The Warning Signs That Your Diabetes Isn’t Under Control

Uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk of complications.

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One of the primary goals of treating type 2 diabetes is reducing your risk of complications. You and your healthcare team will come up with a treatment plan to get your diabetes under control. There are warning signs of uncontrolled diabetes that may signal that your treatment plan isn’t working.

Uncontrolled diabetes essentially means that your blood sugar levels are high or unstable. The goal is to be able to keep your blood sugar levels within the target range. High blood sugar levels can damage your organs and overall health over time, so getting those under control is very important. Otherwise, you may have an increased risk of complications like:

  • Heart problems (including heart attack)
  • Eye problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Nerve damage
  • Stroke
  • Infections
  • Amputation

What are the warning signs of uncontrolled diabetes?

If your diabetes is not under control, you’ll likely notice it in two different ways. One way is by identifying unusual symptoms; the other way is by testing.

Warning signs of uncontrolled diabetes include:

  • Feeling generally unwell
  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Increased frequency of infections

Along with that, you may notice uncontrolled diabetes through your blood sugar levels. It’s important to check your glucose levels regularly. This can give you a clue of how your treatment plan is working and if changes are needed. If your blood sugar levels are frequently too high or unstable, that may be a sign that your diabetes is not under control.

What is the A1C test to check blood sugar control?

You are responsible for tracking your glucose levels on a day-to-day basis. However, another way to check your blood sugar control is a test at the doctor’s office called a hemoglobin A1C test.

An A1C test measures the average of your blood sugar levels over the duration of a few months. This can be really helpful because it gives a better picture of your blood sugar control over time. If your A1C levels are high, that might mean your diabetes is not under control.

How does screening for complications work?

Finally, your healthcare team will give you a schedule for having appointments with specialists. Regular screening by specialists can help catch the progression of diabetes complications early. For example, a nephrologist can monitor your kidney health, an eye doctor can monitor your eye health, a neurologist can monitor your nerve health, and so on.

Catching complications early has a couple benefits. First, you can start treatment to keep those complications under control. Second, complications may be a sign that you need a more aggressive diabetes treatment. This might help get your diabetes under control.

Not sure how controlled your type 2 diabetes is? Talk to your doctor. It’s important to have a good understanding of your treatment plan and how effective it is. That way, you’ll understand your risks and be empowered to make any necessary changes.