Diabetes is a serious condition that can cause severe complications like coronary artery disease (CAD) and stroke, if not treated properly. But, over 1/3 of Americans, don’t even know they have diabetes. The longer you go without controlling diabetes, the higher the risks. This doesn’t have to be you. Diabetes can easily be detected and kept under control and maybe even reverse or stop it all together. If you’ve experienced any of the signs below, you should consider talking with your doctor and getting tested.
1. Frequent urination (polyuria)
People with diabetes don’t break-down the food into sugar adequately, and the unprocessed sugar remains in the bloodstream. The extra sugar in the bloodstream causes the kidneys to work harder to try to get rid of the excess of glucose in the blood and makes more urine.
2. Increased thirst (polydipsia)
The excessive sugar in the bloodstream will make kidneys produce more urine to eliminate it. As your body increases the production of urine and you urinate more frequently, you will lose fluids and become dehydrated. As a consequence, your body will try to replenish the loss of fluids. Hence you will feel a constant need to drink water.
3. Increased hunger (polydipsia)
With diabetes, your body becomes resistant to insulin. The high levels of glucose in the blood will make your body produce too much insulin after eating high carbohydrate foods, and the glucose levels will drop instantly. As a result, you become shaky and will tend to crave for sugar or carbs.
4. Dry mouth (xerostomia)
One of the most common symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes is dry mouth, and it can be a consequence of the effects of high sugar levels in the blood. High blood sugar levels cause frequent urination, as kidneys create more urine to eliminate the excess of sugar. As a consequence of the increased urination, the body loses fluid and becomes dehydrated. If you don’t drink enough water to replenish the loss of fluids, your mouth becomes dry.
In people with diabetes, headaches tend to occur due to changes in blood sugar levels. The more ups and downs your blood sugar experiments, the more likely you’ll get a headache. The headaches occur as a response of the blood vessels in the brain to hormone changes.
6. Blurry Vision
Another consequence of high blood sugar levels is that it causes glucose to build up in the lens of your eyes. As a result, the lens in your eyes will swell your vision will become distorted. The good news is that the symptom is reversible once your blood sugar levels reach normal levels.
7. Yeast infection
High levels of sugar in the bloodstream make it a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria that cause infection. Getting recurrent infections is the perfect sign of diabetes. So if this is your case, and you haven’t been diagnosed, your doctors should check for diabetes.
8. Cuts and bruises that don’t heal
When the sugar levels in your organism are continuously high, it narrows down the blood vessels, stiffens the arteries, and decreases the function of red blood cells. If the blood vessels are narrowed, blood and oxygen won’t be able to reach the wound and provide the adequate nutrients and oxygen for it to heal. Thus your body’s healing effects will be slower and less effective.
9. Numbness and tingling in hands
High levels of glucose levels in the bloodstream for a prolonged period can damage the nerves. This is called diabetic neuropathy, and it’s the most distressing warning sign of diabetes. People who suffer from diabetic neuropathy experience tingling in hands and feet, muscular cramping or weakness, pain that occurs mostly at night, and difficulties with coordination.
10. Sexual dysfunction
High sugar level causes sexual dysfunction in both men and women due to damages to the blood vessel and nerves. Around 35 to 75% of men with diabetes will experience erectile dysfunction. To get an erection men don’t only need to be sexually stimulated, they also need healthy nerves and blood vessels. Women may experience vaginal dryness which can make intercourse uncomfortable and they may have difficulties to reach an orgasm due to the loss of sensation in the genital area.
11. Unplanned weight loss
This happens to people with type 1 diabetes. It’s a product of two things that occur in your body as a consequence of high blood sugar levels. First, part of the weight you lose is because of the water you lose due to excessive urination. And second, as your body produces less insulin, it won’t be able to get glucose from the blood and into the body to be used as energy. As a consequence, your body will start to burn fat and muscle to obtain energy.
12. Black patches on neck (acanthosis nigricans)
High levels of insulin in the blood make skin cells to reproduce rapidly. It shows up as dark patches on your neck, armpits, inside the elbows, and behind the knees.
13. Warning Signs of Diabetes
When your body is not capable of making insulin, the cells in your body don’t receive the fuel they need in the form of glucose. As a consequence, your body begins to burn fat and produces ketones, which build up in your blood and urine. When ketones reach an unsafe level, you are at risk of developing a serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis or (DKA). One of the signs you are presenting DKA is that your breath produces a sweet and fruity odor. If you present this symptom, you should seek medical attention immediately.
14. Rapid Breathing
If you have diabetes and you’re experiencing rapid and difficult breathing, along with other symptoms like fruity breath, nausea vomiting, and stomach pain, then you are in the presence of diabetic ketoacidosis and should seek medical attention fast! Diabetic acidosis is a life-threating condition that requires hospitalization and treatment with fluids and insulin.
15. High Blood Pressure
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to high blood pressure and add another set of health risks like kidney disease, circulation problems, eye disease, heart disease and stroke.
When you eat, your body converts the food into glucose with the help of insulin. The glucose is then is used by your cells to obtain energy. If your body is not making enough insulin or if you are insulin resistant, the glucose won’t be able to get into the cells to produce energy. As a consequence, you will feel more tired than usual.
17. Mood Swings
Have you ever experienced unexplainable mood swing? If you answered “Yes,” you should talk to your doctor and test for diabetes. Your brain is the center of your thoughts and emotions; it’s the motor that will provide you with everything you need. But like the motor of your car, it needs fuel to do its job. For the brain its fuel is glucose. If it gets too little or too much glucose, it can go haywire
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