Diabetes is a silent killer. The CDC reports that more than 30 million people in America alone have diabetes, and 25% of them don’t know they have it. Roughly 25% of them are unaware of their condition.
And that’s still not the worst of it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 84 million more Americans are now pre-diabetic. This means they have a risk factor for diabetes. Yet, a staggering 90 percent of people with pre-diabetes don’t even know they have it.
Diabetes is a big deal, and unfortunately, there are many people unaware of the symptoms. That’s why today we’re here for you! On the next page, you’ll discover the top 10 signs that could indicate diabetes. The earlier you spot diabetes, the more time you have for proper treatment and a better future.
1. You have to pee all the time
When you consume too much sugar, your body is forced to rid itself of the excess sugar. says Mary Vouyiouklis Kellis, M.D., an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic. “Water follows sugar, so you end up having high-volume urine loss,” she explains.
If you often wake up in the middle of the night, feeling thirsty and going frequently to the bathroom, it may be a sign of something more serious. It could be a sign of diabetes, it’s time to visit your doctor.
2. Your breath smells awful
The symptoms of dry mouth often follow a lack of water intake. When people are dehydrated, they often have a dry mouth and bad breath, which can lead to an unpleasant odor. (After all, with dry mouth, there’s not enough spit to wash away bacteria and balance the pH in your mouth, Kellis says.)
Not only is uncontrolled diabetes extremely dangerous, but it can also cause the body to switch from using glucose (sugar) as a fuel source to burning fat. When this happens, the body produces ketones, which can smell like smell unpleasantly sweet or fruity, sometimes it might even smell like acetone since that’s a type of ketone.
Unless you’re on a diet that’s designed to put your body into ketosis, it’s worth going to the doctor.
3. You’ve got weird dark spots on your skin.
Darkening skin around the nape of your neck, under your armpits, or even in your groin area is a surprising and common early sign of insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes. It is called acanthosis nigricans, or AN for short. This malady occurs when the body’s production of insulin isn’t working properly, and the skin starts to thicken as a result.
4. You feel really itchy all the time.
Those with diabetes often experience itching for various reasons, including yeast infections, dry skin, and poor circulation. According to the American Diabetes Association, people who have poor circulation will find their legs to be the itchiest area.
Per the ADA, there are ways to stop itching yourself: limit baths or showers in dry climates or less humid ones; use soap with moisturizing properties; and remember to put on lotion after washing.
5. You never stop drinking water.
Diabetes is a disease in which the body cannot produce insulin, which then causes blood sugar levels to increase. Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and frequent urination. The kidneys stop functioning correctly due to the high levels of sugar in the bloodstream, which forces the body to release sugar through urination.
The more sugar and fluids you drink, the more you will need to pee. The more you pee, the thirstier or dehydrated you get, moving you to drink more water. Consequently, you drink more water which makes you pee more. It’s an endless cycle.
6. Increased hunger
These days, diabetes is most often caused by a condition where the body is unable to produce insulin. As result, it can’t absorb sugar from the blood. This can lead to problems like excessive hunger, thirst, frequent urination, and more. Diabetes symptoms include 3 P’s: Polyphagia (eating too much), polydipsia (excessive thirst), and polyuria (excessive urination).
Hunger is not only about a lack of food in your system. When there is too much glucose in your body, you will not feel satisfied with food. Polyphagia is the inability to convert glucose into energy for your cells. Eating will increase the level of glucose in your blood, rather than decrease it.
You might feel hungry, even after eating a truckload of food, and you don’t know why. If this is happening often, it may be time to talk to your doctor about the possible diagnosis of diabetes.
Fatigue is a common symptom of diabetes. It can be caused by many things, and it’s important to note that not all causes are the same for everyone. One factor is high blood sugar levels: this can be due to a lack of insulin or insulin resistance, which prevents the body from providing energy. Another factor is polyuria, which causes dehydration and leads to fatigue among other things.
When you’re feeling really tired, it may not just be because of aging or high caffeine intake. You may have to take it as a sign that you might have diabetes. Diabetes can make you feel really tired, especially when you’re feeling other symptoms on this list.
8. Blurred vision
There are various reasons you may experience blurred vision. One is the onset of bad eyesight or age. However, it may also be a sign of a much more serious underlying health problem. When the fluid leaks into the lens in your eye and it swells, things will start to look blurry or fuzzy. In order to reduce this, you should visit an optometrist immediately.
Ignoring this symptom could lead to something more serious. Insulin treatment will help stabilize blood sugar levels, but if you ignore it, it may quickly escalate to a more serious problem, for example, blindness.
9. Unexplained weight loss
With diabetes, your body can’t use glucose properly. If this process isn’t happening, you may be losing weight for no reason. Typically, people with diabetes experience unexplained weight loss due to the body burning fat and muscles for energy instead of glucose from food.
Dehydration can also cause sudden weight loss. When your body is dehydrated, it uses the fluids in your body to excrete excess glucose through urine.
If you experience weight loss without dieting, it’s a sign that you might be developing diabetes.
10. Slow wound healing
If your cut or wound takes more than a normal amount of time to heal or never heals, it can be a sign of diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the body can’t regulate blood glucose levels because the cells are resistant to insulin or cannot produce insulin. When this happens, white blood cells don’t work properly. What’s worse is that the body becomes vulnerable to diseases and less able to close wounds.
Poor blood circulation caused by diabetes can make it difficult for people with diabetes to heal from wounds because they don’t get enough nutrients. Foot sores are common among people with diabetes and happen mostly because of poor blood circulation.
If you notice your cuts and wounds healing slower than usual, please approach your doctor for a diagnosis.