According to the American Diabetes Association, there are about 34.2 million Americans who are inflicted with diabetes. Early warning signs for this metabolic disease, also known as diabetes mellitus, are easily recognizable especially if it runs in your family. Nonetheless, the best way to confirm diabetes is through detailed medical blood tests. But being able to track the key symptoms will help you secure early treatment.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disease mainly characterized by an increased level of sugar in the blood due to the decreasing production of insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that functions to convert complex carbohydrates from the food we eat into simple sugars also known as glucose.
Diabetes commonly comes in different forms particularly type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder wherein the pancreatic cells are attacked by the body preventing the production of insulin. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes typically appear quickly.
Gestational diabetes develops when a woman gets pregnant. The likelihood of getting diabetes during pregnancy is determined by genetics and lifestyle.
On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is commonly acquired or developed under the influence of imbalance lifestyle choices (e.g. poor physical activity, diet). People who suffer from type 2 diabetes produce inadequate amounts of insulin leading to the accumulation of sugar or glucose in the serum. Unlike type 1 diabetes symptoms for type 2 diabetes gradually shows, usually in a matter of years, and at moderate levels.
How do you know if you potentially have diabetes?
You can watch for these 10 symptoms and avail of a proper blood test.
1. Feeling Hungry All the Time
An increased feeling of hunger regardless if you’ve just eaten is normally observed as a warning sign of diabetes. This basically occurs because the glucose does not reach the cells; hence, they do not produce the necessary energy to complete their respective function.
2. Frequent Urination
The abnormal serum glucose causes a distress call for the kidney to continuously filter the blood; thereby inducing urination frequently than normal.
3. Increased Thirst
The recurrent filtration in the blood leading to irregular urination means that the amount of water in the body can be depleted. By this means, a person with diabetes gets more thirsty than usual.
Feeling tired frequently is a common experience when it comes to diabetes since a significant amount of glucose does not reach the autosomal cells. In turn, lesser energy is converted.
5. Slow Healing of Sores and Wounds
High sugar levels in the blood affect the function of immune cells and in general, blood circulation. Consequently, cuts and sores take time to heal because of the delays in the immune responses.
6. Patches of Dark Velvety Spots on the Skin
Acanthosis nigricans is a common sign of prediabetes. It is the development of dark velvety skin in certain parts of the body usually in the armpits, groin, elbows, knees, or neck.
7. Blurry Vision
The tiny blood vessels in the eyes are directly affected by the high blood sugar levels. Because of this, the vision becomes impaired and could potentially cause more damage if not treated sooner.
8. Tingling Sensation or Numbness in your Hands and Feet
The tingling sensation or numbness in the hands and feet is a neuropathic pain caused by damages in the nerve fibers. These damages are usually due to the irregular circulation of the blood.
9. Localized Skin Itching
Nerve fibers can be impaired when diabetes develops. Skin inflammation is also induced. This neuropathic activity leads to dry skin and persistent itching.
10. Yeast Infection
Overgrowth of yeasts can be caused by peaking blood sugars. This fungal infection can be observable around the genitals, between digits, and in most moist parts of the skin.
When to see your Doctor?
Don’t wait for all the symptoms to come up before setting up an appointment with your healthcare provider. Since the symptoms for type 2 diabetes appear rather slow, it is best to avail of a medical test as soon as significant changes in your health brought about by these symptoms are observed.
Test kits for the diagnosis of diabetes are also available online through telemedicine providers. You can opt to order an at-home kit for a more convenient testing experience.