Here are 10 early signs of diabetes that can help you recognize the early stages of diabetes and help you manage your blood sugar levels before it’s too late.
- You pee a lot
When your blood glucose levels rise, your body tries to compensate by filtering the excess blood sugar through the kidneys. The kidneys then flush the glucose out of your body in the urine, increasing the frequency of urination. You will also be more likely to get urinary tract infections (UTIs) and get up to urinate frequently at night.
- You are always thirsty
As your kidneys cause you to urinate more often, your body becomes dehydrated, leading to dehydration. Also, you may feel thirsty all the time due to lack of fluids. You may also find your mouth too dry.
- You are always hungry
When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t use the energy from the food you eat properly. Even though there is glucose in the blood, your cells can’t absorb it and start starving for energy. In response, the cells communicate with the pancreas and tell it that it needs more energy. The pancreas then increases the amount of insulin in the body, which tells the brain that you are hungry.
- You suddenly lose weight
If you lose weight suddenly, it could be due to diabetes. Weight loss can occur between excessive urination and dehydration due to lack of cellular energy. It is more common in people whose diabetes is uncontrolled.
- Your skin will be very dry
Another symptom of diabetes is dry and itchy skin. High blood sugar and poor circulation can make your skin flaky and increase your risk of infection.
- You develop dark spots
In addition to dry skin, dark spots can appear on the skin, especially when the skin itself folds. Called acanthosis nigricans, these spots usually appear on the neck, armpits, or groin. The skin may become velvety or thick.
- You take longer to heal
Due to depletion of cellular energy and loss of blood circulation, recovery from diabetes is slow. Even minor cuts and scrapes can take weeks to months to heal, but prolonged healing can increase the risk of skin infection.
- Your vision becomes blurry
High blood sugar can damage the small blood vessels in the eye and cause vision loss. In most cases, vision is restored when diabetes is better controlled, but if left untreated, permanent blindness can occur.
- Your hands and feet tingle and hurt
Diabetes affects blood circulation and causes permanent damage to the body’s nerves. Called neuropathy, this damage usually occurs in the hands and feet, and the appendages may feel numb or tingling. It may cause pain or feel like pins and needles.
- You get a yeast infection
Yeast naturally exists in small amounts in the body, but in diabetes, excess sugar provides enough food for the yeast to often cause a yeast infection. These infections occur in the genital area, as well as in the armpits and oral cavity, which is sometimes called thrush.