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10 Warning Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes | Affinity Health

Leading providers of affordable medical cover, Affinity Health, emphasise the early warning signs of type 2 diabetes and how they can be reduced.


What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses glucose, a sugar that is the body’s primary source of fuel. In people with diabetes, the glucose can’t get into the cells normally, so the blood sugar level gets too high, resulting in a series of health complications.


Type 2 diabetes has been on the rise in recent years, with the latest reports by the National Department of Health indicating that at least 12.8% of the South African population have some form of the disease. The tragedy is that it is so easily prevented – and many lives could be saved with timeous treatment – yet most people aren’t even aware they have it until it has become severe.


What Are The Dangers Of Type 2 Diabetes?

Consistently high blood sugar levels, if left untreated, can lead to a variety of potentially life-threatening consequences. These include cardiovascular disease, stroke, neuropathy (nerve injury), issues with the feet, renal disease, which can lead to the need for dialysis, vision loss or eye disease, and sexual problems in both men and women have sexual problems.


But the news is not all bad. Protecting yourself against type 2 diabetes is actually quite simple. It’s important to know the signs of diabetes type 2, so you can inform your healthcare professional who screen for it with a fasting blood test, where the glucose levels of the blood are tested after a 12 hour fast.

Read More: Can You Reverse Diabetes?

Top 10 Early Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes

According to Affinity Health, here are the top 10 warning signs of type 2 diabetes:

Frequent urination:

The kidneys try to filter the excess sugar out of the bloodstream when blood sugar levels are high. This might lead to a person needing to urinate more frequently, particularly at night.

Increased thirst:

The body may lose more water as a result of the frequent need to urinate more often (part of your body’s way of removing excess sugar from the bloodstream). Over time, this could lead to dehydration and a person feeling thirstier than usual.

Constant hunger:

Diabetes patients often feel hungry all of the time, no matter how recently they ate.

Extreme exhaustion:

Type 2 diabetes can affect a person’s energy levels, making them feel sluggish or exhausted. This fatigue is caused by a lack of sugar flowing from the bloodstream into the body’s cells.

Blurred vision:

A high blood sugar level can injure the eyes’ small blood vessels, resulting in hazy vision. Fuzzy vision can affect one or both eyes, and it might appear and disappear. If a diabetic patient is not treated, the damage to these blood vessels may progress, resulting in permanent vision loss.

Slow wound healing:

High blood sugar levels can affect the body’s neurons and blood vessels, causing blood circulation difficulties. As a result, minor cuts and wounds might take weeks or even months to heal. Slow wound healing raises the risk of infection in addition to increasing the risk of infection.

Numbness, tingling, or discomfort:

People with type 2 diabetes may have soreness, tingling, or numbness in their hands and feet. This is known as neuropathy, and it can increase over time and lead to more serious repercussions if a person does not receive treatment for their diabetes.

Skin discolouration:

Patches of dark skin in the creases of the neck, armpit, or groin can also indicate a higher diabetes risk. These patches may have a velvety feel to them.

Itching skin and yeast infections:

Yeast thrives on excess sugar in the blood and urine, which can lead to illness. Warm, moist skin areas, such as the mouth, genital areas, and armpits are the most prevalent sites for yeast infections. In addition to itchy skin, a person may experience burning, redness, and discomfort in the affected areas.

Unexplainable weight loss:

Diabetes type 2 results in the body losing its main energy source when it releases surplus glucose, and when your body can’t use glucose for energy, it starts burning fat and muscle, resulting in weight loss.

Read More: The Link Between Stress & Diabetes

Early Detection For Type 2 Diabetes

Early detection of type 2 diabetes symptoms can help a person receive a diagnosis and treatment sooner.


“Treatment, lifestyle adjustments, and blood sugar control can all help to improve a person’s health and quality of life while also lowering the chance of complications,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“Anyone experiencing signs and symptoms of diabetes should consult a doctor for a diagnosis, especially if they have other risk factors for the disease. Type 2 diabetes can be detected and treated early, which can enhance a person’s quality of life and lower the risk of serious consequences.”


Finding The Right Support

It’s critical to have a support system that understands what it’s like to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and live with it.


Affinity Health remains fully committed to helping members with diabetes manage the condition. The Diabetes Programme, together with the Affinity Health specialist network, and the Member’s GP, will assist Members in managing the condition. For more information on Affinity Health’s Diabetes Management Programme, click here.

Read More: Your Guide to Diabetes

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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