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Don’t Let Diabetes Sneak Up on You: Know These 6 Early Signs

Don’t Let Diabetes Sneak Up on You: Know These 6 Early Signs

According to the CDC, almost 12% of the American population struggles with diabetes. The CDC also states that 8.5 million Americans don’t even know they have diabetes. This is because diabetes develops very slowly over time, making it difficult to detect symptoms. 

Diabetes is a group of conditions that affect how your body uses blood sugar or glucose. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is preventable. Type 1 diabetes most often shows up in childhood and can’t be prevented; and gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy.

If diabetes goes untreated for too long, the high blood sugar levels can cause complications such as nerve damage, vision problems, and frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Because of this, our team — led by Sebastian Joseph, MD — at Seby Medical Center wants to review some warning signs of diabetes to help you catch it early and protect your health. 

1. Frequent urination

Needing to urinate often is a telltale sign of diabetes. Typically, your kidneys can filter out glucose from your blood and send it back to your body to be reabsorbed. However, when your blood sugar levels are too high, the body makes more urine because your kidneys can’t keep up with the extra glucose. 

As a result, the excess glucose spills into your urine, pulling water with it. This is what leads to the constant need to urinate.

2. Extreme hunger and thirst

Because high blood sugar causes you to urinate so often, you start to lose precious fluids and calories. As a result, your body signals you to replenish those lost fluids, nutrients, and calories by making you feel hungry and thirsty. 

3. Unexplained weight loss

While rapid weight loss is typically a symptom of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes, it can also be a sign of type 2 diabetes. When you have unmanaged diabetes, glucose remains in your blood and can’t be converted into energy. As a result, your body believes it’s starving and begins to burn fat and muscle to get you the energy you need. 

If you’ve unintentionally lost 5% of your body weight, you may have diabetes.

4. Tingling and numbness

If you’ve noticed tingling or numbness in your hands and feet, you may have peripheral neuropathy, a common symptom of diabetes. When your blood sugar levels are consistently too high, it can cause nerve damage and damage your blood vessels that carry nutrients and oxygen to your nerves. 

Without oxygen your nerves can’t function properly, causing tingling and numbness.

5. Recurrent yeast infections

Yeast loves to feed on sugar. So, when you have high blood sugar levels due to unmanaged diabetes, yeast can thrive in your body, leading to infection. Yeast infections are most likely to occur in your genitals, mouth, and armpits. Common symptoms of yeast infections are itching, burning, skin discoloration, and soreness around the affected area.

6. Blurry vision

High blood sugar levels can cause your eye lens to swell, distorting your vision. If you have high blood sugar levels for a long time, it can even cause damage to your retina and other nerves that play key roles in your vision. 

Long-term unmanaged diabetes can eventually lead to permanent vision damage and even blindness.

If you suspect that you may have undiagnosed diabetes, don’t wait to seek a diagnosis. Our team can screen you for this health condition and provide expert treatment. Schedule an appointment by calling your nearest office location or booking online. We proudly serve the Chicago and Downers Grove, Illinois, areas.

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