Diabetes is a serious and unfortunately very common disease. Many people worry that they will develop the disease and, thus, wish to know the signs of high blood sugar, as well as the signs of diabetes in women and the signs of diabetes in men.
Knowing these signs is important for being vigilant about your health. However, it is essential to keep in mind that not all people show signs of diabetes, especially when the diabetes is mild. However, even mild uncontrolled diabetes can be dangerous.
For this reason, you shouldn’t just rely on warning signs. When it comes to how to know if you have diabetes, you also need to see a doctor regularly to be tested for the disease, especially if you are at a higher risk of developing it than the average person.
Potential Signs and Symptoms to Look for
As mentioned, the side effects of diabetes are not always present or easily noticeable. However, there are some signs you have diabetes that you can and should watch out for. Most of these signs are related to high blood sugar, which is one of the hallmarks of diabetes.
One of the most common signs people develop is excessive hunger.
If you are eating and eating but never feel satisfied, it could be because your body isn’t making enough insulin, or your cells are insulin-resistant. In either case, you’ll feel ravenous most of the time.
Another common early indicator of diabetes is having to urinate much more often than usual. Your body and kidneys are working overtime to push out all that extra glucose, and they do so via the urine. Unfortunately, the result is that you’ll be thirsty all of the time. And, by drinking more, you’ll have to pee more, creating a vicious and very annoying cycle.
People with diabetes also tend to find that they feel tired a lot of the time since the body is not getting the energy it needs.
As you can see, living with the signs of diabetes is very uncomfortable, and the problems only get worse if the condition is left untreated. Anyone who thinks they may be experiencing diabetes symptoms is encouraged to see a doctor as soon as possible.
The warning signs can be so mild that you do not notice them immediately. That is particularly true for signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Some patients do not find out they have it until they get problems from long-term damage caused by the disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Adults
It is essential to understand that initial signs of diabetes in adults often develop fast and sometimes get ignored, or mistaken as a type of illness.
If you continuously go to the bathroom, your kidneys may be trying to get rid of excess blood sugar, that cause to urinating frequently.
Frequent urination will result in dehydration, which will make you feel more thirsty than usual.
If you suddenly excessively hungry, it may be because your body can no longer get proper energy from the food you eat.
Sudden Weight Loss
If your body continues to lose sugar in your urine instead of absorbing it, this will lead to unexpected weight loss.
Other common symptoms in adults include feeling tired, drowsy or lethargic, abrupt eyesight changes, fruity or sweet-smelling breath, heavy breathing, and sudden unconsciousness. If you do have a high blood sugar level that goes untreated, it will develop into a life-threatening condition. The best recommendation is that you see your doctor right away if you are experiencing these warning signs.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Children
Be aware if your child is lethargic, manifests heavy breathing, or experiencing nausea, and vomiting. If this is left untreated immediately, diabetes can be life-threatening. If you are concerned that your son or daughter is showing early symptoms of childhood diabetes, it is imperative that you schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible.
One of the early signs of diabetes in children is frequent urination and dehydration. When your bodies blood sugar levels are high, it triggers a reaction in the body that pulls fluid from tissues. This will leave your son or daughter thirsty all the time, resulting in for more bathroom breaks. The following are some other warning signs that you should be aware of:
If your child is tired most of the time, it may be a sign that their body is having trouble turning sugar in their bloodstream into energy.
Changes in Vision
High blood sugar levels can contribute to blurred eyesight.
Fruity Smelling Breath
If your kid’s breath smells fruity, it could be a result of high blood sugar.
Extreme Hunger and Unexplained Weight Loss
When the body of your child is not getting enough energy, it can trigger extreme hunger, and sudden weight loss especially if they eat more.
If your child seems more moody and restless than usual and it is related to the symptoms above, it could be cause for concern.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Pregnancy
The signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes are caused by high blood sugar levels and develop during pregnancy. It occurs in a small percentage of all pregnancies. Gestational diabetes commonly is diagnosed in the later stages of pregnancy, and usually happens to women who have no history of diabetes in the past.
Gestational diabetes is believed to develop because of the many changes, hormonal and otherwise, that occur in the body during pregnancy causing some women’s bodies to resist insulin. Insulin is a hormone made from specialized cells in the pancreas that allow the body to metabolize glucose efficiently then use this later as energy. When levels of insulin are below average and lead to insulin resistance which the body cannot effectively use insulin, blood glucose levels rise.
Diabetes Signs That Are Specific to Women
While anyone suffering from diabetes can experience the signs discussed above, some signs and symptoms are unique to women.
For example, some women may experience vaginal yeast infections more frequently than normal when they have diabetes. Polycystic ovary syndrome can also result in female diabetics due to higher than normal insulin levels. Also, women with diabetes are more likely to develop urinary tract infections due to all of the bacteria-producing sugar in the urine.
Women who are struggling with any of these issues should be tested for diabetes. Of course, not all people who develop the above conditions will necessarily have diabetes, but because the conditions can be related, it’s smart to be tested, just in case.
Diabetes Signs That Are Specific to Men
Just as there are specific diabetes signs that only women are prone to, the same is true for men.
Some unique symptoms of diabetes that may develop in men include erectile dysfunction, a lowered sex drive, and low testosterone levels.
As is the case with women, these symptoms do not necessarily indicate the presence of diabetes and could be due to other health conditions. With that said, however, if these signs are present and the cause is not known, men should be tested for diabetes.
Understanding the Risk Factors for Diabetes
All people should take care to visit a doctor regularly and to have their overall health examined. With that said, though, people who are at a higher risk for diabetes should be especially vigilant about seeing a doctor and getting tested for the disease.
As mentioned, knowing the signs and symptoms of diabetes can be helpful, but these indicators are not always present. That’s why regular testing is the best way to detect and treat the condition.
People at an increased risk for diabetes and who should thus undergo regular testing include:
- People with a family history of the disease
- People who are overweight or obese
- People who have pancreatic diseases
- People who have prediabetes
- People who have developed gestational diabetes
- People from one of the following high-risk backgrounds: Hispanic, African American, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islanders, Alaska Natives
If you fall into one of the “at risk” categories, make sure you do not neglect regular medical care and doctor’s visits.
Remember, the sooner you catch diabetes, the more effectively you can treat it, and the less likely it is that you will develop serious negative consequences as a result of the disease.