Some of them may easy to dismiss, but if you experience any of the diabetes warning signs listed below, it’s vital you don’t ignore them. Blurry vision, frequent yeast infections, and constant thirst, for example, are all signs of diabetes. And roughly 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form. It’s characterized by high blood glucose levels, caused by either a lack of insulin in the body, or the body’s inability to use insulin properly. Blood sugar levels become high and can wreak havoc on blood vessels, causing complications. Kidneys can become damaged, as well as the eyes and nerves, and the risk of heart attack and stroke can double.
If you’ve heard diabetes referred to as an “epidemic,” that’s because it is. More and more people are developing type 2 diabetes, including children, and many cases go un-diagnosed due to easy-to-miss symptoms. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
- Family history of diabetes
- Being overweight
- Maintaining an unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
- High blood pressure
- History of gestational diabetes
- Impaired glucose tolerance
Early Diabetes Warning Signs
Knowing the signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can help you catch it early on and learn how to manage it. The longer blood sugar levels remain too high, the greater the chance of damage to the body. Here are early warning signs of diabetes to look out for:
1. Excessive Hunger
Diabetes warning signs can include excessive hunger. This stems from sharp highs and lows in blood sugar levels. When glucose cannot enter the body’s cells, your body can’t give you the energy you need. This sends the message to your body that it hasn’t been fed, so you remain hungry. This in turn causes it to crave more of the glucose that cells need in order to function. When blood sugar levels plummet, then, you may find it harder to stay full.
High blood sugar levels in the body can cause fatigue and irritability. The body has to work harder to compensate for its glucose deficiency, so someone suffering from diabetes may become tired more quickly and easily. Additionally, high blood glucose can cause fatigue by means of inflammation. Sugar causes blood vessels to become inflamed. This leads to immune cells called monocytes to enter the brain, causing fatigue. Being tired can lead to irritability. If you’ve noticed your temper is at an all-time low these days, the cause may be fatigue. And this fatigue, especially in conjunction with other symptoms listed here, may be a sign of diabetes.
3. Increased Urination / Constant Thirst
Also on the list of diabetes warning signs is increased urination, often coupled with constant thirst. This is one of the more common diabetes warning signs. Have you noticed an increase of having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night? This could be a sign of diabetes. Diabetes causes the kidneys to kick into a higher gear while trying to get rid of all the extra glucose in the blood. With the kidneys working harder, you may experience the urge to urinate more often, including several times during the night. Excessive thirst, then, is the body’s way of trying to replenish lost fluids.
4. Dry and Itchy Skin
Dry and itchy skin can be the result of poor circulation — a possible early warning sign of diabetes. This symptom can also be the result of losing more fluids to urination, which can lead to dehydration. If you are in danger of developing diabetes, you may notice the itchiest part of your body is the bottom area of your legs.
5. Blurry Vision
Distorted vision is a direct result of high blood sugar levels. When glucose in the blood is high, it can actually change the shape of the lens. This symptom will subside once blood sugar levels are returned to normal, but ignoring this early warning sign and allowing blood sugar levels to stay high for too long can cause permanent damage.
6. Yeast Infections
The body is in an immunosupressed state when it develops diabetes, meaning someone with diabetes becomes more prone to infections. The most common are yeast infections, along with other fungal infections. If diabetes isn’t well-controlled, frequent development of yeast infections, especially in the vaginal region, is likely.
7. Slow-Healing Cuts or Sores
Diabetes can slow the healing of infections, cuts and bruises. This happens because the blood vessels are being damaged by the excessive amounts of glucose traveling through the veins and arteries, making it more difficult for blood (needed for healing) to reach different areas of the body. When cuts or sores don’t heal as quickly as they should, it can lead to other complications. This includes bacterial and fungal infections, as well as gangrene.
Prevention is Key!
A healthy diet is a great place to start for diabetes prevention. Even if you are predisposed to develop diabetes due to family history, eating right now may keep you from developing diabetes later. An example of a healthy diet for diabetes prevention is low in added sugar, includes plenty of leafy greens as well as other vegetables, and low-glycemic index grains. It’s generally a good idea to focus on a variety of whole, plant-based foods. These are the foods that are healing for your body.
It’s no secret that exercise is paramount to steadfast health. Staying active may help prevent diabetes as well as help prevent other diseases. If you’ve already developed diabetes, you may try swimming to help manage symptoms. Swimming is great for people with diabetes because it doesn’t put any stress on the joints, unlike walking or jogging. Be sure to speak to your health care professional about what exercise regime may work best for you.
And, remember, it’s never too late to eat right and get moving. In fact, proper diet and exercise may even help reverse diabetes.
If you’re experiencing any of the diabetes warning signs above, contact a health care professional. Check out the video below for tips on how to improve your diet after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
h/t: best healthy guide