Diabetes affects roughly 30.3 million Americans. 95% of these individuals suffer from type 2 diabetes, a form of the disease that’s preventable and can be managed through diet and exercise. People develop type 2 diabetes after a lifetime of eating high-sugar foods. Over time, the body exhausts its ability to produce the insulin, the hormone that processes sugar.
Individuals who are overweight and age 45 or older are at the highest risk. The following are warning signs that you may be developing type 2 diabetes.
1. Numbness and Nerve Pain
Diabetes causes nerve pain and numbness in the extremities. Circulation becomes poor due to high blood sugar levels.
The nerve cells of the extremities are deprived of nutrients and begin to die.
2. Frequent Urination
Chronically high blood sugar levels cause frequent urination, also known as polyuria. You urinate more often as your body tries to excrete the excess sugar from the blood.
3. Thirst and Dehydration
High blood sugar levels can make you thirsty. The body craves water to return the blood to normal blood sugar levels.
Urinating frequently makes thirst and dehydration worse. The more you urinate, the more electrolytes you lose, making dehydration more severe.
4. Slow-Healing Wounds
Wounds heal more slowly due to poor circulation and immunodeficiency. High blood sugar levels make the blood “sludgy” and slow. Adequate oxygen and white blood cells fail to reach the injury site.
5. Blurred Vision
High blood sugar levels can cause fluid to shift into the lens of the eye. As blood sugar levels are brought back under control vision typically returns to normal.
6. Chronic Fatigue
Poor circulation from high blood sugar can leave cells under-oxygenated and slows down many of the body’s processes.
Loss of electrolytes from frequent urination can leave the cells deprived of the nutrients they need for energy production.
7. Skin Discoloration
Some individuals begin to develop dark patches in the folds of the skin called acanthosis nigricans. These dark patches are most common in the neck, groin, and armpits.
Other signs of the onset of diabetes include yeast infections, dry mouth, and lightheadedness. If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment to see your physician as soon as possible.