Diabetes Warning Signs: When Should You See A Specialist?

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Diabetes Warning Signs

Diabetes can develop without any significant warning signs at instances. Most people with Type-2 diabetes don’t even know about their condition in the initial stage. Therefore, the step is to know the diabetes warning signs in order to manage them accordingly. 

Top 7 Diabetes Warning Signs

1. Excessive thirst – Polydipsia

Diabetes warning signs- Increased thirst

A thirst that cannot be quenched easily or excessive thirst is one of the initial signs of seeing a diabetes specialist. This is often accompanied by dryness of the mouth. It is normal to feel thirsty after a workout session. However, if you notice any unusual need to quench your thirst, it is an early sign of diabetes.

Why does this happen?

When the body has high blood sugar levels, processing the sugar present in your food intake becomes difficult. This leads to glucose settling in your bloodstream and forcing the kidneys to overdrive. To remove the excess glucose, the kidneys need to produce a higher volume of urine and therefore absorb more water, even from the tissues. This can cause increased thirst due to loss of water. 

2. Frequent urination – Polyuria

Polyuria is a condition where the body urinates more than what is considered normal. Although the volumes are not defined, but passing 3-5 liters of urine daily is a warning sign. This is one of the main signs of seeing a diabetes specialist. If not treated, polyuria can affect kidney function and cause severe dehydration.

What does diabetic urine look like? Due to the excess concentration of sugar, it appears cloudy and smell sweet or fruity. The kidneys that are responsible for filtering the blood will filter out the sugar present in your body.

Why does it happen?

Generally, when there are high blood sugar levels in the body, as a remedy, the body tries to remove excess glucose through the kidneys. This causes the body to retain the water in the lumen, thus reducing water absorption. The kidney flushes out more water, causing the urge to frequent urination.

 3. Increased appetite – Polyphagia

In medical terms, increased appetite is known as polyphagia and is among the three main signs of diabetes. In general, the body feels hungry after an intensive exercise or a gap between the meals. This increase in appetite can result from both high and low blood sugar levels.

Why does it happen?

If the high blood sugar levels are not managed, it becomes difficult for the blood glucose to enter the cells due to insulin resistance or lack of insulin in the body. This is why the body cannot convert food into energy, thus causing hunger. Polyphagia can also be caused by low blood glucose. In such a case, the body responds by releasing the sugar present in the liver.

4. Blurry Vision

Blurry vision

Another sign to see a doctor is if an individual experiences blurry vision, severe drying of the eyes, or difficulty focussing. When the body has high blood sugar levels, it causes the vessels to damage over time. This can cause severe complications to the retina. In some instances of diabetes, the fluids start leaking into the lens of the eye, causing the eye to swell. 

Why does it happen?

High blood sugar levels can cause damage to your ability to see by swelling the lens inside the eye. This mainly happens due to the damage caused to the retinal blood vessels by high glucose levels. If not treated, this can cause diabetic retinopathy and, over time, loss of vision.

5. Slow healing of wounds

Slow healing of wounds

If any type of minor cuts, wounds, or burns take time to heal or never heal, it is advised to seek help. Generally, the body starts a three-stage process to treat the damaged skin. Firstly, there is an immune response that causes wounds to inflame. The second step is the formation of new cells over the wound, and the third step is the dead cells coming out of the skin. 

Why does it happen?

Prolonged exposure to high blood sugar levels is a primary cause of damaging the nervous system. This causes an impairment in the body’s production or sensitivity of insulin. Due to this, the body experiences difficulty in managing blood sugar levels.

Diabetes can also disrupt the function of white blood cells. The white blood cells play the most crucial role in the immune system, and this disruption causes difficulty in repairing the wounds. Moreover, high blood sugar levels also lead to poor blood circulation. The body cannot provide the required nutrients to the wounded area if the blood circulation is poor.

6. Numbness in limbs

Numbness in limbs

If you feel constant tingling or itchiness in your hands, fingers, feet, and toes, it could be a sign to meet your diabetes specialist. If not treated, diabetes can lead to diabetic neuropathy, where the nerve cells are damaged due to high blood sugar levels.

Why does this happen?

Prolonged exposure to high glucose levels and high levels of fats can damage your nerve and the nervous system. Moreover, blood sugar in the body damages the small blood vessels that carry nutrients and oxygen to your nerves. Without it, it becomes difficult for the nerves to function well.

7. Fatigue

Fatigue is another common symptom of diabetes. Studies have shown that over 61% of people have reported fatigue as one of the symptoms of diabetes. 

Why does it happen?

Usually, the body breaks down complex foods into sugar or blood glucose. Since one of the main complications of diabetes is insulin resistance or lack of insulin production, the body is unable to use the glucose effectively. This is because insulin is needed to absorb glucose from the blood. When the cells do not get enough glucose, the body experiences fatigue and weakness. Please note that fatigue is a result of low sugar levels too.

Read More: Diabetes Support Groups: Beginning of A New Friendship

If you are experiencing any of the signs mentioned above, you should contact a diabetes specialist. It is not necessary that you have the condition, however, early diagnosis is essential for good health and can help to prevent further complications. 

Apart from noticing all of the symptoms above, check your blood sugar levels frequently to know your numbers. Get yourself a compact and easy-to-use glucometer for convinient testing at home.

Download the BeatO App to stay upated with the diabetes-related content.

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