Watching out for Diabetes: the warning signs!
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which a patient has sometimes dangerously high levels of circulating sugar in the blood. It often tends to run in families and if one is more aware and cautitous, there are signs and symptoms one can watch out for those are categorized as pre-diabetes. Many a times, it can go undiagnosed, as most of its symptoms seem harmless or subtle. If detected early in this stage, it can prevent or decrease the chances of developing many other complications that are associated with diabetes.
Diabetes has been classified to a number of different types, namely: pre-diabetes, type 1, type 2, gestational and maturity onset. Based on your age, lifestyle and family history one can be more susceptible to developing the disease. Here are some of the risk factors that put you in that high-risk group:
a) Having a parent or sibling who suffers from diabetes.
b) Being overweight or obese, especially with an age >45
c) Having a family background of African American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American/Latino.
d) Having high blood pressure.
e) Having high cholesterol.
f) Having gestational diabetes or if you have given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds.
Here are some of the distinct warning signs that are indicative of a pre-diabetic stage: having 2 or more of these symptoms lasting more than 4-5 days, should be brought into your medical provider’s notice immediately.
Type 1 Diabetes
- Excessive/unusual thirst: If you feel excessively thirsty al the time, irrespective of the weather or not just after an exercise session.
- Dry mouth: along with excessive thirst, sometimes patients find that they are unable to quench their thirst even with large quantities of water, and have this feeling of dry mouth constantly.
- Frequent urination: You find yourself having the urgency to urinate much frequently compared to others or what you are accustomed to previously. Again this is irrespective of the weather or any other physiological factors like any drugs or diuretics that you are on.
- Extreme hunger: You are constantly hungry and find yourself snacking every few hours, which is more than what you are used to.
- Unexpected weight change (loss or gain) irresoective of your eating well or constantly being hungry. It has also been seen that snacking due to the extreme hunger that patients feel, makes them consume the wrong foods (such as fatty food), that itself contributes further to the weight gain.
- Fatigue/lethargy or irritability: Feeling of tiredness, or weakness all through the day, which can not be explained by any short term sickness or any other changes in your lifestyle. This symptom can be confused with many other scenarios so it should be considered as a diabetic symptom only if it exists along with a few others.
Type 2 Diabetes
Often people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms but any of the symptoms from above plus a few unique ones that are seen with type 2 diabetes are as follows:
1. Frequent infections: Recurring infections of the skin, teeth and gums, bladder or any other infections.
2. Cuts/bruises that take longer to heal: You get frequent cuts bruises (especially on the feet) that take much longer to heal.
3. Blurred vision: this symptom in particular should not be ignored as problems with the eye can lead to blindness as well, it is very commonly seen in patients who are severely diabetic.
4. Numbness of tingling in the hands and feet
5. Excessive itching or soreness in the genital area