Type 2 Diabetes: 7 Early Warning Signs You Need To Know

You’ve likely heard of diabetes, perhaps it’s been mentioned to you by your doctor, or you have diabetic family or friends working to manage the disease. In the United States, almost 1 in 10 have type 2 diabetes, and 1 in 3 have prediabetes, an early indicator that you will eventually develop the disease without taking action to stop its progression.12 There’s no denying that diabetes, which prevents your body from effectively using insulin to regulate blood sugar and has no cure, is a serious medical issue and deserves your attention.

There is currently no cure for diabetes, but that doesn’t mean you are helpless. As was just mentioned, prediabetes affects a third of all Americans, but that diagnosis is not permanent. With early action and lifestyle changes, you can reverse prediabetes and prevent yourself from developing type 2 diabetes, at which point there is no cure.4 Knowing the early warning signs of type 2 diabetes is your best defense; by identifying the initial symptoms, you give yourself the most time and the best chance of implementing the necessary changes to change course. 

Here are the most common warning signs of developing type 2 diabetes that you need to be looking for.

You Frequently Feel Tired 

One of the most common symptoms for individuals who are either developing or have developed type 2 diabetes is consistently feeling drained of energy, even after periods of adequate rest. High blood sugar levels cause this exhaustion, which approximately 60 percent of people who have type 2 diabetes report experiencing.5

You Are Always Thirsty

If you are always feeling parched, it could be the commonly seen type 2 diabetes symptom known formally as polydipsia. The thirst is caused when your kidneys are working overtime to rid your blood of excess blood sugars, which requires urination to pass.6

You Visit The Bathroom Frequently

Having to urinate more frequently than normal is a byproduct of consuming more water to help your kidneys regulate blood sugars, as mentioned above. It’s important to understand that increased urination is not a sign of adequate hydration in those who have type 2 diabetes, and you may also be dehydrated.7

You Are Always Hungry, Even After Eating

If you seem to have a never-ending appetite, you may be suffering from hyperphagia, one of the three most common symptoms of diabetes. This is the result of your body being inefficient at using the food you are eating for energy because you cannot absorb your blood sugars properly.8

You Are Noticing Blurred Vision 

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the commonly seen symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes and usually results in blurred vision or color changes. These changes occur from several different complications affecting the eyes, and may also result in a decreased ability to see in low light.9

Your Scrapes Take Longer to Heal 

Have you noticed that the cuts and scrapes that come as a part of the daily wear and tear of life don’t heal as quickly as they used to? Longer heal times may be a sign that you are developing or have developed diabetes and are experiencing poor blood circulation as a result. High blood sugar levels can affect your nerves and make it more difficult for your body to deliver blood to the wounds and start repairing them.10

Your Legs and Feet Are Numb / Tingle

If you have started to notice tingling or numbness in your hands, it could be a sign that you are suffering from nerve damage as a result of diabetes. This nerve damage, experienced by about half of all people with diabetes and called diabetic neuropathy, most commonly damages the nerves in your legs and feet.11


Type 2 diabetes is a serious and widely prevalent disease with no cure that has lasting impacts on your health. At the same time, you can still prevent yourself from developing the condition so long as you make meaningful lifestyle changes before diabetes has progressed out of the prediabetic stage. Knowing the early warning signs of prediabetes is critical in giving yourself the best chance to fight back; the earlier you can detect the problem, the more time you will have to act and change course. 

[1]CDC Diabetes Statistics[2] CDC Prediabetes Statistics [3]What Is Type 2 Diabetes [4] Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes [5] You Frequently Feel Tired You Are Seemingly Always Thirsty  [7] You Make Frequent Trips to the Rest Room  [8] You Are Always Hungry, Even After Eating a Meal [9] You Are Noticing Blurred Vision [10] Your Cuts and Scrapes Take Longer to Heal  [11] Your Legs and Feet Tingle or Become Numb

Written by Samuel Hill