Here are 10 early symptoms that can help you recognize the onset of diabetes and aid you in getting your blood sugar under control before it’s too late.
1. You Pee a Lot When the glucose level in your blood is high, your body tries to compensate by having your kidneys filter the excess sugar from your blood. The kidneys then flush the glucose from your body through your urine, increasing the frequency with which you must pee. You may also have an increase in urinary tract infections (UTIs) and notice that you get up more frequently at night to urinate.
2. You’re Always Thirsty Because your kidneys are causing more frequent urination, it makes sense that your body is low on fluids, causing you to become dehydrated. And because you’re dehydrated, you can feel thirsty all the time. You may also experience an extremely dry mouth.
3. You’re Hungry All the Time When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t properly use the energy in the foods you eat. Although glucose is present in the blood, your cells can’t absorb it and begin to starve for energy. As a response, the cells communicate with the pancreas, saying they need more energy. The pancreas then increases the amount of insulin in the body, which tells the brain that you’re hungry.
4. You Unexpectedly Lose Weight If you suddenly lose weight, it could result from diabetes. Between losing fluids due to excess urination and the lack of cellular energy, the pounds can drop off. This is more common among those whose diabetes is uncontrolled.
5. Your Skin Becomes Very Dry Another diabetes warning sign is dry, itchy skin. Caused by a combination of increased blood sugar levels and poor circulation, your skin may feel flaky and have an increased risk of infection.
6. You Form Dark Patches In addition to dry skin, you may also form dark patches on your skin, particularly where the skin folds on itself. Called acanthosis nigricans, these discolorations are most commonly found in the neck, armpits, and groin areas. The skin may feel velvety or become thick.
7. You Heal Slowly Because of depleted cellular energy and impaired circulation, when you have diabetes, you heal slowly. With even small nicks and cuts taking weeks to months to heal, the slow healing results in an increased risk of skin infection.
8. Your Vision Blurs When blood sugar levels are high, it can damage the small blood vessels in your eyes, resulting in blurry vision. In many cases, an improvement in diabetes control can restore your vision, but when the disease is left untreated, permanent blindness can occur.
9. Your Hands and Feet Get Tingly or Hurt Diabetes impacts your circulation and creates permanent damage to the body’s nerves. Known as neuropathy, this damage often occurs in the hands and feet and results in numbness or tingling in the appendages. It may cause pain or feel like pins and needles.
10. You Get Yeast Infections Yeast naturally resides in small amounts on the body, but when you have diabetes, the excess sugar provides an ample amount of food for yeast and often results in yeast infections. These infections form in the genital area, as well as the armpits and mouth, which is sometimes referred to as thrush.