More than 34 million women, men, and children in the United States have diabetes. Out of those 34 million, nearly 8 million haven’t yet been diagnosed. Many more may be in a state called “pre-diabetes,” where your blood sugar runs high but not high enough to be considered full-blown diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an inherited autoimmune condition. But type 2 diabetes arises from lifestyle and dietary choices that you can control.
At Macomb Medical Clinic in Sterling Heights, Michigan, our expert medical professionals want you to spot pre-diabetes before it becomes diabetes. That means being aware of signs and symptoms that could indicate there is too much glucose in your blood.
As part of Diabetes Awareness Month, we want to share a few of the early signs and symptoms of diabetes that you should be aware of so you can get the help you need.
1. You’re hungrier than usual
When you have type 2 diabetes, your body becomes resistant to an essential hormone called insulin. Your cells need insulin to take glucose from your blood and bring it into the cells, where they convert it to energy.
However, when you have diabetes, you can’t transport the glucose out of your blood. The sugars you eat stay in your blood, raising your blood glucose levels.
When the glucose is unable to get into your cells, the cells “starve,” which makes you feel hungry. If you feel hungrier than usual, and eating fails to satisfy your appetite, it’s time to schedule a diabetes evaluation.
2. You’ve lost weight without trying
If you’re always hungry and always eating, but the numbers on your scale keep decreasing, it’s a sign of a medical issue.
When your cells can’t utilize blood glucose for energy, they burn your body’s fat instead.
3. You’re wearing a path to the bathroom
A hallmark symptom of diabetes is increased urination. Your kidneys help filter out glucose from your blood and eliminate it through urine. When your blood glucose levels are too high, your kidneys must produce more urine to eliminate the extra glucose.
Peeing constantly can be exhausting. It’s also dehydrating. In addition to your frequent visits to the bathroom, you may be insatiably thirsty.
4. You’re tired all the time
Diabetes drains your energy for two reasons. First, since your cells can’t use glucose for energy, they’re depleted and can’t function optimally, leading you to feel lethargic and tired. Second, dehydration from frequent urination may exacerbate your fatigue.
5. You’re having vision troubles
Another sign of diabetes is blurry vision. When your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, your eyes pull in water, causing the lens to swell. The swelling deforms the shape of your eye, impairing its ability to focus and worsening your vision.
6. Your fingers or toes tingle
Too much glucose in your blood breaks down your blood vessels and damages your nerves. Damage from diabetes usually affects the smaller blood vessels and nerves first, such as those in your hands and feet. Tingling, burning, numbness, or pain in your fingers or toes may indicate nerve damage and could be a warning sign that you need to make changes.
These varied and early signs of diabetes can be subtle. It might be easy to dismiss them as an anomaly or just part of getting older. The best way to prevent diabetes is to make sure you schedule an annual wellness visit and exam.
During your exam, we review your health and screen for common issues, such as diabetes. If we discover that you’re prediabetic, we may be able to prevent the progression. If you already have diabetes, we help you make the necessary changes to control or reverse it.
Whether you think you’re at risk for pre-diabetes or if you already have diabetes, get the diagnostics and treatments that keep you healthy by contacting our office today. Call our friendly staff at 586-315-2393 or send us an online message.