The Diabetic Alarm: 10 Warning Signals for Diabetes
Are you at risk for diabetes? Pay attention to your body throughout the day and look for any unusual signals that could be a sign of developing diabetes. To help you, here is a list of 10 alarm signals that could mean you are developing pre-diabetes or full-blown diabetes. Be sure to know the warning signs to identify and take action early to manage your health.
1. Overview of Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that is characterized by high blood sugar. It can have dire consequences if left unchecked. While many people fail to recognize some of the signs of diabetes, being aware of the warning signals can drastically improve a person’s chances of living a healthy life. Here are 10 signs of potential diabetes:
- Frequent urination – feeling the urge to urinate despite having a full bladder, a greater number of trips to the bathroom, bedwetting are all signs of diabetes.
- Feeling Lethargic – sufferers of diabetes often feel exhausted due to lack of energy, and fail to perform activities with the same vigor as before.
- Increased hunger – you may feel hungry all the time, despite eating regular and substantial meals.
- Weight Loss – sudden weight loss without any obvious lifestyle changes could be an indication of diabetes.
- Blurred Vision – diabetic sufferers often suffer from a lack of eyesight or find it hard to focus on near and far objects.
- Cuts and Bruises That Heal Slowly – diabetes slows down the healing of cuts and bruises, leaving them for longer periods.
- Mood Swings – blood sugar levels imbalances can cause sudden mood swings.
- Tingling Pains – Diabetes can cause feeling of numbness or buzzing pain in the hands and feet.
- Dry Skin – A common side effect of diabetes is dry and itchy skin.
- Yeast Infections – A yeast infection is often a sign of diabetes.
If you notice any of these warning signals, it may be time to consult a physician for a diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to avoid any serious complications. Do not wait until it is too late.
2. Common Warning Signs of Diabetes
1. Unintended Weight Loss: When your body is unable to utilize glucose optimally, it starts utilizing fat for energy. This can lead to a rapid and unexpected loss of weight. This is especially true if the fat reserves within the body are already low.
2. Frequent Urination & Increased Thirst: Excess sugar in your system pulls more water from the body, resulting in frequent urination and an almost constant state of thirst. If you are constantly looking for water it is a big warning sign to look out for.
3. Tingling or Numbness in Hands & Feet: High glucose levels can damage nerves in the body. As a result, you may feel numbness or a tingling sensation in your hands and feet.
4. Blurred Vision: High blood sugar can cause swelling within the retina which is responsible for the sharp vision. Constant fluctuations in blood-sugar levels can lead to blurred vision.
5. Impotence: Diabetes can affect a man’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection.
6. Gum Disease: When the upper and lower jaws swell and bleed, it is an early sign of diabetes.
7. Slow Healing Wounds: High sugar in the blood affects the healing process of the body, so wounds take a much longer time to heal.
8. Recurrent Sores & Itching Skin: Diabetes can cause poor circulation in individuals, resulting in sores that take much more time to heal. It has also been observed that diabetes leads to extreme dryness and itching of the skin.
9. Poor Concentration Levels & Depression: High glucose levels can affect the brain by impairing cognitive functions like memory and attention. It can also lead to depression due to the physical and mental changes the body has to face.
10. Exhaustion &Fatigue: Diabetes can cause extreme fatigue and an enormous amount of exhaustion throughout the day, even after completing small tasks.
3. What Causes Diabetes?
1. Excessive Urination: Diabetes causes excessive urination because the body is trying to get rid of the excess sugar in the blood. When this sugar isn’t utilized as energy, the body works to rid itself of it in the form of urine. This can increase thirst and may also cause you to urinate more often.
2. Increased Hunger and Weight Loss: Diabetes affects how your body processes sugar (glucose) causing it to build up in the bloodstream and restricting your cells from using it as energy. This causes your body to think it’s hungry and use up stored fat, leading to unusual and sudden weight loss.
3. Blurred Vision: High levels of glucose in the blood can cause the lens of the eye to swell, leading to blurred vision. This can be a result of too high blood sugar levels that haven’t been properly controlled and can lead to more serious problems if left untreated.
4. Slow Healing: Diabetes can cause a delay in the healing process. The body needs to use a significant amount of energy in order to heal, and when glucose levels are too high, this energy is used up more quickly. This can lead to slower healing of sores, cuts, or bruises and an overall decrease in well-being.
5. Frequent Infections: Diabetes can weaken the body’s immune system, leaving it vulnerable to infection. Yeast infections, gum infections, bladder infections, and other types of bacterial or fungal infections can be more frequent in individuals with diabetes.
6. Unusual Tiredness: Diabetes leads to a decrease in energy production and your body’s cells are not able to use glucose properly as energy. This leads to an overall decrease in energy levels and can make you feel unusually tired.
7. Unexpected Weight Gain: High levels of glucose in the blood can cause increased fat storage and lead to gains in weight. Oftentimes this is a sign of poor diabetes management.
8. Numbness/Tingling: Diabetes can lead to nerve damage in the body and cause a pins and needles sensation or even numbness in the extremities.
9. Presence of Ketones: Ketones are a type of acidic chemical produced by the body when it breaks down fat for energy. If ketones are present in the urine, this often indicates diabetes.
10. Uncontrollable Shaking/Trembling: Uncontrollable shaking or trembling can be caused by an insulin imbalance that often happens in those with diabetes. It is recommended to seek medical treatment if this symptom arises.
4. Factors that Increase the Risk of Diabetes
1. High Blood Pressure – According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is a common risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and can cause damage to blood vessels in the heart, kidneys, and other organs. When left untreated, it raises the chances of contracting diabetes.
2. Obesity – Being overweight can increase the odds of acquiring diabetes, as insulin resistance is closely linked to having a high body mass index (BMI). Excess weight may also cause an excessive release of insulin from the pancreas, which might contribute to the development of diabetes.
3. Inactivity - People who live an inactive lifestyle can be more susceptible to diabetes and are also at higher risk of being overweight or obese. An inactive lifestyle can be caused by work or leisure patterns, poor access, or lack of knowledge of safe and inexpensive exercise options.
4. Family History of Diabetes – If diabetes runs in the family, then there is a higher risk of developing the illness too. If one parent has diabetes, the chances of their child developing it is 12-24%, and this can increase to 50-75% if both parents have the condition.
5. Diet - Eating a diet full of unhealthily processed foods, trans fats, and sugary snacks can increase the risk of diabetes. Generally, people with diabetes are encouraged to consume a healthy and balanced diet consisting of plenty of fruits and vegetables, and to limit their intake of red meat, saturated fats, and, of course, sugar.
6. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - PCOS can affect women of childbearing age and is caused by an imbalance of hormones. Women with PCOS are especially vulnerable to developing diabetes, even if they are of normal weight.
7. Smoking - Smokers have higher levels of carcinogens in their bloodstream and are more likely to contract diabetes. It can be harder for them to control their sugar levels, and it’s also thought that nicotine increases insulin resistance in the body.
8. Race and Ethnicity – People with some racial or ethnic backgrounds have a higher risk of developing diabetes than others. African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Americans are more likely than White Americans to carry the diabetes gene.
9. Age – Our risk of diabetes increases as we age, especially from the age of 45, and there is an approximate double risk for adults over the age of 65.
10. Gestational Diabetes – Pregnant women can develop diabetes during their pregnancy, which, if left undetected and untreated, can increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes at a later stage.
5. Health Impacts of Diabetes
- 1. Constant Urge to Urinate: Diabetes can cause disruptions to the kidneys that lead to increased urine production and an increased urge to urinate throughout the day and night.
- 2. Unexplained Weight Loss: When living with diabetes, a large amount of glucose can be removed from the body through urination. This reduces the amount of energy available to the cells, causing weight loss.
- 3. Increased Thirst: As frequent urination leads to rapid dehydration, diabetic patients may experience a higher level of thirst.
- 4. Slow Healing Wounds: Reduced blood flow and high glucose levels can have a negative effect on the immune system’s ability to heal wounds.
- 5. Fatigue: High sugar levels can cause fatigue and weakness.
- 6. Blurred Vision: People with diabetes may experience sudden changes in vision as a result of fluid build-up between the retina and cornea.
- 7. Excessive Hunger: Diabetes causes fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Unregulated sugar levels can lead to feelings of hunger even after eating.
- 8. Dry Mouth: Diabetes can cause salivary glands to become dry, resulting in a dry and uncomfortable mouth.
- 9. Skin Issues: Diabetes can cause excessive dryness, itching, and skin infections.
- 10. Numbness in Extremities: Unexplained numbness and tingling in the feet and hands can be a sign of an underlying diabetes problem.
Diabetes can impact health in many ways, and it is important to be aware of the warning signs. Patients should keep watch for frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, increased thirst, slow healing wounds, fatigue, blurred vision, excessive hunger, dry mouth, skin issues, and numbness in extremities. Alerting a primary care physician or other medical provider about any of the above symptoms can help diagnose diabetes, or other underlying medical issues, in a timely manner.
6. How to Manage Diabetes Symptoms
It only takes a second to determine whether or not you have one of the 10 warning signals for diabetes. Be sure to look out for the telltale signs that can be indicating of high blood glucose levels.
- Thirst: Experiencing an excessive urge to drink fluids throughout the day.
- Frequent urination: Urinating frequently, especially at night.
- Hunger: Feeling hungrier than usual, despite eating the same amount.
- Fatigue: Feeling extremely tired even after getting enough sleep.
- Blurry vision: Having difficulty seeing far distances or seeing clearly.
- Unhealed sores or wounds: Cuts or sores are slower to heal or there is a presence of infection.
- Unexplained weight loss: Rapid weight loss without any changes in diet or exercise.
- Itching, dry skin: Itching sensation on the skin, often accompanied by dry patches.
- High levels of ketones in urine: Testing your urine could reveal a build-up of ketones
- Slow healing infections: frequent yeast infections, itching in the groin area is a sign.
If any of the above symptoms occur on a regular basis, make sure to get in touch with a doctor. Diabetes is a serious medical condition, so it’s best to get it checked up as soon as possible.
It is possible to manage symptoms of diabetes, but it is essential to make lifestyle changes. This includes monitoring your blood sugar, eating healthily, exercising regularly, managing stress levels, and taking regular medication or insulin injections, if required.
7. Making Lifestyle Changes to Treat Diabetes
1. Changes in Urination Frequency – A decrease or increase in urination frequency is one of the earliest and most commonly observed signs of diabetes. A frequent urge to visit the bathroom to pass urine should be taken as an alert.
2. Unexplained Weight Loss – When there is an increased rate of sugar absorption in considerable amounts due to insufficient insulin production, it can lead to unexplained weight loss.
3. Excessive Thirst and Hunger – Diabetes leads to excess of glucose in the body which is not accompanied by enough insulin, thus resulting in excessive thirst and hunger.
4. Fatigue – Additional exertion and weakness due to too much glucose without enough insulin to take it away can cause unexplained fatigue.
5. Sudden Blurred Vision – High levels of glucose in the eye fluid can cause sudden vision change, blurring of vision, seeing double or some other temporary visual alteration.
6. Numbness and Tingling in the Hands and Feet – If the nerve fiber gets damaged due to diabetes, it results in a tingling or numb sensation in the hands and feet.
7. Infertility – Unregulated glucose levels can cause fertility problems in both men and women.
8. Slow Healing of Wounds – Diabetes affects the entire body including the capability of healing wounds.
9. Unpleasant Breath Odor – High glucose levels in the saliva can cause a fruity smell on the breath, which is something to look out for.
10. Recurring Skin Infections – Dry skin combined with poor circulation of blood can lead to lifeless or easily irritated skin and recurring skin infections.
8. Understanding Blood Sugar Levels
High Blood Sugar Levels - Uncontrolled and rapidly rising glucose levels can lead to a diabetic crisis. It is important to be aware of the symptoms associated with high blood sugar levels. These usually include increased thirst, frequent urination, feeling weak or tired, confusion, blurred vision, and rapid breathing. Long-term high blood sugar levels can result in damage to the kidneys, eyes, and heart.
Low Blood Sugar Levels – Many symptoms can result fromhypoglycemia, or abnormally low blood sugar levels. These include trembling, sweating, a racing heart, feeling dizzy, and confusion. In extreme cases, episodes of hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness or seizures.
For diabetics, it is essential to monitor blood sugar levels closely, not only in order to recognize potential warning signs for hyperglycemiaand hypoglycemia, but also to recognize symptoms that may signal an impending diabetic crisis.
- Testing blood sugar levels several times a day (or as recommended by your doctor).
- Watching out for sudden changes in blood sugar levels.
- Learning the warning signs of high and low blood sugar levels.
- Seeking immediate medical attention in the event of an emergency.
By taking the necessary precautions, diabetics can stay healthy and prevent their condition from worsening.
9. Natural Therapies for Diabetes
1. Unexplained Weight Loss
Diabetic patients tend to lose weight even though they eat the same or more than normal. Unexpected weight loss is an early warning sign of diabetes.
2. Excessive Thirst
If you find yourself feeling abnormally thirsty even after drinking fluids frequently, it could indicate a developing case of diabetes.
3. Frequent Urination
Urinating several times a night or burning sensation while urinating are common signs of diabetes.
4. Slow Healing of Blemishes
Any wounds or bruises present in diabetic people tend to take a longer period of time to heal because of the inadequacies in insulin production.
5. Blurry Vision
A common symptom of diabetes is blurry vision because of the high sugar levels that affect the level of fluids in the eyes.
6. Unnatural Hunger
Diabetic patients often tend to feel hungrier than normal, even after eating meals.
While diabetes hasn’t been known to outright cause fatigue, it can worsen the symptoms for those with existing fatigue issues.
8. Numbness In Limbs
Frequent numbness, tingling, and burning sensations in the limbs are early signs of diabetes.
On a long-term basis, diabetes can result in hypertension or high blood pressure.
10. Overly Dry Skin
Having too dry skin can be a sign that your body isn’t producing enough insulin, and your skin isn’t being properly nourished.
10. Taking Control of Your Diabetes
- 1. Unusual Weight Gain or Loss: Unintentional weight loss or unexplained and rapid weight gain can be a red flag for diabetes.
- 2. Extreme Fatigue: Extreme fatigue could be a signal that your diabetes isn’t being effectively managed. Get checked if you’re consistently feeling more tired than usual.
- 3. Frequent Urination: Frequent urination can be a symptom of diabetes, especially Type 2.
- 4. Blurry Vision: If diabetes isn’t managed, it can cause damage to this vision as high blood sugar levels can affect the lens of your eyes.
- 5. Increased Hunger: Diabetes can increase your appetite, forcing you to eat more than you usually would to feel full.
- 6. Tingling or Numbness: Diabetes can cause nerve damage, leading to tingling or numbness in your hands and feet.
- 7. Recurring Infections: Diabetes can lead to weakened immunity, making you more vulnerable to infections.
- 8. Menstrual Irregularities: Uncontrolled diabetes can result in irregular or absent menstrual periods in women.
- 9. Poor Blood Flow: Poor circulation in the feet and legs is a common sign of diabetes.
- 10. Itchy Skin: Itchy skin can be a symptom of diabetes, due to poor skin health and slow wound healing.
The telltale signs of diabetes are not the same in everyone, so it’s important to know what might be a typical indicator for you. Depending on the type of diabetes you’re dealing with, the signs and symptoms may differ. Common warning signs of diabetes can include excessive thirst and hunger, feeling tired more often than usual, slow healing sores, and more.
If you have any of these 10 warning signals, make sure to speak with your doctor. A blood test for diabetes is a good starting point for a diagnosis, and early detection and treatment can help you get your diabetes in check. Regular monitoring of your blood sugar levels, eating a healthy diet, and staying active are key to controlling your diabetes. To summarise, if you are unsure of whether or not you have diabetes, it’s important to be aware of the 10 warning signals and how they can affect your health. So if you’re concerned about diabetes, keep an eye out for these signs and don’t be afraid to consult a medical professional. Regular health check-ups can help spot any issues early on, so the diabetic alarm is definitely worth heeding!