As diabetes continues to be one of the most dangerous diseases out there, we can’t help but wonder: How can you tell if you have diabetes? While some of its early symptoms are also the most known, which are higher levels of glucose than you would normally have, there are still many other things we don’t know about this disease.
In fact, the warning signs are so mild, that you might not even notice them. And this applies, even more, when it comes to type 2 diabetes. Some people don’t even know they have it until they notice other signs of long-term damage. Given all that, let’s discuss some of diabetes’ earliest signs (and don’t worry, all types of diabetes have the same warning signs):
Even if you just finished eating, you may immediately feel an instant feeling of intense hunger. That feeling appears again when your muscles aren’t getting the needed energy from what you just ate.
Your body’s insulin resistance doesn’t allow glucose to enter the muscle and provide it with energy. So the muscles are trying to send a “hunger” message to the other tissues in your body, in order to receive more energy into the body. If your body isn’t able to make enough or any insulin at all, the glucose won’t be able to get into your muscles. That’s why you’re constantly hungry.
When you’re at risk of having diabetes, you might constantly feel extremely tired. There are two main reasons for feeling this way: you either have too high or too low blood sugar levels. In both of these cases, the tiredness comes as a result of suffering an imbalance between your level of blood glucose and how effective the insulin in your body is.
If you’re constantly feeling tired, even after having slept extremely well, it could be the effect of either high or low sugar levels. The best thing you can do is test your blood glucose levels, to check whether the tiredness comes as a result of having high or low blood levels.
Peeing more and being thirsty more often
If you didn’t know this yet, the average person usually pees between four and seven times in 24 hours. Well, people who have diabetes go a lot more. In normal circumstances, your body reabsorbs glucose that travels through your kidneys.
But when diabetes is pushing your blood sugar up, your kidneys might not be able to bring it all back in. All this causes the body to create more urine, which takes fluids. Ultimately, this results in you going more often to the bathroom. You might even pee out more. And because you go so often to the bathroom, you might get very thirsty.
When you have a dry mouth, it’s not always the result of dehydration. In fact, diabetes and dry mouth are also linked, because diabetes is at fault for causing a reduction in saliva. Between 40% and 80% of diabetics are reportedly suffering from dry mouth symptoms, which can be the result of diabetes.
Plus, reduced saliva can eventually lead to tooth decay and an oral condition known as gingivitis. This annoying symptom can also disrupt your sleep, and cause changes in your oral hydration and in your sense of smell and taste. Also, diabetics might suffer from dry mouth as a direct result of different medications.
Diabetes is also at fault for causing areas of localized itching. In some cases, itching can come as a result of damaged nerve fibers in the outer layers of our skin. The cause of diabetes-related itch can be diabetic polyneuropathy and peripheral neuropathy.
These are usually the complications that appear when high blood glucose levels are damaging the nerve fibers, especially those in the feet and hands. The inflammatory substances that cause itching are high levels of cytokines.
There’s research that proves how increased cytokines are linked with diabetic nerve damage. And sometimes, these high levels of cytokines might be a clue that the diabetic person is about to suffer from nerve damage.
As you change your fluid levels in your body, the lenses in your eyes can swell up. So if you notice blurred vision, it might not be because you need to buy a new pair of glasses. Your blurred vision might just be a temporary problem that rapidly appears and disappears and is caused by high blood sugar levels. If you want to correct your blurred vision, you might have to get your blood sugar back into the target range. For some people, this means from 70 mg/dL to 130 mg/dL before mealtime, and less than 180 mg/dL one to 2 hours after you begin eating.
Yeast infection can frequently appear both in men and women with diabetes. Yeast feeds on glucose, so if you have plenty of it it’s simply perfect for yeast to thrive. As a matter of fact, infections can grow in any kind of warm, moist part of the skin, such as between fingers and toes, under breasts, in or around our intimate organs.
People with type 2 diabetes are more at risk of suffering from yeast infections, mostly because they have more sugar in their system, which disrupts the intimate organs’ balance of bacteria and yeast.
When blood sugar levels are above the roof, the body tries to get rid of the excess sugar through bodily fluids. Yeast feeds from sugar, so it’s the perfect environment for it to multiply and grow.
Slow-healing sores and cuts
Many wounds, cuts, and burns are harder to heal if you also suffer from diabetes. Even more, these injuries might also lead to serious health issues. Diabetes makes the body become extremely sensitive to insulin, a hormone that lets our body cells use the glucose from the bloodstream for energy.
So if there’s a disruption to insulin, it’s more difficult for the body to manage its blood glucose levels. So when blood glucose is always high, it doesn’t let white blood cells function properly. White blood cells are extremely essential for our immune system. When we lack these cells, our bodies can’t fight bacteria and close their wounds.
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