34.2 million Americans currently have diabetes. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Further, more than 100 million Americans have prediabetes symptoms. The figures portray a somewhat sad state of affairs regarding American’s health.
America is a sickly nation. With a wide range of concerns, including sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits, there was an anticipation that diabetes would eventually become a pandemic; it was just a matter of when. However, a timely diagnosis can be critical in managing all types of diabetes.
Establishing these early signs of diabetes is the first step towards better management of diabetes. Read on to learn these 12 early signs of diabetes and take the first step towards better health care.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your blood sugar or blood glucose is too high. Unfortunately, there have been many misconceptions regarding the causes and signs of diabetes.
Diabetes exists in two main types, with an observable difference in the cause and effects it has on the body.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the way your body processes blood glucose. Type 1 diabetes occurs where the pancreas produces limited or no insulin. In some other cases, you may have a prediabetes condition where the blood sugar is high but not high enough to lead to type 2 diabetes.
Pregnancy can also cause gestational diabetes, where pregnant women have high levels of blood sugar during the entire period of pregnancy. Now that we have a breakdown of diabetes and the various types, what are some of the symptoms worth considering?
Early Signs Of Diabetes
Depending on the type of diabetes, you might have varying symptoms. These symptoms cannot be used as a single determinant of diabetes.
Once you notice these changes in your body all of a sudden, it may be time to consider further medical diagnosis. You can never be too sure.
1. Excess Thirst And A Constant Urge To Urinate
A common sign associated with diabetes is constant peeing. If you are having a need to visit the restroom more than four to six times a day, then this may be a cause for concern. If this need is also coupled with an unquenchable thirst, then it may be time to seek for further assessment.
While excessive thirst and recurrent peeing may be a result of normal bodily fluctuations, it may also be a result of elevated blood glucose. These symptoms may be early signs of type 1 and 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
Most times, the kidneys are forced to produce more urine due to such levels of elevated blood glucose.
2. Sudden Weight Loss
Weight loss may be a result of many other varying reasons. However, if your weight loss is unexplained, you may need to pay attention to your blood sugars. Often, the excess urination may cause a sudden fluctuation in your body’s caloric balance.
Such low levels of calories will eventually contribute to rapid weight loss. Most people who experience such sudden weight loss could be struggling with Type 1 diabetes.
3. Hunger and Fatigue
Food in your body goes through a process of conversion into glucose. The glucose is then converted into energy, which is imperative in the regular functionality of the body. However, your system needs insulin to help it take in the desired levels of sugar.
So when the insulin levels in the body are low, glucose intake is also affected. This leads to low levels of energy, which makes you feel hungrier and fatigued.
The body craves for food to keep the system running, but this food does not undergo conversion.
4. Your Vision Is Blurrier Than Usual
A common symptom notable in people with diabetes is that of impaired vision. Blurry vision is often caused by the underlying imbalance in the glucose level in the lenses vis-à-vis in the rest of the body. When the problem is not outright diabetic retinopathy, then it may be a sign of the onset of type 2 diabetes.
You need to be wary of this sign because it disappears as soon as the eyes are used to the new levels of blood sugar. If you miss this symptom within the first six weeks, the eyes readjust to the new environment. This is a crucial indicator of type 2 diabetes.
5. Slow Healing Process In Case Of Cuts And Scrapes
One of the roles of the immune system is to guarantee rapid healing. However, when you have diabetes, the healing process is not as quick. This delayed process of healing is due to the high sugar levels.
The onset of hyperglycemia can lead to such cases of delayed healing as the immune system struggles to adjust to changes in the blood acidity levels. Injuries and infections may tend to take longer to heal when there’s reduced blood flow.
6. Recurrent Yeasts and Skin Infections
Yeast and skin infection may be a sign of cutaneous candidiasis. But depending on how long these signs take to heal, they can also be an indicator of the onset of diabetes. Such yeast and skin infections may manifest in the form of itchy rashes and tiny blisters.
Such early signs of diabetes are more pronounced and go beyond being just minor fungal infections. If the onset of such infections is due to candida Albicans, then early intervention would be timely.
7. Recurrent Numbness
Neurological damage is among the common consequences of diabetes. Such nerve damages can result in numbness on your feet and instances of a tingling feeling. These instances of neuropathy can be an indicator of the onset of diabetes.
While not all instances of nerve damage are an indicator of diabetes, you need to look out for signs of peripheral neuropathy. Early diagnosis in such cases of nerve damage can help you determine whether the cause is diabetes.
8. Dry Mouth
A dry mouth may be a result of other unrelated oral hygiene issues. But in cases where there are issues with high blood sugars, you may also tend to endure instances of parched mouth. The cases of excessive loss of water due to recurrent urination can eventually lead to an observably dry mouth.
Both type 1 and Type 2 diabetes may lead to such instances of dry mouth. If you have cases of dry mouth, which are unexplained, then this may be a sign of the onset of diabetes. You may need the intervention of a physician to confirm otherwise.
9. Belly Pains
You may tend to experience instances of belly pains from time to time when you have an onset of diabetes. The pain has specific correlations to the vagus nerve damage among diabetic patients. Cases of vomiting and nausea may accompany this instance of pain.
Your body may be experiencing slower digestion levels due to the onset of imbalances in the levels of glucose. If you’re having such concerns coupled with nausea and vomiting, then it could be the onset of diabetes. Both type 1 and 2 diabetes show these signs of belly pains.
10. Shaky Feeling
When struggling with diabetes, there are other symptoms that may border on the extreme. For instance, cases of body shaking can fall within the category of more severe signs of diabetes. Such situations may occur either due to spikes in the body’s sugar levels or due to cases of low sugar levels.
You should consider seeing a doctor immediately if such an issue persists.
11. Unexplained Velvety
Another not so standard indicator of diabetes may be the sudden appearance of discoloration on specific parts of the body. This refers to velvety and often leads to folds and creases on your skin. If you are having such reactions in recent times, you stand the highest risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
12. Impotence And Erectile Dysfunctions
These are also among the advanced signs and symptoms of diabetes. Have you been diagnosed with erectile dysfunctions or you have a confirmed case of impotence? Then it’s important to note that your risk of diabetes more than doubles.
Why Is Early Diagnosis Important?
It would help in all these cases to ensure that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. As noted, the symptoms may not necessarily indicate the onset of diabetes, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
As soon as the medical team establishes that you have diabetes, they will begin a medication regime to control the condition.
Early diagnosis means that you can begin the management of the condition and nip the disease at the bud before any damage to the body. While there is no known cure for diabetes, management from the onset can ensure you live a healthy life.
You can learn about diabetes here as you begin the journey of managing the condition.
Information Is Power And Early Diagnosis The Ultimate Solution
There’s no known cure for diabetes. As such, most diabetic patients rely on diagnosis and management to survive past the condition. Deciphering these early signs of diabetes will help you deal with this condition head-on and increase the chance of survival.
So you need to be on the lookout for any of these symptoms and seek medical attention if either of the signs persists. Remember, prevention is better than cure, so better living habits and dietary healthy regimes should be your first line of defense.
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