10 Early Warning Signs Of Diabetes
Diabetes is a medical condition that has reached epic proportions in the United States. There are more than 25 million people living with diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association, and about one third of those people are unaware that they are diabetic. Another 79 million people are pre-diabetic, meaning if they don’t make some healthy changes in their lives, they will develop diabetes. Here are some of the early warning signs of diabetes.
Increased Thirst & Urination
As glucose levels in the blood rise, the kidneys attempt to filter it from your blood. When there is too much glucose in the blood the kidneys eventually can’t keep up. The excess glucose is excreted into your urine along with fluids from your body. This causes more frequent urination as your body attempts to expel the glucose. You become chronically dehydrated and the urge to drink more becomes increased.
Your body needs to utilize insulin to pull glucose into your cells. When you have a lack of insulin, or are insulin resistant, your body can’t store the glucose in your cells. Cells need glucose for energy. Because you aren’t storing the glucose, your body doesn’t have the energy it needs. This translates to increased hunger as the body’s attempt to increase calories for energy.
Weakness and Fatigue
Along the same lines as increased hunger, weakness and fatigue are a result of the body’s inability to properly utilize energy (glucose). Without being able to pull glucose into the cells, the body doesn’t have the proper amount of energy to function optimally. This results in fatigue and weakness.
Unexpected Weight Loss
What happens when the body is excreting excess glucose when you eat? It’s not storing it as energy for later. The body excretes the glucose in urine and decreases the amount of calories that are being absorbed into the cells. This means you end up losing weight as a result since you can’t compensate in calories for what is lost.
Tingling or Numbness
Tingling or numbness, otherwise known as diabetic neuropathy is damage to nerves that arises as a complication of high blood glucose levels. When blood glucose levels are elevated, it interferes with signals transmitted by nerves. In addition, the walls of small blood vessels are weakened, effectively cutting off blood supply to nerves. This usually happens in the outermost extremities, starting with the feet.
Another area that is extremely sensitive to the effects of high blood glucose are the eyes. The lens of the eye can swell and change shape causing your vision to suddenly become blurry.
Sores That Heal Slowly
In one study by the University of Warwick, researchers found that receptors that recognize infection become ‘blind’ when glucose levels rise in the blood. The high glucose effectively inhibits the normal working process of the immune system. This slows the work of white blood cells and essentially the normal healing process.
Similar to the slow healing, frequent infections are another symptom brought about by the increase blood glucose levels. A slowed immune response can lead you to an increased likelihood of frequent infections, and worse infections that a person with stable or normal blood glucose levels.
Dry, Itchy, or Scaly Skin
Your body is made up of anywhere from 50%-78% water. Due to the frequent urination and perpetual state of thirst, just about everything is going to dry out. That includes your skin. Dry, itchy or scaly skin is a common symptom of diabetes as your kidneys excrete more water out of your tissues.
Have you ever been low on energy and hungry? You can attest you probably weren’t in the best mood at that time. Now imagine eating calories and the energy that’s supposed to be stored in your cells to keep you going, is now being expelled. It results in an overall bad feeling and the irritability of being in a perpetual state of lost energy.