According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30.3 million people have diabetes in the US. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you dig a little deeper, you soon discover that there are at least fifty million more people who have issues with their glucose metabolism. No, they’re not showing the signs of full-blown diabetes, but their ability to control blood glucose is impaired.
Ideally, blood glucose levels should remain below 100 mg/dL while in the fasted state. Healthy people tend to be around 80 mg/dL. But people who have prediabetes float around the 100 to 120 mg/dL mark as a result of the fact that their cells cannot easily take up the sugar in the blood.
One of the problems with the early onset of diabetes is that the symptoms tend to be mild. People simply don’t notice until the disease becomes more pronounced, by which point, the damage is done.
Take a look at some of these early warning signs that you may have diabetes.
Frequent Yeast Infections
Usually, urine contains no sugar. It’s metabolised by the body’s cells and turned into harmless byproducts, like water. But sugar in the urine is the hallmark of diabetes. It was the first symptom (besides weight loss) that scientists associated with the condition.
Sugar in the urine, however, can create a host of problems. The main issue is that it puts a person at higher risk of developing a yeast infection because the yeast uses the sugar as a source of energy. They multiply in warm, moist environments in the body, causing disease.
Darker Patches On The Skin
Dark patches on the skin is a condition associated with the onset of diabetes. Dark patches tend to appear in the groin area, under the arms and around the neck. If you suspect that you might have darker spots, use online doctor services or go and see your local practitioner.
Numbness Or Tingling In The Hands And Feet
High blood sugar levels can be dangerous to the body because it interferes with the ability of the nervous system to communicate with the brain. One of the side effects of this is a sensation of numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. High sugar levels in the blood interfere with the ability of neurons to communicate signals to the brain, resulting in strange sensations.
These sensations can deteriorate over time. What was once a mild tingling can become more severe. In extreme situations, limbs lose all their function. If you suspect that you may be suffering from this kind of neuropathy, consult your physician immediately. You may need insulin.
The blood vessels at the back of the eye in the retina are susceptible to blood glucose levels. When blood sugar rises, these tiny vessels get damaged, and vision can be impaired. In the past, before the discovery of insulin, many people with diabetes went blind. Back then, only a strict diet seemed to help, (and even then, just for type 2 diabetics).
Always Feeling Tired
Prediabetes can leave people feeling tired all the time. This is because the glucose in the blood cannot move into the body’s cells, providing them with energy.
Although diabetes is associated with obesity today, in the past, the hallmark of the disease was sudden and irreversible weight loss. The reason for this is because, without exogenous insulin injections, there was no way for the sugar in their blood to get into their cells. The kidneys simply processed it and excreted in the urine, having provided no energy to the body.
Untreated, those with diabetes feel hungry all the time, but cannot satisfy that hunger, even when they eat. Feeling hungry all the time could be a sign that your body isn’t getting the energy it needs.
High blood sugar levels in the blood are harmful to the body. As a result, the body does what it can to lower them. When there is too little insulin (or none at all in the case of type 1 diabetes), then the only other option for the body to maintain homeostasis is to get rid of the excess sugar in the urine. In doing this, however, people with diabetes also end up losing more water than most people, resulting in a constant thirst.
The thirst is genuine, and if ignored, can lead to dehydration and headaches. You may need to go to the toilet more often in the night.
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