Three Warning Signs of Diabetes
According to Mayo Clinic, millions of people in the United States have diabetes and don’t even know it. Signs and symptoms of the disease often go unnoticed for several years before someone receives an official diagnosis. Catching signs and symptoms early can help speed up diagnosis and treatment — while reducing the risk of dangerous complications.
Increased Thirst and Urination
One of the most common signs and symptoms of diabetes is excessive thirst and increased urination. When an individual has diabetes, excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream causing the kidneys to work overtime to filter and absorb the excess glucose. When the kidneys cannot keep up they excrete the extra glucose in our urine, along with other essential fluids from our tissues, often resulting in dehydration. As a result, you may find yourself drinking excess fluids to quench your thirst and making additional trips to the restroom.
Another more common (but also hard to diagnose) symptom of diabetes is fatigue. When an individual has diabetes, the resulting high glucose in the blood impairs the body’s ability to use glucose for energy. As the body’s main source of energy, glucose is essential. When glucose cannot enter the cell and be utilized for energy, individuals with diabetes may experience lingering fatigue.
Believe it or not, increased blood glucose levels can also affect your vision. When excess glucose builds up in the blood, fluid from body tissues, including the lenses of the eyes, is pulled into the kidneys affecting our eyes’ ability to focus. If left untreated, diabetes can cause new blood vessels to form in your retina and damage the already existing vessels. This could potentially lead to vision loss or blindness without prompt diagnosis and treatment.
If there is a history of diabetes in your family, it is important to take your health seriously. Be sure to talk to your doctor immediately if you notice any of the signs or symptoms noted above. While it is a serious and potentially deadly condition, proper diet and medication can help individuals diagnosed with diabetes enjoy relatively normal, healthy lives!
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