Do you know that many people with diabetes have no clue that they are afflicted with the disease? This article will teach you how you will be able to tell that you might be sick with the said ailment.
Diabetes is a health problem that affects millions of people around the world with estimates placing it to be affecting nearly 390 million. In the United States, it is estimated that 29 million people have it. But what is alarming is that out of that number,8 million individuals have no clue at all that they are afflicted with this disease.
This is why many health experts dub diabetes as the silent killer since a lot of people don’t know that they have it. The best way to determine if you have the disease is to have a blood sugar test. However, you may want to look out for certain signs and symptoms before seeing your doctor.
Generally speaking, the signs of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults and children are almost the same. In both types, there is too much sugar in the blood while the cells of the body don’t have enough glucose.
High blood sugar levels in Type 1 are brought about by lack of insulin since the cells that produce the hormone have been destroyed. In type 2, high blood sugar occurs because the cells have become resistant to insulin secreted in the body.
Either way, the cells in your body are not getting the glucose that they need. In turn, your body would let you know by manifesting the following signs and symptoms:
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Frequent Bathroom Trips
Since there is excess glucose in the bloodstream, the kidneys flush it out of the system through the urine. This reaction of the kidneys result in more urine production, and you would feel the urge to urinate more frequently. The urge to urinate is too great that you even have to get out of your bed every night just to pee.
If you have been noticing that you often go to the bathroom, especially during the night, then talk to your doctor as you may have type 2 diabetes.
High blood sugar not only leads to increased urine production which causes you to go to the bathroom more often than usual, but it also makes you lose more fluid. You will become dehydrated as a consequence, and you’ll feel thirsty almost all the time. If you notice that you are drinking more water or fluids than usual, or that your mouth feels thirsty and dry then you could have type 2 diabetes.
Unexplained Weight Loss
If you are losing weight even if you’re not dieting or regularly working out, then you may have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, in particular, causes your cells not to get enough glucose. And because you’re making more frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate you end up losing more calories and water which result to weight loss.
People who have diabetes are usually hungry, even after a meal. This is because their muscles are not getting the energy from food since the insulin resistance of the body prevents glucose from entering the muscles and providing energy. This forces the muscles and other tissues to tell the brain that these body parts need glucose, which the brain interprets as hunger.
Women with type 2 diabetes are more prone to vaginal infections since bacteria tend to thrive when there are high levels of glucose in the blood. Bacteria will flourish and the body’s immune system would not be able to fight it off. As a consequence, women are likely to have vaginal infections. Men on the other hand, may suffer from foot infections especially if they are in the advanced stage of diabetes.
Foot Pain and Numbness
Eventually, diabetes can lead to nerve damage throughout the body. This condition is referred to as diabetic neuropathy. Some individuals may not experience symptoms of the condition but others may experience pain, numbness, or tingling in the extremities.Diabetic neuropathy often begins in the feet, and progresses upward.
While it is common in people who have had diabetes for decades, diabetic neuropathy can manifest in the pre-diabetic phase.
One of the early warning signs of diabetes is blurred vision. This happens because the ability of the lens of the eye to bend is affected by high sugar. While the lens is not really damaged, its muscles have to work doubly harder to focus. Eye muscles that have not adapted to the rapid blood sugar changes can cause blurred vision. Eventually, though, your body would be able to adapt to the changing blood glucose levels and your vision will revert to normal.
Although gum disease is usually caused by plaque, diabetes may also play a role. The ailment can weaken the germ-fighting properties of the mouth. High blood glucose levels can also make gum disease to worsen.
The problem with gum disease is that it is painless, so you might not even know that you have it unless your dentist tells you so. But there are warning signs that can tell you that you have it, such as red, swollen and tender gums and bad breath.
Other signs that you have gum disease are changes in the fit of dentures or bridges, as well as in the way your teeth fit whenever you bite. To be sure about it, see your dentist.
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Living with diabetes can zap your energy. You would feel tired all the time even if you’re not really doing something exhausting. Moreover, if you feel lethargic not matter how many hours of sleep you get or how frequent you eat, then it is likely that you have diabetes.
Another common symptom of high or low blood sugar is chronic headache. Although headaches are not really as alarming as vaginal infections or blurred vision, frequent episodes of headaches would tell you that your blood sugar is out of its ideal range.
These are 10 of the most common signs and symptoms of diabetes. If you suspect that you have diabetes because you experience one or more of these symptoms, you should see your doctor right away.