Many people know the signs and symptoms of diabetes but don’t realize that they could suffer from it. Information on diabetes is available everywhere, from TV commercials to billboards. However, it’s not always easy to know everything available about the disease. Diabetes can lead to many health problems; hence testing is important.
Diabetes often develops over time, but it can be detected with a simple blood test. Everyone needs to recognize the early signs of diabetes because it is a life-threatening chronic disease. However, it can be managed, especially if it is detected in the early stages.
Signs of Type 2 Diabetes
These are early signs of type 2 diabetes. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, visit an internal medicine specialist or primary care.
- Intense thirst
Among the early signs of diabetes is the excessive thirst which then leads to frequent urination. This could mean your kidneys cannot keep up with the high blood sugar building up in your body, causing it to dehydrate and your kidneys to make excessive amounts of urine. If you’re excessively thirsty despite drinking lots of water, try reducing your sugar intake and talk to a diabetes doctor.
- Frequent Urination
Excessive thirst and frequent urination often go hand-in-hand with the signs of diabetes. The excess sugar in your bloodstream that your kidneys can’t filter is flushed out with urine. Urinating frequently all day and through the night when you’re trying to sleep could show problems with insulin resistance.
Fatigue is a common symptom of diabetes caused by high blood sugar. It is easy to ignore or blame stress. It’s important to differentiate between tiredness which goes away after a good rest and fatigue which includes excessive drowsiness and lack of energy that disrupts your daily activities over an extended period.
- Slow healing of cuts and scrapes
If cuts, scrapes, and other wounds are taking too long to heal, it might be a sign of undiagnosed diabetes. The body finds it hard to heal because diabetes interferes with the proper function of the immune system.
High blood sugar levels can lower your immunity and slow the body’s healing process. Many people who have diabetes also suffer from high blood pressure, which causes the blood vessels to narrow due to slow circulation; therefore, wounds take longer to heal.
- Blurred vision
Visual complications are common in people with diabetes. The high blood sugar resulting from diabetes will weigh on your eyes, making the lens swell and cause your eyesight to be blurred. Blurred vision, cataracts, and glaucoma are just a few of the vision problems linked to diabetes. If you’ve started experiencing vision problems, meet with a specialist right away to prevent and reduce your risk for vision loss and blindness.
Fluctuations in blood glucose levels can cause fluctuations in your mood. When your body stops producing or using insulin as it should, your hormone levels can fluctuate to cause mood swings, irritability, and depression. Insulin is a hormone that is like estrogen, testosterone, and hunger hormones–leptin and ghrelin.
Eating healthier foods, lowering blood sugar levels, and receiving care can all help regulate and address your mood swings.
- A burning or numb sensation in the feet
People who suffer from diabetes will often experience numbness and tingling in their extremities. Pins-and-needles sensations in your feet, toes, hands, and fingers are common signs of diabetes.
Elevated blood sugar can cause nerve damage, which is often signaled by a tingly feeling in your hands and your feet. If left untreated, this can lead to tissue death and amputations down the line.
- Frequent hunger
When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t properly use the energy in the foods you eat. Although glucose is present in the blood, your cells can’t absorb it and starve for energy. Because your body is not creating energy from blood sugar as it usually does, it could demand an increased intake of food.
Diabetes can trigger food cravings for many reasons. For instance, depression and mood swings caused by hormonal imbalances can have you reaching for comfort foods like sweets. These same hormonal imbalances can also upset the balance of your hunger hormones to cause junk food cravings.
- Unexplained weight loss
When your body isn’t able to process blood glucose properly, it’ll break down fat reserves, leading to weight loss without your trying.
One benefit of early diagnosis is keeping diabetes under control and avoiding its complications. Symptoms of diabetes are often subtle or nonexistent, especially around the onset. It’s therefore important to see a doctor regularly for checkups and testing.
If you experience any of these symptoms, quickly visit an internal medicine specialist.