What Are the Early Signs of Diabetes Everyone Should Know?
Are you feeling more tired than usual? Are you super hungry and thirsty lately? Do you have to urinate more frequently? These occurrences could all be early signs of type 2 diabetes.
More than 30 million people have diabetes, and more than 7 million of those cases are estimated to be undiagnosed in adults, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
reverses diabetes type 2 lifestyle (☑ in skinny people) | reverses diabetes type 2 without medicationhow to reverses diabetes type 2 for When you have type 2 diabetes, it’s important to be diagnosed as early as possible, because untreated symptoms can lead to dangerous — and sometimes irreversible — consequences. These complications include damage to the eyes, nerves, and kidneys.
Some common diabetes symptoms are fatigue, lethargy, confusion, nausea, and increased urination, says David Bradley, MD, assistant professor of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.
In addition to these symptoms, other early signs of type 2 diabetes include increased hunger and thirst, as well as frequent headaches and unexplained weight loss, notes Rachael Hartley, RD, CDE, a dietitian in private practice in Columbia, South Carolina. “The first signs of diabetes are usually mild changes, like feeling hungry all the time despite eating normal meals and snacks, dry mouth, and feeling tired despite getting adequate sleep,” she says.
But those aren’t the only early signs of diabetes — there are several more unusual symptoms that many people don’t commonly associate with the disease. For instance, itching may be one of the signs you have diabetes. “High blood sugar increases the risk of skin infections caused by bacteria and yeast,” says Hartley. “Also, poor circulation and nerve damage caused by diabetes can cause itching, too.” One of the complications of diabetes is nerve damage, or diabetic neuropathy.
It’s important to be aware of any such signs, especially if you have a family history of diabetes. If one or both parents has type 2 diabetes, then you have an increased chance of developing the disease yourself, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). In addition, the ADA notes, lifestyle factors, such as eating and exercise, may play a role in your risk — and family members tend to adopt similar habits. Also, certain ethnicities, including African-American and Hispanic people, may be at a greater risk of diabetes.
So you know what to be on the lookout for, we consulted the experts, who told us about seven unusual warning signs of diabetes. “These symptoms can be mild and happen slowly over time, and so can be easy to overlook,” says Hartley.
If you experience one or more of them, consult your doctor as soon as possible. Your physician may run some diagnostic tests. And if you end up having diabetes, he or she will likely refer you to an endocrinologist and a certified diabetes educator to help you begin a diabetes management plan.
Diabetes May Be the Cause of Your Blurry Vision
If you’re having trouble reading street signs, your glasses may not be the problem. Although later-stage diabetes can cause permanent eye damage, or retinopathy, blurry vision that arises in the early stages of the disease may be reversible. “A person with diabetes may experience blurred vision because of fluid level fluctuations that cause the eye to swell,” says Erika Villanueva, MD, an endocrinologist and clinical instructor of medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. High blood sugar levels cause damage to the blood vessels that go to the retina.
Frequent Urination and Skin That Looks and Feels Weird Are Diabetes Symptoms
When blood sugar levels are heightened, the kidneys eliminate excess sugar through the urine, which for 1 last update 03 Jul 2020 results in increased urination and loss of fluid. “The subsequent dehydration causes increased thirst, and may cause itchy skin,” says Dr. Villanueva. You might also notice darkening in the body’s folds and creases, such as the armpits, groin, and neck, according to the Mayo Clinic.When blood sugar levels are heightened, the kidneys eliminate excess sugar through the urine, which results in increased urination and loss of fluid. “The subsequent dehydration causes increased thirst, and may cause itchy skin,” says Dr. Villanueva. You might also notice darkening in the body’s folds and creases, such as the armpits, groin, and neck, according to the Mayo Clinic.
These velvety patches are caused by insulin resistance, which is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes. Extra insulin circulating in the body may trigger skin cells to rapidly reproduce, and the new cells have more melanin (or pigment), resulting in a patch of skin that's darker than the skin surrounding it.
A Wound or Cut That Refuses to Heal Might Be a Sign of Type 2 Diabetes
A slow-to-heal cut or bug bite can be a red flag signaling diabetes. Hyperglycemia, which is high blood sugar, decreases the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to wounds through the bloodstream, slowing the healing process and lowering the immune system. “I had a client who was diagnosed with diabetes after she had a mosquito bite that turned into a sore that wouldn't heal,” says Hartley. This effect on immunity may also lead to more frequent colds and illness.
Frequent Yeast Infections in Women or Jock Itch in Men Are Diabetes Symptoms
Curious about more signs and symptoms of diabetes in women and men? The disease can affect your nether regions, too. Yeast thrives on glucose, and blood levels of glucose are consistently elevated in a person with diabetes, notes Villanueva. This is why having chronic yeast infections is one of the signs of diabetes in women.
reverses diabetes type 2 glucose (☑ physiology) | reverses diabetes type 2 foot painhow to reverses diabetes type 2 for Likewise, jock itch is one of the signs of diabetes in men. Yeast can grow in other areas, too — creating itchy rashes in skin folds, such as under the breasts, and between fingers and toes, according to the ADA.
Sexual Issues Might Also Be a Warning Sign of Type 2 Diabetes
In the same vein, diabetes can cause a decrease in sexual function in both men and women, according to NIDDK. Men may experience urological issues, like erectile dysfunction, while women may have vaginal dryness and problems with arousal. This is because high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and nerves that you need to work properly for sexual response, explains Hope Scott Paul, CDE, who is based in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Nerves control the body’s response to sexual stimuli, signaling an increase in blood flow to the genitals, and damage to these areas contributes to sexual dysfunction.
A Problem With Sleeping Is Another Possible Symptom of Diabetes
Diabetes doesn’t only lead to dangerous spikes in for 1 last update 03 Jul 2020 blood sugar — the disease can cause dips, which are known as hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, as well. Nighttime hypoglycemia may cause nighttime sweats, as well as vivid dreams, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. “I’ve heard these described as horrible nightmares,” says Paul.Diabetes doesn’t only lead to dangerous spikes in blood sugar — the disease can cause dips, which are known as hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, as well. Nighttime hypoglycemia may cause nighttime sweats, as well as vivid dreams, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. “I’ve heard these described as horrible nightmares,” says Paul.
If hypoglycemia is suspected, it’s important to test blood sugar levels and follow the 15/15 rule if numbers are low: Experts recommend having a 15-gram serving of carbohydrates, such as 4 ounces of fruit juice or the 1 last update 03 Jul 2020 2 tablespoons of raisins, then waiting 15 minutes before retesting numbers. Those with diabetes may need to consult a doctor immediately, as dangerously low blood sugar levels can lead to serious complications, and can even be life threatening if not addressed properly.If hypoglycemia is suspected, it’s important to test blood sugar levels and follow the 15/15 rule if numbers are low: Experts recommend having a 15-gram serving of carbohydrates, such as 4 ounces of fruit juice or 2 tablespoons of raisins, then waiting 15 minutes before retesting numbers. Those with diabetes may need to consult a doctor immediately, as dangerously low blood sugar levels can lead to serious complications, and can even be life threatening if not addressed properly.
And if you're a frequent napper, the habit could be increasing your risk for developing diabetes. A review published in December 2015 in the journal Diabetes Therapy cites research that points to a link between frequent napping and a greater risk of diabetes.
Unexpected or Sudden Weight Loss May Be a Sign or Symptom of Diabetes
This may sound like good news, but if you’ve recently dropped a significant amount of weight without trying — or perhaps even while eating more than usual — it may be a sign of diabetes. “Insulin resistance causes sugar to stay stuck in the bloodstream rather than being moved into cells for energy storage,” says Hartley. “With diabetes, your body also loses sugar through urination. Because sugar is a source of energy, or calories, this can lead to weight loss.”