You are also at high risk if diabetes runs in your family or if you are African American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander. However, you can take steps to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
What are my risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes?
To find out your risk for type 2 diabetes, check each item that applies to you:
If you checked one or more boxes, you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. If you checked more than three boxes, your chances of getting diabetes are high. It is important to lower your risk by working on the factors under your control.