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Top 7 warning signs when you should see a diabetes specialist

Top 7 Warning Signs When You Should See A Diabetes Specialist

Sometimes, diabetes can develop without any warning signs. In fact, most of the people with Typ-2 diabetes don’t even know about their condition. Although having some of the symptoms of diabetes does not mean that you have the condition, it is always best to visit a diabetes specialist if you notice any of them.

On Doctor’s Day, we tell you the top 7 warning signs of diabetes when you must visit a diabetes expert:

  • Excessive thirst – Polydipsia

Excessive thirst

A thirst that cannot be quenched easily or excessive thirst is one of the initial signs to see a diabetes specialist. This is often accompanied by dryness of the mouth. It is quite normal to feel thirsty after a strenuous workout session or eating spicy/salty foods. 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, it becomes difficult to process the sugar present in the food you intake. 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 are forced to absorb more water, even from the tissues. This can cause increased thirst due to loss of water. The brain then triggers you to drink more water to quench the thirst.

 

  • Frequent urination – Polyuria

Frequent urination

Polyuria is a condition where the body urinates more than what is considered to be normal and has frequent urges to urinate. Although the volumes are not defined, passing 3-5 litres of urine a day is a warning sign. This is considered as one of the main signs to see a diabetes specialist. If not treated, polyuria can affect kidney function and cause severe dehydration and osmotic diuresis.

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 kidneys. Due to the presence of glucose in the tubes of your kidney that cannot be reabsorbed, the body experiences an increase in osmotic pressure within the tube. This causes the body to retain the water in the lumen, thus reducing the absorption of water. The kidney flushes out more water, thus causing the urge to frequent urination.

Please note the diabetes urine and thirst is a cycle and can only be stopped if the sugar levels are managed.

 

  • Increased appetite – Polyphagia

Increased Appetite

In medical terms, increased appetite is known as polyphagia and is among the 3 main signs of diabetes. In general, the body feels hungry after an intensive exercise or if there is a gap in between the meals. This increase in appetite can be a result of 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 is not able to convert the food into energy, thus causing an increase in 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.

 

  • Blurry Vision

Blurry Vision

Another sign to see a diabetes specialist if an individual experiences blurry vision, severe drying of the eyes, or difficulty to focus. When the body has high blood sugar levels, it causes the vessels to damage over time. This can cause severe complication to the retina. In certain cases of diabetes, the fluids start leaking into the lens of the eye, causing the eye to swell. Try managing your sugar levels with a blood glucose glucometer.

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.

  • 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 see a diabetes specialist. 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. Although, in the case of diabetes, wounds take longer than usual time to heal.

Why does it happen?

Prolonged exposure of 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 important 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. When blood circulation is poor, the body is unable to provide the required nutrients to the wounded area.

  • Numbness in limbs

Numbness in limbs

If you are feeling 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, a condition where the nerve cells are damaged due to high blood sugar levels.

Why does this happen?

Prolonged exposure of high glucose levels and high levels of fats(triglycerides) can damage your nerve and the nervous system. Moreover, the presence of 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.

Read more: Tips for managing Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes at home

  • Fatigue

Fatigue

Fatigue is another common symptom of diabetes. In fact, studies have shown that over 61% of people have reported fatigue as one of the symptoms of diabetes. This is often associated with polyphagia. There are several reasons why diabetes cause fatigue, including change in blood sugar levels, as a result of a complication of diabetes, and more.

Why does it happen?

Normally, the body breaks down the 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 for cells 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.

If you are experiencing any of the signs mentioned above, it is best you 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.

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