As you get older, it is important that you find out about the early signs of diabetes and prevention. Many people ask the question, “How can I know if I have diabetes?” The usual early symptom most of us know is high levels of glucose.
However, it is quite difficult to notice this, many people don’t even notice it at all. Symptoms show up way faster with type 1 diabetes than type 2 diabetes. The first step to diabetes treatment is to discover the unusual symptoms of diabetes.
In this post, we will show you the early signs of diabetes and prevention. If you are ready for this interesting read, let’s dive straight in.
Early Signs of Diabetes
There are two major types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. While each of these has its own specific symptoms, there are certain signs that are common to both. Let’s check out a few of these below:
Fatigue and hunger
The human body converts food into glucose which is the form of sugar that our cells can absorb. However, to absorb this glucose, the cells need insulin. A problem arises if the body is not able to produce sufficient insulin or the cells resist the produced insulin.
When this occurs, the cells aren’t able to absorb glucose which is needed to provide energy. As a result, you will generally become fatigued faster and get hungrier very quickly.
Being thirstier and peeing often
Usually, a healthy human should pee between 4 and 7 times within 24 hours. A diabetic patient will likely go a lot more. The reason for this is that as glucose passes through the kidneys, your body should reabsorb it. However, when diabetes spikes glucose levels in the blood, the kidney is not able to absorb it all.
Because of this, the diabetic patient gets to urinate a lot more than usual. With lots of peeing will come getting thirsty very often.
Itchy skin and dry mouth
Since the body is drawing a lot of your body fluid towards peeing, it leaves very little moisture for the rest of the body. This leads to dehydration and your mouth feeling dry. One of the results of dry skin is increased itching.
This is also a result of changes in body fluid levels. When fluid levels change frequently, the eye lenses swell up. Continual swelling will result in a change of shape that ultimately leads to blurry vision and less focus.
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
This is a result of extended periods of high levels of glucose in the bloodstream. The symptoms of diabetes type 2 in adults are enumerated below:
Regardless of sex, anyone with diabetes can have yeast infections. Generally, yeast feeds on glucose and since there is a lot of the latter in your body, yeast will thrive easily. The infections will mostly grow around the moist warm folded areas of the skin which may include:
- Around or in sex organs.
- Under breasts.
- Between toes and fingers.
Slow-healing of cuts and sores
Gradually, excess blood sugar begins to affect blood flow leading to nerve damage. As a result of this, it becomes increasingly difficult for the body to heal quickly. This is why you see diabetic patients suffering from type 2 diabetes having unhealed sores for several years.
Numbness or pain in the legs or feet
This is also a result of nerve damage which stems from blood flow issues caused by excess blood sugar.
Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms
To know if you are suffering from diabetes type 1, here are the type 1 diabetes symptoms:
Unplanned weight loss
Your body is naturally expected to get its supply of energy from the food you eat. Type 1 diabetes makes it almost impossible to achieve this. As a result, your body starts to seek a different source of energy.
The closest source of energy is your body fat and muscle. Your body begins to burn these to satisfy its energy requirement. This will lead to weight loss even if you didn’t change your eating habits or diet.
Vomiting and nausea
The result of your body burning fat and muscle for energy is ketones instead of glucose. These ketones gradually build up to dangerous levels in the bloodstream. This leads to a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition that is life-threatening in itself.
Ketones generally make you feel terrible which explains the nauseous feeling or vomiting.
Gestational Diabetes Symptoms
When it comes to finding out the early signs of diabetes and prevention, we overlook gestational diabetes. Basically, gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women. It is when a pregnant woman’s blood sugar levels spikes.
To be sincere, there aren’t any real symptoms of this. However, the pregnant woman may feel the urge to pee far more often than a pregnant woman should. She is also going to be consuming a lot more fluid than she should be because she will get thirstier naturally.
Warnings Signs of Diabetic Complications
These are a summary of complications relating to type 2 diabetes:
- Decreased vision.
- Frequent yeast infections.
- Erectile dysfunction or impotence.
- Itchy skin (this is mostly experienced in private areas like the groin and vagina).
- Numbness and a tingling sensation in the hands and feet.
- Recent weight gain.
- Slow-healing of cuts or sores.
- Velvety, dark skin changes of the groin, neck, and armpit called acanthosisnigricans.
In layman terms, hypoglycemia is low blood sugar. It occurs when the glucose in the bloodstream is too low to meet the energy requirements of the body cells. Some of the symptoms include:
- Cranky or impatient.
- Lightheaded or dizzy.
- Nervous or anxious.
- Sweaty, chilly, or clammy.
- Tingly or numb in your lips, tongue, or cheeks.
In some cases, you may notice:
- Blurred vision.
- Coordination problems.
- Fast heartbeat.
- Nightmares or crying when you sleep.
- Pale skin.
This is the direct opposite in meaning to hypoglycemia. As you can guess, it is when the blood sugar levels spikes. It is also known as high blood sugar and it is one of the early signs of diabetes. Some of the symptoms include:
- Blood glucose rising above 180 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl).
- Blurry vision.
- Heavy thirst.
- More hunger.
- Numb or tingling feet.
- Peeing a lot.
- Slow-healing cuts and sores.
- Sugar in your urine.
- Vaginal and skin infections.
- Weight loss.
This is a condition that is more common with type 2 diabetes. Originally, it is known as hyperosmolar hyperglycemic non-ketotic syndrome (HHNS). It can lead to coma or even death in diabetic patients. The major cause of diabetic coma is excessive blood sugar and dehydration.
Some of the symptoms of diabetic coma include:
- Blood sugar over 600 mg/dl
- Dry, parched mouth
- Extreme thirst
- High fever (over 101 F)
- Sleepiness or confusion
- Vision loss
- Warm, dry skin that doesn’t sweat
- Weakness on one side of your body
When Should You Call Your Doctor?
When you begin to notice several signs, you are probably wondering when you need to seek your doctor’s attention. As you get older, especially when you are above 45-years-old, the risk of diabetes is higher. It is imperative that once you reach this age or you are prone to diabetes as a result of family history, you get tested often.
The earlier to discover the condition, the better for you. This way, you are able to avoid heart trouble, nerve damage, and any other related complications. When you notice any of these, you should visit your doctor as soon as you can:
- Breathing more deeply and faster than normal.
- peeing a lot.
- Feel sick to your stomach, weak, and very thirsty.
- Have a bad belly ache.
- Have sweet breath that smells like nail polish remover (This is a sign of very high ketones).
With these early signs of diabetes and prevention, you can begin watching your health closely. The first step to preventing diabetes is regularly checking yourself. Once you notice any changes in your health, visit the hospital for a test. Remember, the earlier you notice it, the better.