According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of the people who have diabetes are actually unaware they have the disease. The same is true for the majority of people who have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes – commonly referred to as prediabetes. Most people are unaware that they could be diabetic or prediabetic because they’re not familiar with the common symptoms and diabetes warning signs.
6 Diabetes Warning Signs:
Below we discuss six common diabetes warning signs. This list does not cover all the warning signs of diabetes. The only way to truly diagnose diabetes is to get tested by your doctor.
1. Increased Urination
Diabetes is a disease that makes it difficult for the body to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. When dealing with high blood sugar levels, the body reacts by using the kidneys to flush excess glucose from the blood by eliminating through the urine. The result is increased urine production increases and the need to urinate more frequently.
If you notice that you’re getting the urge to go to the bathroom more often that you’re used to, it could be a warning sign of diabetes. This is especially true if you’re having to get up in the middle of the night one or multiple times to go to the bathroom.
2. Excessive Thirst
To deal with increased blood sugar the body will actually pull water from cells in order to dilute the blood. The body pulling water from cells leaves the cells dehydrated. Along with the body producing and eliminating more urine, the body will need more fluids to hydrate the cells and continue it’s battle to dilute the blood in order to avoid dehydration. These efforts result in excessive thirst on a continuous basis.
In addition to feeling thirsty, you might start to get dry mouth, commonly referred to as cotton mouth. If you’re noticing that you’re constantly thirsty, have a very dry mouth, and are going to bathroom more frequently, these could be very clear symptoms that could all be related to diabetes.
3. Blurred vision
As mentioned, increased blood sugar levels will result in the body searching for fluid in order to balance blood sugar levels. One of the places the body could pull fluid from is the eyes. This results in swelling of the lens of the eye and causing blurred vision.
For diabetics, blurred vision can come and go along with blood sugar levels. If you’re noticing your eyes are blurry prior to meals but is better shortly after eating, this could be a sign that the blurry vision is being caused by diabetes.
4. Increased Hunger
Still feeling hungry after you eat? This is a common symptom of diabetes because your body isn’t getting your muscles the energy they needs from the food you eat. Energy doesn’t get to the muscles because diabetics suffer from insulin resistance which prohibits glucose from entering and energizing the muscles. As a result, the body constantly feels hungry and usually results in increased appetite and calorie intake.
5. Unexplained Weight Loss
Although increased hunger is a symptom of diabetes, unexplained weight loss can also be a warning sign. Even though you’re consuming more calories because you’re feeling hungry more often, insulin resistance keeps your body from getting the energy it needs from food. This insulin resistance forces the body to begin breaking down muscles and fat in order to get the energy it needs, resulting in unexplained weight loss.
If you’re not dieting or working out more often, but you’re losing weight, it could be a symptom of diabetes. This is especially worth noting if you’re feeling hungry more often and consuming more food than usual.
When the body isn’t getting the energy it needs, you’re going to feel tired and have less energy than you’re used to. If you’re feeling tired more often and unable to get your energy levels up, it could be a warning sign of insulin resistance.
These are only a few of the common diabetes warning signs and you could experience some, none, or all of the above symptoms. If you’re concerned about your health, we recommend you contact your primary physician or a local diabetes specialist to get tested. Our diabetes specialists see patients from all over the Chicago area at our offices in Elmhurst, IL and Oak Lawn, IL.
Are you diabetic? What symptom or warning signs did you experience that convinced you to get tested for diabetes? Tell us in the comments below.