8 Warnings Early Signs of Diabetes in Men & Women You Should Know
Research says that only 18 million people show the signs of diabetes and are aware that they have it, of more than 24 million people who are affected by it. The fact which is even more disturbing is that about 90% of those people are suffering from type II diabetes. This is why it is also known by the name of the silent killer, as its symptoms are easy-to-miss.
According to Doctor Maria Collazo-Clavell at Mayo Clinic, almost every day people visit her office with diabetes and are unaware of it. The best method to pick up on it is to undergo a thorough blood sugar test. There might be a few symptoms that are visible and from which you can indicate the presence of diabetes.
Signs of Diabetes in Men and Women
The early symptoms of diabetes type 2 in adults are usually seemingly harmless – that is even if the symptoms are there. But with the passage of time, these signs lead to other diabetic complications. So, we have compiled this short list of signs of diabetes, to help you in letting you know whether you have it or not.
Excessive Thirst, Increased Urination
The increase in thirst and urination levels are one of the primary symptoms, and in medical terms, they are known as the conditions of polydipsia and polyuria, respectively. As in diabetes, the sugar (glucose) level in the blood increases, the kidneys need to work harder to relieve the body of this extra glucose. The urge to urination is usually more frequent during the night time, as the human body is trying to relax.
As the excretion of blood sugar also drags the essential fluids, the body is left dehydration which leads to excessive thirst. Consequently, due to a sudden increase in fluid levels, the need for urination grows even more. Doctor Collazo-Clavell say that both of these situations are how the human body tries to manage the sugar level in blood.
Rapid Weight Loss
Our body is in constant need of energy, which it gets from the blood glucose in the cells. In case of diabetic patients, the insulin hormone isn’t able to detect the presence of glucose in the cells. Therefore, the body starts thinking that it is starving and thus, to meet the power requirements, it breaks down the muscular protein and treats it as the alternate fuel source.
As we have mentioned in the case before that the kidneys are working overtime to assist the body in getting rid of the excess sugar, the number of calories lost during this process also increases. So, the body becomes calorie deficit, as it requires a lot of energy to function correctly. This symptom is one of the earliest signs of diabetes type 1.
Excessive hunger pangs are one of the yet another symptoms of diabetes and can occur because of the sharp lows and peaks in the sugar levels of blood. This happens due to the craving of the body for more glucose which the cells require for their normal functioning.
Thanks to poor circulation of the blood through the skin layers, it gets dry and itchy and is often diagnosed as one of the prediabetes symptoms, or any other type of skin conditions, like acanthosis nigricans. The skin in the armpit area and that of the around the neck darkens in color.
Bruises, cuts, and infections don’t heal as quickly as they used to, because of the excess glucose which keeps traveling through arteries and veins and damages them. So, the platelets present in the blood face a lot of difficulty in reaching the affected areas of the body.
Diabetes also affects the immune system of the body and suppresses it. Moreover, it heightens the susceptibility of the body to get infected by a variety of diseases and infections. Although, the most common of these infections are fungal and yeast infections, as both, bacteria and fungi need sugar-rich environments to survive and replicate. Women, mainly, should keep an eye on vaginal candida infections.
Irritability and Fatigue
Many factors relate diabetes to fatigue. Doctor Collazo-Clavell explains that depending on how long the people are suffering from high blood sugar levels; they get a feeling of not being well. This is what brings those patients to my office. Moreover, the patient needs to get up in the night and go to the bathroom several times which will make anyone tired.
The same goes right for the internal functions of the body, as it is making extra effort to filter out the excessive glucose. That puts a toll on the energy reservoirs of the body, and the person starts feeling tired and irritable.
Seeing occasional flashes of light or floaters, or having a distorted vision is the result of high sugar concentration in the blood. Due to the increase in glucose in the blood, the shape of the lens in the eye changes, and so do their refractive capabilities. Furthermore, the fluids which are being pulled back into the blood from tissues also include that of the lens, thus affecting the ability to focus.
This situation is entirely reversible in case if the blood sugar level returns to normal or near normal. But if left untreated, the new blood vessels can also form in the back part of the eye and can damage the already established ones.
Note regarding the blurry vision related signs of diabetes:
Never let the blood sugar level go unchecked for extended periods, as the glucose can lead to permanent damage to the vision and can even cause irreversible blindness.
Numbness or Tingling
Numbness and tingling in feet and hands, along with swelling or burning pain, is a clear symptom that the nerves under the skin are getting a direct hit from diabetes. In case if the signs are recent, then there might be a chance to reverse the effects. Just like, as with vision, if you let the sugar concentration run rampant for more extended periods, then the nerve damage (neuropathy) will also be permanent. This is why doctors try to get the sugar level under control as soon as possible.
Tender, red, swollen gums
The immune system gets depressed because of diabetes which reduces the capability of the body to fight against the gems. Consequently, this boosts the risk of gum infections, and also in the bones that keep the teeth in their place. So if due to any disease, the gum is pulled away from the teeth, then they may become loose, and the pus develops in pockets or sores in the gums.
Blood Tests for signs of diabetes
Several tests have been developed which let the doctors check for the possible symptoms of diabetes, but it is a huge mistake to think that a single test result will be sufficient enough on its own for the proper diagnosis of diabetes. So, repeated tests must be done.
One of the tests is commonly known by the name of fasting plasma glucose tests, which detects the concentration of sugar in blood after eight hours (or night) without eating. In this experiment, the results of above 126 milligrams per deciliter of the blood show that you have diabetes.
Contact your doctor as soon as you notice any of the possible signs of diabetes. So, the earlier the condition is diagnosed, the better it is, as the delay in the treatment can cause further complications. However, you can avoid such a situation by maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.