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Six Early, Sometimes Sneaky Signs of Diabetes

Posted by Ari Eckman, MD
Medical Director of Endocrinology Services at Holy Name on November 23, 2022


Almost 35 million people in the United States have Type 2 diabetes mellitus, putting them at risk for life-threatening complications of kidney disease, vision impairment, stroke, and heart disease. Another 88 million – one-third of the population - are considered pre-diabetic, meaning their glucose (sugar) levels are elevated, and they are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The common signs of Type 2 diabetes mellitus - frequent urination and excessive thirst - are often recognized, but there are more subtle warnings of the disease that can sneak up on us.

"Many people do not know they have Type 2 diabetes mellitus until they are diagnosed, but they probably have had it for up to five years," explains Ari Eckman, MD, medical director of endocrinology services for Holy Name.

Six early signs include:

  • You're going to the bathroom more often, especially at night.
  • You're losing weight without trying.
  • You're experiencing frequent urinary or yeast infections.
  • Your vision is getting worse; you need a new prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • You're exhausted, affecting your everyday activities.
  • Your skin is discolored, darker in the folds of your neck and across your knuckles.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, Dr. Eckman recommends making an appointment with your physician to discuss a Type 2 diabetes mellitus screening.

"Type 2 diabetes mellitus can be prevented by managing your weight, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and cutting back on processed foods, alcohol, sugary beverages, and trans fats," concludes Dr. Eckman.

View Dr. Eckman's profile

Sneaky Signs of Diabetes