Warning Signs of Diabetes: When to See Your Doctor

By Rebecca Jones

Type 2 diabetes is on the rise and at an alarming rate, already it is believed that about 8% of the population suffers from diabetes and this number is expected to rise especially considering the fact that nearly 40% of the US population between the ages of 40 and 75 are pre-diabetic already and stand a good chance of developing diabetes in the next ten years.  Of the 24 million people in this country believed to have diabetes only about 18 million are aware of and seeking treatment for this disease.  If you have any of these following symptoms it’s a good idea to talk to you r Dr. about having a blood sugar test to determine you too could be suffering from diabetes.

Changes in Weight or Appetite

Because diabetes prevents glucose from being transferred to the cells for energy high levels of blood sugar can build up in the system causing excessive weight loss or hunger. Rapid weight loss can be caused by the body breaking down the protein in muscle as an alternate energy source or by the kidneys having to work excessively to eliminate the extra blood sugar so while you might lose weigh quickly it will ultimately be detrimental to your body. Another side effect of rapid changes in blood sugar is to feel excessive hunger pains so be sure to mention any changes to your doctor at your next check up.

Slow Healing

Because glucose can’t be used for energy excess amounts travel through the veins and arteries causing damage to blood vessels. Wounds and infections heal much more slowly when blood has difficulty reaching damaged parts of the body. High blood sugar levels also prevent white blood cells from functioning properly making infections much more common.

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Excessive Urination

If you have trouble making it through the night without getting up to use the bathroom or find yourself going frequently throughout the day diabetes could be to blame. When the kidneys are working overtime to handle all of the extra glucose in the blood the side effects are increased urination. To make up for the lost water you might also experience increased thirst.

Numbness or Swelling of the Hands or Feet

Another sign of excess glucose in the system is nerve damage; this will cause burning swelling or tingling of the hands and feet. If caught right away this damage can be reversible but if blood sugar remains too high for too long the nerve damage can be permanent.

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If you are unable to use glucose for energy your body has to work harder metabolizing fat for fuel. Because this process is inefficient you might feel excessively tired all the time.  As the condition worsens symptoms like blurry vision, irritability and confusion may also occur.

Diabetes is no laughing matter and with it becoming increasingly more common, especially among younger people, remaining vigilant about changes in your body is important. The good news is though with early detection Diabetes can be controlled with diet, exercise and weight loss. If these measures aren’t enough your doctor might also prescribe insulin to help stabilize your blood sugar levels. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms ask your doctor for a blood sugar test so that you can help fight the battle against type 2 diabetes.