8 Early Warning Signs of Diabetes

As of 2015, 9.4% of the population in the United States have some form of diabetes.  Another words, there are 30.3 million people who have diabetes in the United States alone.  Some people aren’t even aware that they have diabetes.  Here are some warning signs that may indicate that you are at risk, or have, diabetes.

Early Warning Signs

1. Breath Smells

Breath odor that is fruity and sweet or that smells like nail polish remover.  This is a sign of high ketones.

2. Urinating More Often And Feeling More Thirsty Than Usual

Normally, the body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through the kidneys.  When your glucose levels are elevated, your kidneys cannot keep up.  This allows some of that sugar into the urine, drawing in additional water, and making you have to urinate more often.  In addition to urinating frequently, feeling thirsty also comes with high glucose levels.  Unfortunately, drinking more does not satisfy the thirst.

3. Yeast Infections

Both men and women can get yeast infections with diabetes.  Yeast feeds off of the extra glucose that the body is not properly getting rid off.  Infections are not just in or around the sex organs, but can also grow in any warm, moist fold of skin.  Under breast and between fingers and toes can get yeast infections.

4. Pain or numbness in feet or Legs

Pain and numbness are a sign of diabetic neuropathy, which is nerve damage.

5. Dry Mouth and Itchy Skin

With diabetes, your body is using fluids to make urination, therefore, there is less moisture in other areas.  This can lead to dehydration, making your mouth feel dry and skin feels itchy.

6. Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is a sign of high blood sugar levels, which can cause the fluid in the eye to shift into the lens of the eye.

7. Unexplained Weight Loss

When your body cannot get the energy from food properly, it will start using muscle and fat instead.  This will cause weight loss, even when you have not changed how or what you eat.

8. Slow Healing

High blood sugar can affect the blood flow, causing nerve damage, and make it harder for the body to heal.

Risk Factors

  • Having a family history of diabetes
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle or being less active
  • Being 45 years or older
  • Having a history of heart disease or stroke
  • Having PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome)
  • Having developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having high blood cholesterol
  • Being descent of African-American, Native Alaskan, Native American, Asian-American or Pacific Islander

Types of Diabetes

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes is when the body does not make insulin.  The immune system attacks and kills the cells in your pancreas that make insulin.

Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is when the body does not use or make insulin properly.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy for some women.  Generally, it goes away after the baby is born.  However, if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, then your risk is higher of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Cystic Fibrosis-Related Diabetes

Common with people with cystic fibrosis may experience diabetes, also known as CFRD (cystic fibrosis-related diabetes).  It is a unique type of diabetes because it shares the characteristics of both type 1 and 2 diabetes.

Monogenic Diabetes

A single gene abnormality that can cause diabetes, most commonly caused by mutations in the HNF1A gene or the GCK gene.  This can cause any child or adult to develop monogenic diabetes and be passed on in the family.

Take The Test

Prediabetes is having higher than normal blood sugar levels but not high enough to qualify as diabetes. The CDC states that this condition can lead to full-blown type 2 diabetes within five years if it’s left untreated.  Click here to take a short test to see if you are at risk for prediabetes.  As always, please speak with your healthcare professional if you are at risk or have concerns.



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