Diabetes is often called the silent killer because many of the symptoms are subtle, and people can be exposed to the effects for years before serious problems develop. However, there are some tell-tale signs that we can observe that may indicate the body is not processing sugar properly. Let’s take a look at some of the top indicators in order to identify the problem and take corrective action as quickly as possible.
The average person urinates anywhere from 5-10 times per day depending on their fluid intake and lifestyle. People who have excess sugar in their blood will urinate more-often, and they also tend to feel a persistent sense of thirst. This is because the kidneys draw out water from cells in order to flush excess sugar from the body, and the body gets tricked into thinking that it is becoming dehydrated. If you find yourself peeing and having thirst more than usual, consider testing your blood sugar.
Diabetes creates a feeling of weakness and fatigue as fluctuating blood sugar levels wreak havoc on our metabolism. Cells are unable to process sugar to convert it to energy, and they end up functioning far below optimal levels. Additionally, the dehydration that is precipitated by frequent urination also contributes to feelings of lethargy and malaise as well.
Diabetes influences how fluids are regulated throughout the body, and they eyes are no exception. Fluids accumulate around the lens and alter its shape, and this causes distortions in vision. Fortunately, many eye-related problems associated with diabetes are reversible as long as blood sugar levels are regulated properly. Consequently, you may have diabetes if you start to notice periodic blurry vision that goes away after you eat well.
Persistent and unusual bouts with dry, itchy skin is also a common sign of diabetes. This is usually caused by dehydration as well as nutritional deficits within skin cells. Again, symptoms will vary depending on diet and how well the body regulates sugar.
Wounds That Don’t Heal
Diabetes leads to tissue inflammation as well as poor circulation. Both of these contribute to the slow-healing of wounds that is common in those who have severe diabetes. Many of these wounds lead to infections that can be so destructive that surgery or even amputation is necessary in order to protect the patient. If you start to notice that it’s taking longer for wounds to heal, it may be an indication that you’re in the early stages of diabetes.
Problems in Extremities
Diabetes contributes to nerve as well as circulatory problems, and the first parts of the body to feel the effects are usually the hands and feet. This is because these areas are farthest from the heart, and they also contain a high concentration of nerve endings. Tingling, numbness, burning, pain, redness and swelling are a few examples of common signs to look for.
People with low blood sugar will tend to become more-irritable as levels deviate from the norm. However, irritability tends to go away once sugar levels have been stabilized. If you, or someone you know, is on an emotional roller coaster that is somehow tied with eating, then diabetes may be the cause.
Keep in mind that these are just general symptoms that may be indicators of diabetes. However, it’s a lot easier, and more-accurate, to test the blood to determine if spikes and drops in sugar levels are occurring. It’s also worth mentioning that catching diabetes early, and making necessary lifestyle changes, can cause many of these symptoms to go away on their own as the body heals itself. However, ignoring the problem can lead to irreversible damage that may have life-threatening ramifications.
Remember that the vast majority of people develop diabetes through a combination of eating a poor diet and not getting enough exercise. While these things can be easy to change now, our options may be much more limited during a crisis. This is why it’s so important to make sure that our emergency food supplies are nutritionally-balanced to minimize the chances of diabetes being a problem in a long-term survival situation.