Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that affects how your body processes glucose (sugar), leading to elevated blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, because of the high levels of sugar in the common American diet, insulin resistance is a common development that eventually leads to more than one million new diagnoses of diabetes each year. It’s one of the most common chronic diseases in American adults, and the long-term effects can seriously impact your quality of life or even lead to an early death.
Everyone should be aware of these ten signs of diabetes, particularly if you possess any of the common risk factors (such as a family history of the condition, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, or a history of gestational diabetes).
- Frequent urination (polyuria): You may find yourself urinating more often than usual, especially at night.
- Excessive thirst (polydipsia): Increased urination can lead to dehydration, causing you to feel very thirsty and drink more fluids.
- Feeling hungry all the time (polyphagia): Despite eating, you may still feel constantly hungry, as your cells are not getting enough glucose due to insulin resistance or deficiency.
- Unexplained weight loss: Even though you are eating more, you might experience unintentional weight loss, especially in type 1 diabetes.
- Fatigue: Feeling tired and fatigued is a common symptom, as your body’s cells are not getting enough energy due to the lack of glucose utilization.
- Blurred vision: High blood sugar levels can cause the lens in your eye to swell, leading to blurry vision.
- Slow-healing sores or frequent infections: High blood sugar levels can weaken the immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off infections and heal wounds.
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet: Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage nerves, leading to peripheral neuropathy, which causes tingling, numbness, or pain in the extremities.
- Dry, itchy skin: Elevated blood sugar can cause dryness and itching in the skin.
- Frequent infections, such as yeast infections: High blood sugar levels create a conducive environment for the growth of bacteria and yeast, leading to recurring infections, especially in the genital area.
It’s important to note that some people with type 2 diabetes may not experience noticeable symptoms initially, or the symptoms may develop gradually. Therefore, regular check-ups with a healthcare provider are crucial, especially if you have risk factors for diabetes. Early detection and effective management can help prevent complications and improve overall health outcomes.