Diabetes has been dubbed the “silent killer” because most of the time, people who do have them simply overlook the symptoms. These symptoms at first seem like harmless or minor health disturbances, but when left unchecked for a very long time, can lead to heavier complications. Diabetes is the result when the body, specifically the pancreas, stops producing insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or doesn’t recognize and utilize the insulin produced (Type 2 diabetes). Insulin is a hormone that aids in the transport and absorption of glucose to different cells in the body to be converted into energy. With non-existent or non-utilized insulin, the body’s cells cannot get the glucose it needs to produce energy, leading to health complications. If your family has a history of diabetes, or if your ethnicity and physical condition make you a possible target for diabetes, you should take extra precaution. Read on to know how you can detect early symptoms of diabetes, and have a better chance of saving yourself or a loved one from further health complications.
- You’re emptying your bladder more often than you usually do in a day. When insulin is not produced or utilized, glucose cannot be converted into energy. This poses a big threat since the kidneys then cannot filter the glucose back to the blood. What happens next is that the kidneys react to the surplus of glucose by drawing water from the blood to dilute the excess glucose. This then results in a full bladder which you have to empty as often as this process continues to occur, and which you have to keep on doing unless you start receiving treatment.
- You seem to have an unquenchable thirst. Constantly using up the store of water in your blood to dilute the glucose and then constantly emptying out your bladder would of course deplete water in your body. You always feel thirsty and drink more water than what you normally consume in a day.
- Your weight suddenly drops without obvious explanation. Did you notice that you seem to have suddenly lost weight even without subjecting yourself to a strict diet or workout regimen, and even if you still carry on like what you normally do every day? Drastic and seemingly inexplicable weight loss is more noticeable in Type 1 diabetes. Since the pancreas has stopped insulin production, the body will now look for alternative energy sources. It has no other choice but to utilize fat and muscle tissue to supply energy within the body. Hence, you lose the weight.
- You feel unusually tired and sleepy most of the time. When glucose isn’t transported and absorbed by the different cells in the body, it stays confined outside of the bloodstream. And because the cells are deprived of glucose and no energy is converted, you feel weak, drowsy, and easily worn out even with mundane tasks.
- You have cuts and bruises that heal slowly. Diabetes is destructive in that it impedes the body’s natural ability to heal and fight infections. Recurrent bladder and yeast infections are telltale signs for women. Even minor cuts, bruises, wounds, and skin rashes that often take too long to heal for you should not be ignored.
- You suddenly develop blurry vision. High glucose levels prompt the extraction of fluids from your body, and even from seemingly unlikely places like the tissue from the lens of your eyes, resulting in weakened vision.
- You notice numbness or tingling in your limbs. Continuing high levels of glucose in the body, when not addressed over time, can cause damage to the nervous system. This condition is called neuropathy. The numbness and the tingling feeling that you get is one way in which your body tells you that something is wrong with it.
There’s a familiar saying that goes, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” But how many of us really do take heed of it? Knowledge is power. The more we know earlier, the more likely we can get proper medical attention and health care. Whether its Diabetes Type 1 or 2, or any other kind of disease, and regardless of race, ethnicity, age, physical condition, or social standing, everyone should do his part in taking a proactive stance to secure the safety of their own health.