Diabetes, a group of metabolic disorders characterized by high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period, affects millions of people all over the world. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) says that out of the estimated 371 million suffering from diabetes, about 187 million of them are unaware they have the disease.
It pays to live a healthy lifestyle and to watch for red flags that might point to you possibly having diabetes (or any ailment for that matter). Earlier detection means sufferers can better manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Check out our list below and be informed.
1. Weight gain
Constant hunger when suffering from diabetes can cause weight gain. Insulin resistance causes sufferers, specifically those with type 2 diabetes, to gain weight and have a hard time shedding the extra pounds.
2. Weight loss
Weight gain is usually associated with diabetes, yes, but weight loss can be a symptom of the disease, too. This is fairly common to those who have type 1 diabetes. See, losing sugar through frequent urination caused by diabetes means losing calories.
3. Increased thirst
People with diabetes are often thirstier than usual and frequently experience dry mouth. Frequent urination caused by diabetes can also leave a person dehydrated and craving liquids. This increased thirst is a symptom called polydipsia.
4. Dark patches in the skin
Dark spots that come out of nowhere, grow, and multiply can be a sign of type 1 diabetes. Be sure to check your skin for irregularities, and consult your doctor immediately should you see something amiss.
5. Constant hunger
Diabetes can prevent sugar from your food from reaching your cells, and this can lead to constant hunger. This, along with the loss of calories because of frequent urination, can cause excessive craving and eating.
6. Extremity pain
Excess sugar in the blood can cause nerve damage and lead to loss of sensation in the hands and feet. Sufferers may also experience burning pain in the hands, arms, legs, and feet.
7. Irritability and mood swings
Low glucose levels can lead to extreme mood swings, so paying attention to not just the physical but also the emotional aspect is important. Frequent irritability can be a sign of more serious things.
8. Slow healing of wounds
Slow healing of cuts is a common sign of diabetes. Infections are more common in persons with diabetes, and it may be because high levels of blood sugar impair the body’s natural healing process and its ability to fight infections.
9. Itchy skin
The symptom is also known as pruritus, and it is commonly felt in the lower legs and feet. The itching is caused by poor and irregular blood flow. Lotions and creams are usually prescribed by doctors to relieve this symptom.
10. Changes in vision
Diabetes also affects the eyes. High levels of blood sugar can take away fluid from tissues, including the lenses of the eyes. This can make it very difficult for the eyes to focus. If left untreated, diabetes can cause new blood vessels to form in the retina and damage established vessels.
Heed these warnings, but be sure to first consult your doctor and work toward a healthy lifestyle.
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