Early Warning Signs Of Diabetes You Should Know About

If you didn't know, diabetes is a debilitating disease that prevents your pancreas from creating insulin. Insulin is a vital hormone that allows your body to convert sugar into energy.

Without insulin, your body would retain excessive amounts of sugar which can prove to be fatal if left untreated. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes has increased by 400% from 1980 to 2014. More surprisingly, out of the 29.1 million people that have diabetes, over 8 million of them are undiagnosed. That means over 25% of people with diabetes don't know they have it.

Here are some early warning signs of diabetes that should alert you to see your doctor:


1. Urinating more than normal

The average person urinates somewhere between 4 to 7 times a day. People with diabetes need to urinate a lot more.

This is due to the fact that the high sugar levels present in the body causes your kidneys to produce more urine to get rid of it. Normally your kidneys would reabsorb the sugar and put it back in your bloodstream, but because there is just too much, it produces more urine to expel it. If untreated, this could lead to kidney failure in the future. Another common side effect from this is you feel much thirstier than usual because of the constant urination.


2. Itchy skin and dry mouth

As mentioned before, your kidneys need to make more urine in order to get rid of the excess amounts of sugar. A lot of fluid is necessary to make the urine which could lead to other parts of your body receiving less than normal amounts of moisture.

Because of this, you might notice that your mouth is drier than normal and your skin could become dry and itchy.


3. Blurred vision

When the glucose levels go up in the blood, the blood starts to get thicker. The thicker blood needs to pull more fluids from surrounding tissues in order to flow normally. This is most evident in the lenses of the eye.

When the blood passes through the eye, the high blood sugar levels cause the lenses to swell and change shape. The ending result is blurrier vision and the inability to focus.


4. Fatigue and hunger

If you remember, the lack of insulin prevents your body from converting sugar to energy. Because your body can't produce the insulin or your cells reject the insulin it does make, you won't have anything helping convert the glucose to energy.

This leads to you being more tired. The lack of energy also alerts your body that you need more sustenance to provide you with the energy you need, which leads to an increase in hunger.


5. Slow healing cuts or sores

Because the blood gets thicker with higher levels of glucose, over time, it could severely affect your blood flow.

This, in turn, would make it really difficult for your body to heal from cuts or wounds because your blood isn't functioning as normal.


6. Pain or numbness in feet, hands, legs or arms

Long term exposure to high blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage in the body. Somewhere between 60% to 70% of people with diabetes have some sort of nerve damage.

The most common form of nerve damage from diabetes affects the extremities, mainly the toes, feet, hands, legs and arms. This nerve damage can cause feelings anywhere from tingling sensations to absolute numbness.


7. Yeast infections

Yeast infections can affect both men and women with diabetes. Yeast loves to feed on glucose and since people with diabetes often have excess amounts of it, it thrives.

These infections can be found anywhere there is warmth and moist folds of skin and is not just limited to the reproductive organs.


8. Unexpected weight loss

Because your body is unable to get energy from the food you eat, it resorts to burning muscle and fat for the energy it needs.

This leads to increased levels of weight loss and if you experience this without changing your dietary or exercise habits, consult a physician.


9. Nausea and/or vomiting

When your body is forced to burn fat for its energy, it produces something called ketones. Because a diabetic cannot get their energy from foods, this process happens a lot more than normal.

This can result in high levels of ketones present in the body which can become life-threatening if left untreated. Ketones usually makes someone sick to their stomach and could cause vomiting.