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Beware of these 30 diabetes early symptoms

30 of most diabetes early symptoms

30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Diabetes refers to a group of diseases which cause a spike in blood sugar levels. The most common types are type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes. In the United States, there are roughly 29 million people suffering from some form of the disease, and most of the time they are unaware of having it for several years.

There are early warning signs of the disease, but they are often disregarded as common health issues. To see whether you’re suffering from prediabetes or any other form of the chronic disease, check out these 15 warning signs.

Blurred Vision

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Temporary blurred vision during odd hours could be a major sign of having diabetes. This condition can come and go but usually becomes worse as time passes. If left untreated, retinal blood vessels can begin to leak fluid, further distorting vision and ultimately causing permanent blindness.

Discolored patches on the skin

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

People who have high risks of diabetes might experience suffer from acanthosis nigricans – a common condition which causes discoloration of skin folds. The color of skin folds will become darker due to a manifestation of insulin resistance of the skin.

Dry mouth

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Dry mouth can be a clear warning sign of diabetes. It also exacerbates the effects of diabetes by increasing blood glucose levels, causing extensive bodily harm. Dry mouth is not just a symptom of increased blood sugar levels, but it’s also a leading cause of it.

Excessive hunger

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

When blood sugar levels become abnormally high for long periods of time (hyperglycemia), glucose from the blood is unable to penetrate cell walls, either caused by a lack of or a resistance to insulin. Our bodies cannot convert food into energy efficiently so we feel the need to eat more.

Excessive urination

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Having a high blood glucose level makes the kidneys work overtime in order to process excess sugar. Because our kidneys process more water in a shorter period of time, people suffering from hyperglycemia will also show need to urinate more often – a condition known as polyuria.

Excessive thirst

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Excessive thirst is a side effect of hyperglycemia and polyuria. Frequently experiencing excessive thirst is another telltale sign of diabetes. Hyperglycemia makes the kidneys work harder to process excess sugar, making a person need to urine more often, ultimately leading to dehydration.

Excessive nausea

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Your body will resort to burning fat in order to create sufficient energy to power your body. When it does this, your liver will produce dangerous levels of ketones which can lead to a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Excess buildup of ketones will make you feel nauseous.

Itchy skin

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Diabetes can cause skin dryness and blood circulation damage. People suffering from diabetes will experience itching is localized spots on the body, caused by poor blood flow. Most cases of itching occur on the legs and feet. Discolored skin can become itchy.

Reduced feeling in the limbs

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Hyperglycemia can trigger varying degrees of diabetic neuropathy which impair nerves that send signals from your hands and feet. Oftentimes, people might not experience any symptoms, but the most common symptoms are a loss of feeling in the hands, legs, and feet.

Slow-healing wounds

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

High blood glucose level in people with high risk of becoming diabetic can cause poor blood circulation. This, in turn, prevents optimal levels of blood to reach areas of the body affected by cuts and sores. Blood is a vital agent in repairing skin damage.

Inexplicable fatigue

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Being tired after hardly any physical activity is a warning sign. Having abnormally high blood glucose levels changes the consistency of your blood, slowing down blood circulation so cells don’t receive optimal oxygen and nutrients. In turn, this causes an inflammation of the cells, ultimately leading to fatigue.

Inexplicable weight loss

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Drastically gaining or losing weight for seemingly no apparent reason can be a sign of type 2 diabetes. A lack of insulin stops the body from absorbing glucose, causing the body to burn fat to create energy. This results in a drop in body fat and overall body weight.

Blisters

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Although prediabetic people hardly experience this, in extreme cases large blisters can appear on the body. These blisters can resemble burn blisters with large amounts of fluid. The most common places for these diabetic blisters to appear is on the hands, forearms, or feet.

Unusual breath

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Having a sweet-smelling breath or breath smelling like nail polish are obvious signs of ketoacidosis. This is a short-term condition associated with diabetes triggered by high glucose levels. Having irregular levels of ketones puts you at greater risk of becoming diabetic.

Easily irritated

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Anger and frustration are common symptoms of an underlying chronic condition including diabetes. Fluctuating blood sugar levels contributes to mood swings and fatigue, making the person become easily angry for any reason. Additionally, low sugar levels cause impaired judgment and moodiness.

Frequent yeast infections in women or jock itch in men

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

There is a strong link between diabetes and yeast infections. If you’re a woman who has poorly-controlled diabetes, there’s a much greater chance of contracting frequent yeast infections. While women get yeast infections, men commonly suffer from jock itch.

Sex problems

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Even though sexual dysfunction and bladder problems tend to increase as we age, having diabetes can make them that much worse. To explain, since diabetes plays havoc with your glucose levels, your blood vessels and nerves become damaged. Therefore, it’s vital to keep your blood glucose levels in your target range.

Problems sleeping

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

One of the main factors of diabetes is that the body’s blood sugars rise to unstable levels. When this happens, you have more difficulty getting enough sleep. Quite often, this reoccurs night after night. If this wasn’t enough to contend with, not getting enough sleep increases the risk of obesity, which only makes your diabetes even worse.

Headaches

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

If you’ve been experiencing frequent headaches, it may be a sign that you have diabetes. Headaches are brought on by high or low blood glucose. After all, diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that causes great abnormalities in your blood sugar, also known as glucose.

Sleeping too much

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Sure, we all get those days where we just can’t seem to get rested. We wonder why we’re always tired. If this is you, it could an early warning sign that you have diabetes. And this only gets worse if you’re overweight, as overweight and obese people are more prone to extreme daytime sleepiness.

Tingling

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Have you ever experienced a weird tingling sensation in your hands or feet? It could be nothing, or it could be your body telling you that you are diabetic. It’s truly a drag having high blood sugar levels, mainly because they cause diabetic neuropathy, which damages the nerves that send signals to your hands and feet.

Inflamed gums

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

This is often an early warning sign of diabetes that gets overlooked. Periodontitis, also known as gum disease, is common in diabetics. In fact, those who have either diabetes or gum disease are at risk of developing the other. Yes, we all know that taking care of our gums is vitally important.

Urinary infections

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

While frequent urination is one of the major early warning signs of diabetes, did you know that women are especially prone to urinary infections?  In fact, there is a significantly increased risk of a urinary tract infection (UTI) in women who already have diabetes.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Insulin resistance is a particularly dangerous symptom of diabetes. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is brought about by a person having a higher amount of male hormones in their body. PCOS can trigger insulin resistance in the body, thus resulting in elevated blood sugar levels.

Difficulty swallowing

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

While not extremely common, having difficulty swallowing can be a sign that you’re developing diabetes. Diabetics often have difficulty digesting food and suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which occurs when bile or stomach acid flows back into your esophagus or food pipe.

Difficulty walking

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Yes, we’ve touched a lot on how diabetes messes up your blood sugar levels, but did you know that high blood glucose can also cause nerve damage? When you develop neuropathy, you have more difficulty with movements such as walking or even getting around the house.

Trouble concentrating

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Hey, in today’s crazy world with all its distractions and busyness, it’s common to lose our concentration. But if you’ve been having a lot of trouble thinking, it could very well be a sign that you have diabetes. Lack of concentration is triggered by kidney malfunction, which also causes diabetics to have upset stomach and weakness.

Dark skin on both sides of the neck

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

In this article, we’ve already told you about the risk of skin discoloration, but diabetes is also the cause of acanthosis nigricans, which is a condition that causes the skin on the sides of your neck to become darkened. This is brought on even more by perspiration and friction.

Frequent infections

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

The biggest threat from diabetes is that it impairs the normal function of your body’s immune system. If you haven’t been diagnosed, you are at risk for almost all common infections, especially vaginal yeast infections in women, which is also known as thrush.

Difficulty speaking

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

When you have diabetes, you can also experience difficulties with speech. These issues are a result of problems that arise from nerve damage brought on by the disease. Muscles that control your face, larynx and vocal chords become impaired. This is also true for jaws, teeth, and mouth.

6 natural ways to prevent diabetes before it starts

Prediabetes is the period before diabetes is diagnosed where blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Fortunately, progressing from prediabetes to diabetes is not inevitable. There are many actions you can take to reduce the risk of diabetes.

Start with these 6 tips:

  1. Cut sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet. Eating foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugar increases blood sugar and insulin levels, which may lead to diabetes over time. Examples of refined carbohydrates include white bread, potatoes and many breakfast cereals. Instead, limit sugar and choose complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, oatmeal and whole grains.
  2. Quit smoking if you are a current tobacco user. Smoking can contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Quitting has been shown to reduce this risk of type 2 diabetes over time.
  3. Watch your portions. Avoiding large portion sizes can help reduce insulin and blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of diabetes. Eating too much food at one time has been shown to cause higher blood sugar and insulin levels in people at risk of diabetes.
  4. Aim for 30. Try to be intentionally active by taking a walk, dancing, lifting weights or swimming for 30 minutes, five days per week. If you get no or very little physical activity—and you sit during most of your day—then you lead a sedentary lifestyle, and it’s time to get moving.
  5. Drink water. Drinking water instead of other beverages may help control blood sugar and insulin levels, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes. Sticking with water most of the time helps you avoid beverages that are high in sugar, preservatives and other unneeded ingredients.
  6. Eat fiber. Getting plenty of fiber is beneficial for gut health and weight management. Consuming a good fiber source at each meal can help prevent spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which may help reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

10 Surprising Things That Can Spike Your Blood Sugar

Diabetes type 2: The 'bitter' fruit shown to 'significantly' lower blood sugar
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

When you first found out you had diabetes, you tested your blood sugar often. Doing so helped you understand how food, activity, stress, and illness could affect your blood sugar levels. By now, you’ve got it figured out for the most part. But then—bam! Something makes your blood sugar zoom up. You try to adjust it with food or activity or insulin, and it dips really low. You’re on a roller coaster no one with diabetes wants to ride.

Knowledge is power! Look out for these surprising triggers that can send your blood sugar soaring:

  1. Sunburn—the pain causes stress, and stress increases blood sugar levels.
  2. Artificial sweeteners—more research is needed, but some studiesexternal icon show they can raise blood sugar.
  3. Coffee—even without sweetener. Some people’s blood sugar is extra-sensitive to caffeine.
  4. Losing sleep—even just one night of too little sleep can make your body use insulin less well.
  5. Skipping breakfast—going without that morning meal can increase blood sugar after both lunch and dinner.
  6. Time of day—blood sugar can be harder to control the later it gets.
  7. Dawn phenomenon—people have a surge in hormones early in the morning whether they have diabetes or not. For people with diabetes, blood sugar can spike.
  8. Dehydration—less water in your body means your blood sugar is more concentrated.
  9. Nose spray—some have chemicals that trigger your liver to make more blood sugar.
  10. Gum disease—it’s both a complication of diabetes and a blood sugar spiker.

Watch out for other triggers that can make your blood sugar fall. For example, extreme heat can cause blood vessels to dilate (widen). That makes insulin absorb more quickly and could lead to low blood sugar. If an activity or food is new, check your blood sugar before and after to see how you respond.

10 Bad Habits That Raise Your Diabetes Risk

30 of most diabetes early symptoms

As you pick up your morning coffee en route to work, you contemplate a glossy iced donut in the display case. You know it’s not good for you, but you deserve a treat, right? But before you make a grab for those tempting baked goods, consider this:

These seemingly harmless everyday diet decisions aren’t linked just to the obesity epidemic in the United States, but also to the worldwide rise in type 2 diabetes. It’s time to ditch some bad everyday habits — before a diabetes diagnosis forces you to.

This isn’t just idle advice, either. A British study of nearly 4,000 people found that such lifestyle fixes were key to stabilizing blood sugar and reversing metabolic syndrome, a condition that leads to diabetes. So what are you waiting for? Here are some important changes you can make to trim your waistline and cut your diabetes risk.

Sipping Sugary Drinks

30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Drinking our calories is a big reason Americans are overweight — that’s the conclusion Harvard researchers reached after reviewing 30 studies on sweet drink consumption. Think of fruit “ades” (lemonade and the like), sweet tea, and regular soda as liquid “empty calories” because they’re all sugar with no nutritional value and no sense of satiety.

When you’re thirsty, drink water, advises Shannon Knapp, RD, CDE, a certified diabetes educator at the Cleveland Clinic Diabetes Center. Low-fat milk is another good choice. When you have a craving for fruit juice, make sure it’s 100 percent juice and stop at one-half cup.

Skipping Breakfast

30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Sure, you’re in a rush to get going in the morning. But we’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and when it comes to diabetes prevention, that’s especially true.

Forgoing your morning meal not only tends to backfire, making you ravenous by late morning, but can also create the perfect storm for type 2 diabetes, says Ellen Calogeras, RD, LD, CDE, a diabetes educator with the Cleveland Clinic Diabetes Center.

Starving yourself until lunch sets off a chain reaction that disrupts insulin levels and blood sugar control. And you’ll likely eat more later, according to a study by researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Take time to eat a simple, balanced meal for both blood sugar control and weight loss — eggs, nut butters, fresh fruit, yogurt, whole-wheat pita pockets, or whole-grain bread are good breakfast fixin’s.

Skimping on Produce

If you’re eating to beat diabetes, the produce market is where you want to be. Lots of vegetables in your diet help with blood sugar control and weight loss, especially the non-starchy ones like spinach, squash, tomatoes, and broccoli. If you have diabetes or want to avoid it, focus on filling one-half of your plate with veggies, suggests the American Diabetes Association.

“You’ll get the fiber you need to feel full, and your blood glucose will stay balanced,” says Margaret Shields, MEd, RD, CDE, a diabetes educator with the Washington University Diabetes Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

And when it comes to fruit, luscious blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries in particular are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants. These tasty jewels reduce blood pressure and damaging inflammation and improve insulin resistance for good blood sugar control, suggests research in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry.

Avoiding Fish

30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Skip the burgers and hold the fries! If you’ve always turned up your nose at fish, it’s time to give this great-tasting, lean source of protein a second look. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which cut risk for heart disease and high blood pressure, keep arteries healthy, and are good for preventing diabetes, too, according to the American Heart Association.

Try to get two servings every week. Other good protein choices for your diet include chicken or turkey without the skin, tofu, eggs (especially the cholesterol-free whites), and no-fat Greek yogurt.

Indulging in Starchy Carbs

Is your plate a sea of white? Too much pasta, potatoes, and white bread will cause your blood sugar to spike and will pile on the pounds — a bad sequence of events if you want to prevent type 2 diabetes, says Shields. To keep portion sizes under control and speed weight loss, the American Diabetes Association advises that you limit the starchy carbs in your diet to one-quarter of your plate. Switch from white bread to whole-grain bread for better blood sugar balance, diabetes control, and weight loss.

Midnight Munching

It’s hours since dinner, and you find yourself back in the kitchen again. If you’re indulging in nighttime noshing on a regular basis, beware: This eating pattern causes blood sugar spikes and disrupts insulin secretion, a bad pattern if you want to prevent type 2 diabetes, according to research in the British Journal of Nutrition that looked at the effects of eating patterns on night workers.

By having three balanced meals every day, you help stifle the urge to indulge at night and provide better control of your blood sugar, says Barb Klingler, RN, BSN, CDE, diabetes educator at the Washington University Diabetes Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. But if you must have a late snack, don’t even buy tempting chips, donuts, and other “trigger” foods that will derail weight loss, she adds. Instead, have healthy foods like carrots and hummus handy.

Buttering It Up

Is the butter on your toast as thick as the bread itself? Butter and other saturated fats have been linked to insulin resistance, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Vegetable-based oils, which contain monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, are a healthier alternative.

Extra virgin olive oil, for instance, is heart-healthy and a good choice if you are at risk for diabetes. However, keep in mind that oil is very calorie-dense, and using too much in your cooking will lead to weight gain, says Calogeras. Olive oil sprays are a good option to aid weight loss.

Shopping Without a List

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Don’t just “wing it” in the supermarket. To prevent diabetes and achieve the weight loss you want, planning is critical, says Klingler. “Take time to create menus and keep a list of healthy food items you need from the store,” she says. “This will help you resist impulse buys and junk food.”

She also suggests starting your grocery shopping in the produce section, where you should get most of your week’s purchases. “A diet high in veggies is the secret to good blood sugar control and kicking diabetes,” she says.

Emotional Eating

30 of most diabetes early symptoms
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

Are you eating your emotions? Feeling sad, hopeless, or even worthless can lead to overeating and weight gain, according to a Dutch study that evaluated weight loss (and lack of it) among 1,500 people.

Another study from Jordan found that people who are depressed are also less likely to take the right steps to manage their blood sugar and diabetes.

Talk to your doctor if you suspect depression so you can get the help you need, says Klingler. “When you’re not depressed, you take better care of yourself,” she says. You’re also more likely to keep blood sugar balanced, stick to your weight-loss efforts, and prevent diabetes.

Being a Night Owl

Fix your sleeping pattern
30 of most diabetes early symptoms

If you can’t stop indulging in fattening foods, you may want to get to bed a little earlier. “When you get fewer than six hours sleep, you disrupt hormones that control blood glucose and hunger, and that can lead to weight gain,” Klingler explains.

Missing out on your zzz’s has also been linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, so it’s important to make sleep a priority. If you snore, tell your doctor because it could indicate sleep apnea, which also affects blood sugar and heart health and can lead to diabetes.