Over 100 million people in the United States have diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that causes the sugar level in your blood to get too high. When blood sugar is high, it damages blood vessels and leads to several other health complications.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the two most common forms. Type 1 is generally diagnosed in childhood, and it’s thought to have genetic causes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by a combination of lifestyle factors and heredity markers. Prediabetes is a term used for patients who are likely to develop type 2 diabetes within the next five years if they don’t begin a treatment plan to manage their risk factors.
Our team at Advance Medical Group are experts in diagnosing and treating prediabetes and diabetes. Early diagnosis and ongoing management are important to keep you healthy when you’re living with diabetes. Read on to learn more about the common warning signs of diabetes.
1. Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
Over time, higher-than-normal blood sugar levels damage the nerves in your body. The first areas of the body often affected by nerve damage are your hands and feet. You might feel tingling, numbness, or even pain.
What begins as occasional or mild tingling gets worse if diabetes is left untreated. These sensations can make it difficult to notice if your feet have been cut or wounded, which can increase your risk of infection and other complications.
2. Blurry vision
High blood sugar can also cause damage to the small blood vessels inside your eyes. This damage first appears as blurry vision that may not be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Blurry vision can come and go in the early stages of diabetes.
Vision changes with diabetes may be hardly noticeable at first. But if diabetes is left undiagnosed or untreated, vision changes get worse. Diabetic retinopathy is severe damage to the blood vessels in the eyes and can lead to significant, permanent vision loss.
3. Frequent urination
One of the most common signs of diabetes is the frequent need to urinate. If you have high blood sugar, your kidneys work overtime to filter out the excess sugar. This generates more urine and you may notice that you have to urinate more frequently, even at night.
4. Constant thirst
Your kidneys filter out excess sugar in your blood, which causes you to urinate more often if you have diabetes. A side effect of this can be excess water loss, leading to dehydration. If you’re dehydrated, you might feel increased or constant thirst.
5. Weight changes
If you have diabetes, your body can’t effectively use energy from the food you eat. Sugar that’s normally absorbed for energy stays in your blood so your tissues, muscles, and brain don’t get enough energy. Therefore, high blood sugar can make you feel hungry all day.
Not getting enough energy from food causes your body to start using fat and muscle for energy. You may lose weight even if you don’t change your diet or exercise habits.
6. Slow-healing wounds
Blood circulation is an important part of your body’s natural healing process. Blood brings oxygen and nutrients to repair tissue that’s suffered a cut or other wound. Because high blood sugar caused by diabetes can damage blood vessels, it can also impair your circulation.
You may notice even small cuts or scrapes take weeks or months to heal. Slow-healing wounds also increase your risk of developing an infection.
The warning signs of diabetes can be mild, making it hard to identify the condition early. Getting regular adult wellness exams helps our team monitor your risk for diabetes and detect high blood sugar levels even if you don’t show symptoms.
Take the time to educate yourself on the early signs of diabetes. If you’re at risk for prediabetes or diabetes, let us help you improve and maintain your well-being. Call one of our convenient office locations today or request an appointment online.