10 Signs that You Have Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when blood sugar is too high, and this can be caused by insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes) or an inability to produce insulin (type 1 diabetes).
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood. In contrast, type 2 diabetes can develop at any age but is more common in the older population.
Early Signs of Diabetes
- Excessive thirst and increased urinationExcessive thirst and increased urination are common signs of diabetes. When you are suffering from diabetes, excess glucose builds up in your blood. Your kidneys are forced to work hard to filter and absorb the excess glucose. When your kidneys can’t keep up, the excess glucose is excreted into your urine, dragged along by the tissues, which makes you dehydrated. This will usually leave you feeling thirsty, and as you drink more fluids to quench your thirst, you will urinate even more.
- Develop urinary tract, yeast or vaginal infections frequently Sometimes, OB-GYNs help to diagnose diabetes based on an increased frequency of vaginal infections or yeast infections. Diabetes causes changes in the immune system that can increase the risk of developing other infections. Irregular menstrual cycles or miscarriages can also be signs of diabetes.
- Experience occasional blurred vision Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a condition called diabetic retinopathy, which affects your vision. High blood sugar draws fluid from your tissues, including the lenses of your eyes. This affects your ability to focus. Eye doctors sometimes play a role in helping to diagnose diabetes because of the visual symptoms that can arise. Left untreated, diabetes can cause new blood vessels to form in your retina (the black part of your eye) and damage established vessels, which leads to vision loss and blindness.
- Slow-healing sores or frequent infections High blood sugar levels can lead to poor circulation of blood and interfere with your body's natural healing process. Due to this, people with diabetes may notice slow-healing sores, especially on the feet. In women with diabetes, bladder and vaginal infections may occur most often.
- Experience unintentional weight lossMany people want to lose weight, but the weight loss that occurs when you have uncontrolled diabetes is not a healthy way to lose weight. It happens because your body can’t properly use insulin to help process glucose (a sugar found in your food), so your body starts to process fat and muscles for fuel.
- Tingling hands and feetToo much glucose in your blood can affect how your nerves work. You may feel tingling and loss of feeling in your hands and feet, and a burning pain in your arms, hands, legs, and feet.
- Red, swollen, tender gums Diabetes may weaken your ability to fight germs, which increases the risk of infections in your gums and in the bones that hold your teeth in place. Your gums may pull away from your teeth, which may become loose, or you may develop sores or pockets filled with pus in your gums, especially if you have gingivitis before diabetes develops.
- Skin discolorationInsulin resistance can cause dark spots (acanthosis nigricans), which are usually found in the folds of the neck, armpits, or groin. This dark skin can appear lifted and have a velvety texture.
- FatigueWhen your blood sugar level is high, your body works hard to get rid of the excess sugar. This process not only affects your body but also changes the way your body uses glucose for energy. Blood sugar that is too high, or hyperglycemia, has exhausting effects, among other symptoms. In addition, dehydration, which is associated with increased urination, is a common cause of fatigue in people with diabetes.
- Increase in appetiteWhen glucose is pulled from the body's cells, the body's energy level drops. This in turn triggers a hunger response. So, even if a person eats right, the inability to regulate blood sugar does not match the cellular energy levels in the body. In simple terms, the body does not receive the required energy even after eating, and thus signals more energy and the person feels hungry.
When to visit a doctor?
You should call your doctor if you have high blood sugar throughout the day, if you find that your blood sugar is always high at the same time, or if you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned in this blog, a lot more than usual.