So many people have diabetes – about 1.5 million are diagnosed in the United States every year, and nearly 1 in 10 Americans have it – you’d think it would be easy to spot. But although the condition is relatively common, many people go undiagnosed because early symptoms can be vague, easily overlooked at first, or confused with other conditions.
Here from Eat this, not that! Health are the first signs your body may send out when you develop diabetes. Read on and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these sure signs that you’ve already had the coronavirus.
A very common early sign of diabetes, increased thirst occurs because diabetes causes sugar (glucose) to build up in the bloodstream. Normally, the kidneys process glucose, but when they are overwhelmed, the excess glucose is excreted with the urine. Water from other tissues in the body is carried along with it, leaving you dehydrated and thirsty for fluids to replace what you’ve lost.
The Rx: Experts such as Harvard Medical School recommend drinking four to six cups of water a day. If you are hydrating properly but have noticed an increase in thirst, talk to your doctor.
At the onset of diabetes, the body will increase urine production, attempting to eliminate excess blood sugar, and you may find yourself having to go more often. “It’s important to know what’s normal for your body,” says Leigh Tracy, RD, LDN, CDE, registered dietitian and diabetes program coordinator at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. “The average person urinates seven to eight times a day, but for some it’s normal up to 10 times a day.”
The Rx: “If you urinate more than normal, and especially if you wake up multiple times in the middle of the night to urinate, talk to your primary care physician right away,” says Tracy.
Diabetes causes an uncontrolled rise in blood sugar. At the same time, it prevents cells from using glucose for energy. That lack of energy can make you hungry.
The Rx: “If you notice that you are constantly hungry even though you have just eaten regular meals and snacks throughout the day, you should speak to your doctor,” says Tracy.
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Since diabetes raises blood sugar at the same time it prevents the body from using it for energy, which can make you fatigue. Frequent urination can also disturb sleep.
The Rx: There is a difference between tiredness and fatigue. Normal fatigue improves after rest. But if you’re still feeling exhausted despite getting enough sleep, it’s worth talking to your doctor.
According to the Mayo Clinic, high blood glucose levels draw fluid from tissues, including the lenses of the eyes. This can affect your ability to focus and cause blurry vision. Diabetes can also cause new blood vessels to form in the retinas, damaging the stabilized vessels. If these changes progress untreated, they can lead to vision loss.
The Rx: If you are experiencing signs of diabetes such as blurred vision, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible and regularly if diagnosed. “Diabetes is a progressive disease, even in patients with an excellent lifestyle,” he says Sarah Rettinger, MD, endocrinologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
Diabetes can slow the healing of skin injuries, such as cuts and bruises. High blood sugar can stiffen blood vessels, slowing blood flow and preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to cuts and bruises to heal them. Diabetes can also damage the immune system, slowing the body’s natural repair processes.
The Rx: If you notice that cuts or bruises don’t heal as quickly as they used to, see your doctor.
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Losing weight without changing your diet or exercise may sound great, but it’s the definition of too good to be true – it can mean a serious health condition like hyperthyroidism, cancer, or diabetes. When diabetics lose glucose through frequent urination, they also lose calories. Diabetes can also prevent cells from absorbing glucose from food for energy, and the body can instead start burning its stores of fat for fuel. Both can cause weight loss.
The Rx: If you are losing pounds without trying, consult your doctor and ask if you should be tested for diabetes.
Diabetes can lead to a kind of nerve damage called neuropathy, which can cause tingling or numbness in extremities such as hands or feet. This is dangerous because numbness can make cuts or wounds easier to overlook, and because diabetes can make wounds heal more slowly, complications can occur.
The Rx: Be aware of what’s happening to your body and if you are experiencing unusual pain, numbness or tingling in your hands or feet, see a doctor right away.
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“People often have no symptoms of diabetes,” he says Kristine Arthur, MD, internist at MemorialCare Medical Group in Irvine, California. “Sometimes they may notice weight gain, persistent hunger and increased fatigue associated with high insulin levels, but these symptoms may be present in other conditions, so it’s important to get blood tests to find out what’s causing it.”
The Rx: Have your HgbA1c (sometimes called “A1c”) levels checked with a blood test every year during your routine checkup.
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