Diabetes: A disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood.
The warning signs can be mild that you won’t notice them. This is mostly true if type 2 diabetes is the case.
Some people don’t find out early that they have it until they get problems from long-term damage caused by the disease.
In the case of type 1 diabetes, the signs happen quickly, in a matter of days or a few weeks. They’re much more severe, too.
Signs of Diabetes:
Hunger and fatigue: Foods taken into the body like carbohydrates get converted into glucose and used for energy by the cells. But your cells need insulin to take in glucose. If it happens that your body is not able to make enough insulin, or if there is an insulin resistance by your cells, they will not get enough glucose resulting in little or no energy. This can make you hungrier and more tired than usual.
Urinating more often and being thirstier: The average person usually has to urinate between four and seven times in 24 hours, but people with diabetes urinate a lot more.
Why? Under normal circumstances, the human body reabsorbs glucose through the kidneys. But if your sugar levels pushes up as a result of diabetes, your kidneys may not be well enough to handle it all back in. This causes the body to make more urine, and that takes fluids.
The result: You’ll have to urinate more often. Because you’re urinating so much, you get very thirsty. If you take in more liquid, you’ll also pass out more urine.
- Dry mouth and itchy skin. Because your body is using fluids to make urine, there’s less water for other things. You will get dehydrated, and your mouth will feel dry.
- Blurred vision. Changing fluid levels in your body could make the lenses in the eyes swell. They change shape and can’t see properly.
Signs of Type 2 Diabetes
These signs show up after your glucose (sugar) levels have gone high for a long time. These include:
- Yeast infections. Both men and women with diabetes have these. Yeast feeds on glucose, so having plenty around makes it grow. Infections can grow in any warm, moist fold of skin, these includes:
Between fingers and toes
In or around sex organs
- Slow-healing injuries. Over time, high blood sugar can affect your blood flow and cause nerve damage, this makes it hard for your body to heal wounds.
- Pain or numbness in your legs. Another result of a damaged nerve.
- Slow-healing sores or cuts
- Itchy skin (usually around the private parts)
- Frequent yeast infections
- Recent weight gain
- Dark skin changes of the neck, armpit, and groin, called acanthosis nigricans.
- Numbness and tingling on the hands and feet
- Blurred vision
- Weak Erection
Low blood sugar happens when the level of sugar or glucose in your blood drops too low for the body. You might feel one of these:
Nervous or anxious
Cranky or impatient
Lightheaded or dizzy
Feeling tingly on your cheeks or in your tongue or lips.
You might also notice these:
Nightmares or crying when you sleep
Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar causes many of the warning signs of diabetes listed above including these:
Urinating a lot
Numb or tingling feet
Sugar in your urine
Vaginal and skin infections
Blood glucose over 180 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndrome (HHNS). This is a serious complication that can lead to diabetic coma and even death with either type 1 or 2 diabetes, but it’s more common in type 2.
This happens when your blood sugar is very high and your body gets severely dehydrated.
The signs are:
Blood sugar over 600 mg/dl Dry parched mouth
Warm dry skin that doesn’t sweat
High fever (over 101 F)
Sleepiness or confusion
Weakness on one side of your body
It is always important to get yourself tested for sugar levels especially if you’re 45 or older or if you experience symptoms of diabetes. Diseases like nerve damage, heart trouble or complications of some sort can be avoided when/if the condition is spotted earlier.
It is very advisable to call/see your doctor if any of the following is suspected:
- If you feel sick to your stomach
- If you are weak and very thirsty
- If you are urinating a lot
- If you have a bad bellyache
- If you are breathing more deeply and faster than normal
- If your breath smells like nail polish remover
(This is a sign of very high ketones.)
Read Also: BBNaija: Finally Ike shows his gangster side