Diabetes is a disease that unfortunately has become more common with each year that passes. The overall number of people who suffer from diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Those numbers are shocking, and the worst part is that they keep increasing. The easy access to junk food, which often costs way less than healthy food, combined with a poor diet and exercise habits causes your body to developed diabetes.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. Combine that with the fact that there isn’t an exact cure for diabetes, and you get one of the deadliest diseases in the world. The good news is that you can prevent diabetes, or delay its complications, by detecting it early and acting fast.
It’s important to check yourself regularly to make sure you don’t have this disease. But if you haven’t done it in a while, here are some common symptoms that might mean you have diabetes. Just remember, it’s best if you go see a doctor for an official diagnosis instead of just diagnosing yourself.
7. You Feel Thirsty All the Time
Feeling thirsty is a typical symptom of diabetes. But why does that happen? When a person has diabetes, their body starts to produce a type of sugar called glucose. This forces your kidneys to work harder to bring your body back to normal.
This results in a deprivation of water in your body. So as the total body fluid content decreases, this will activate the brain’s thirst center, and you will feel thirsty as the mucosal lining of the oral cavity starts to dry.
Don’t worry if you feel thirsty sometimes, though. There are other factors that can contribute to dehydration, like a hot summer day or not drinking enough water. According to doctors, the average water intake for a normal person is four to six daily glasses, and if you feel more thirst, then immediately consult your care provider.
6. You’ll Also Urinate More Often
Frequent urination is not only an early symptom of diabetes, but it’s also an indication that your body is working at its maximum load to tackle the increased blood glucose.
If you are persistently experiencing both thirst and urination, there might be something wrong, and that might be diabetes. Usually, frequent urination can also happen because you’re drinking too much water or liquids, which can be a good thing. But if you’re constantly thirsty and going to the bathroom, it’s best if you check yourself.
Researchers have concluded that a normal human being urinates seven to nine times a day on average. If the frequency increases, consult your doctor.
5. You’re Feeling More Tired Than Usual
Feeling fatigued is a common body response for most diseases, so by itself, feeling more tired than normal doesn’t necessarily mean you have diabetes. Still, it’s something you need to pay attention to.
At the initial stage, you want to sleep the whole day and don’t want to get out of your bed. This is because, during diabetes, there is an excess of sugar (i.e., energy), but the body is unable to use it. Sounds weird, right? This is what happens: When you have diabetes, you have an excess in glucose in your body, but the cells are incapable of utilizing the glucose as the receptors are malfunctioning.
4. Excessive Hunger May Also Mean Diabetes
Excessive hunger and fatigue have almost the same cause. Your body has excess glucose, but the cells are unable to capture it to utilize, so the cells will constantly message your brain to activate the hunger center to make you feel hungry.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: hunger is common, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have diabetes. So, when should you worry? There’s really isn’t an exact way for you to know on your own, but if you’re feeling hungrier than usual, even if you already ate what you usually eat, then it’s recommended that you visit your doctor. Again, it may not mean you have diabetes, but you may have a different disease.
3. Your Vision Might Get Blurry
As explained earlier, everything’s related. By now, you already know that increased blood glucose causes an increase in fluid withdrawal from tissues, and the same happens in the eyes.
Basically, what happens is that the lens of your eye is a fluid-filled transparent balloon. As the fluid is drawn from the lens, it shrinks and loses its ability to focus on things in the field of vision. This causes the vision to be blurred.
Another reason for the blurred vision is the formation of vessels on the eye’s retina, disturbing the normal function and causing blurred vision. If you have symptoms of blurred vision, you should immediately consult your doctor. Again, it may not be diabetes per se, but it’s always good to do regular checkups.
2. You May Lose Weight Unexpectedly
Have you ever wanted to lose weight without changing the diet and doing exercise? Probably so. Everyone does. But, be careful what you wish for. Unexplained weight loss is mainly due to cancers, hyperthyroidism, or, you guessed it, diabetes.
As discussed earlier, diabetes is a progressive disease. This weight loss is due to the body’s inability to use glucose from the food as body fuel. As a result, it started to burn the body fat to use as fuel.
Moreover, as the disease progresses and the fat stored in the body decreases, it will start using the body’s proteins as fuel. This will cause extreme weakness and lethargy.
1. It’ll Take Longer for You to Heal
If you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, your brushes or wounds will take longer to heal.
This occurs because diabetes causes the stiffening of blood vessels, which causes less blood to reach the area of the wound, causing a decrease in oxygen and nutrient availability. This deprivation causes the wound and bruises to take more time for healing.