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Spotting the Early Warning Signs of Diabetes

Spotting the Early Warning Signs of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which your body doesn’t produce any or enough of a hormone called insulin. Insulin transports digested dietary sugars out of your bloodstream and into the cells that convert them to fuel.

If you have diabetes, though, too much sugar (i.e., glucose) remains in your blood vessels and raises your blood-glucose levels. High amounts of glucose in your blood damages the lining of your arteries. In response, they create plaque, which narrows the vessels and constricts your blood flow — a condition known as atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis can cause an array of serious complications, including loss of vision and loss of limbs. It may also cause a potentially fatal stroke or a heart attack.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that’s usually diagnosed in childhood or young adulthood. Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle-related disease that develops gradually. So gradually, in fact, that you may not even know you have it until you develop symptoms due to atherosclerosis.

At Modern Wellness Clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada, our health experts encourage you to be proactive with your health by paying attention to the signals your body sends you. Luckily, with Type 2 diabetes, there are warning signs that let you know your blood sugar could be too high. Here’s what to look for:

Your hands or feet are numb or tingly

Because high blood-glucose levels affect your artery health, one sign that you could be developing diabetes is changes in the sensations in your hands or feet. If you notice that your hands or feet are frequently numb or if they tingle or burn, your blood flow may be impeded to your limbs.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common symptom of diabetes. In addition to numb or tingling limbs, you might also notice that you don’t feel cuts or sores on your feet. This is a dangerous situation, because you could injure your foot and not know it, and this can lead to infection, gangrene, and even amputation.

In fact, complications from diabetes and PAD are among the top reasons for foot amputations in the US. As more and more people have gotten their blood glucose levels under control, the rates of foot amputation have also diminished. 

You’re dehydrated, thirsty, or urinate a lot

High blood glucose levels dehydrate your body. When you have too much glucose in your blood, and you’re not moving it into your cells for energy, your kidneys try to excrete the extra glucose in your urine.

You may notice you have to pee a lot more than you used to, especially at night. By using up water for urination to excrete glucose, your kidneys deplete the liquids your body needs to stay hydrated. 

When the fluid levels in your blood are too low, you feel thirstier than normal. That’s why excessive thirst is a key symptom of diabetes.

Another sign of dehydration is skin that’s overly dry or cracked. You may also have a dry mouth or even dry eyes if you become too dehydrated.

You’re tired all the time

If you find yourself feeling fatigued or sleepy for no good reason, it could be a sign of diabetes or prediabetes. Your cells need energy to function optimally. With diabetes, however, you don’t have enough insulin to get the glucose into your cells to give them the energy they need.

Consequently, your body’s operating on a less-than-full “battery.” In addition, when you’re dehydrated — another consequence of high blood sugar — you also feel, literally, depleted.

Other symptoms

Because your body doesn’t have the resources it needs to perform its functions smoothly and optimally, you may develop other symptoms, too, if you have diabetes. Common signs that need attention are:

Any time you notice a significant change to the way you feel that lasts more than a few days, be sure to get a medical evaluation so that you can catch any disease process — including diabetes — at the earliest stage possible.

You can halt or reverse diabetes and prediabetes

If you notice any signs that you could be developing or already have Type 2 diabetes, call us immediately for an evaluation and diagnosis. The sooner you make changes to your lifestyle to lower your blood glucose levels and get treatment, when appropriate, the more likely you can prevent your diabetes from causing complications.

At Modern Wellness Clinic, we help you get your diabetes under control with changes to your diet and activity level. We may also prescribe insulin or other medications to help your blood glucose levels stay in a safe range. 

If you think you have prediabetes or diabetes, the first step is getting a diagnosis. Contact our office by calling our friendly staff at 702-463-9159 or using our online booking form.

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