One of the most widespread health conditions, diabetes is an autoimmune disease that affects the body’s ability to produce enough insulin which is responsible for breaking down the sugar in the blood. As a consequence, the sugar starts to accumulate in the blood, which can cause severe complications. Therefore it critical to identify the early diabetes symptoms, so that it can be treated effectively. However, the initial diabetes symptoms can be quite subtle, so there is a possibility that they might go unnoticed or be considered as trivial.
Here are some of the important early signs of diabetes that one shouldn’t miss:
- Fatigue and hunger
The food a person eats is converted into glucose by the cells and is used for producing energy. The cells, however, need insulin to allow this process to happen. If the body is unable to make enough insulin or if cells resist insulin which the body generates, a person will feel tired and famished unusually.
- Frequent urge to urinate
A person often urinates four to seven times on an average in a day. However, if a person has diabetes the need to urinate arises more frequently. This happens because in normal circumstances the body reabsorbs glucose for generating energy but for a person with diabetes, the body doesn’t convert the glucose into energy, and it ends up accumulating in the blood. So the only way left for the body to get rid of the excess sugar is via urine. Urinating often even makes the person thirstier than usual. Consequently, the intake of water increases too.
- Dryness of mouth and itchy skin
In diabetes, most of the fluids in the body is used to make urine so that the unused glucose can be eliminated. Naturally, the amount of water required for other activities decreases substantially in the body. This can also lead to dehydration. One of the most common signs of dehydration in diabetes is a dry and itchy mouth.
Apart from the signs discussed above, specific symptoms manifest but only in cases where the glucose level has been high for some time.
- Yeast infection
People who have diabetes can also suffer from yeast infection as one of the early signs of diabetes. It is a common fact that yeast thrives because of sugar. Yeast infection can grow in a range of conditions and the primary ones of these include its growth between the fingers and the toes, under the breast and in or around the genital parts.
- Slow healing wounds
An early sign of diabetes infection is the predominance of high blood sugar which can affect the flow of blood in the body and can also lead to nerve damage. This makes it difficult for the body to heal the wounds.
- Unexplained weight loss
If the body weight of a person begins to reduce without any specific reason, then it could indicate the onset of diabetes. This unplanned weight loss happens as the body is not able to get adequate energy from the food. Therefore, it begins to burn the muscles and fats for the energy. In a diabetic condition, weight loss in the body occurs, even when a person has not made any drastic change in his or her lifestyle and continues to consume the same quantity of food as before.
- Nausea and vomiting
Though this symptom applies to many other medical conditions, it is also observed when the human body starts burning fats in diabetes. As a result, it starts to produce ketones which can eventually build up in the blood to a dangerous level leading to a life-threatening condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis. The presence of these ketones can make a person sick and thus they experience nausea and vomiting more often. This is an early warning sign if the person is suffering from Type 1 diabetes.
When to seek help from a doctor?
If a person is above 45 years of age and any of the above-listed symptoms appears, it might indicate the onset of diabetes. If any of these symptoms are spotted at an early stage, it is important to notify a doctor. By seeking treatment in the initial phase, a lot of major problems related to heart and nerves can be avoided.
Diabetes is more of a lifestyle disease. So apart from consulting a specialist, a person should also make necessary changes in their diet and adopt a healthy workout session. At the same time, one should also ensure that they manage stress and ditch habits like smoking and unwarranted consumption of alcohol.