With millions of people across the globe suffering from it, you might assume that most people would know what the early symptoms of diabetes are. Unfortunately, diabetes is a disease that still manages to creep in and take you by surprise, because some of its earliest symptoms are either too subtle or just not taken seriously enough by most.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the amount of glucose or sugar in your body is too high. Blood glucose, which is the body’s main source of energy, becomes a concern when your body produces too little or no insulin - the hormone which regulates blood sugar. There are different types of diabetes you could be suffering from if your blood sugar is too high, including Type I, Type II, gestational diabetes and monogenic diabetes.
Why you may miss out signs of diabetes
According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research in 2014, India carries a huge part of the disease burden for diabetes with an estimated 65.1 million adults suffering from it in 2013. The study explains that most people tend to disregard the early symptoms of diabetes because this is a chronic disease and its consequences are do not become obvious immediately.
The fact is, diabetes can cause damage, sometimes severe, years before the symptoms actually become noticeable. This is unfortunate because as per the National Institutes of Health, early detection and treatment can reduce the severity of the disease and reduce the risk of further complications associated with it, like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, etc.
This is precisely the reason why you should take note of the following early signs and symptoms of diabetes and consult a doctor immediately.
1. Frequent urination: Having to visit the bathroom too often, especially during the night, is one of the key indications that your blood sugar levels are not normal.
2. Frequent fatigue: Getting tired too easily or too often may be linked to underlying effects of diabetes like dehydration and kidney damage.
3. Frequent infections: Kidney damage is one of the primary effects of high blood sugar, and this, in turn, can cause you to get urinary tract infections, yeast infections, etc repeatedly.
4. Unexplained weight loss: When your body isn’t able to process blood glucose properly, it’ll break down fat reserves, leading to weight loss without your trying.
5. Vision problems: High blood sugar can affect your eyesight and cause you to change glasses frequently.
6. Skin discolouration: Velvety dark patches on your neck, armpits, groin, etc can be indicators of insulin resistance.
7. Delayed healing: Suffice to say that if there’s a problem with your blood and a condition that increases the risk of frequent infections, healing of simple cuts and bruises could also slow down.
8. Increased hunger: Because your body is not creating energy from blood sugar as it usually does, it could demand an increased intake of food.
9. Irritability: Fluctuations in blood glucose levels can cause fluctuations in your mood.
10. Decreased libido: With everything else going on due to blood glucose fluctuations, loss of sex drive is quite natural.
For more information, read our article on Diabetes: Symptoms, causes and treatment.
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