HealthFocused

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Diabetes Warnings from A to Z

August 28, 2019
Published in: Diabetes

Woman's hand writing the word diabetes on the screen

Below we've listed—as alphabetically as possible—some of the warning signs, risk factors, and preventative measures that can be useful in identifying or preventing the disease.

Adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have tripled over the previous 20 years - so it’s important to keep an eye out for the early warning signs that might increase your odds of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Blood pressure that is higher than normal can increase one’s chances of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, so it is recommended to monitor (and reduce) your blood pressure through regular diet and exercise.

Cuts and other wounds may heal less quickly in those with type 2 diabetes than in other bodies.

Dry mouth is a symptom almost anyone can develop, but it is common in sufferers of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The exact cause is unknown, but what is known is that high blood sugar levels can cause dry mouth in people with diabetes. There are many other causes of dry mouth, of course, up to an including breathing through your mouth - so keep it in mind with other early warning signs.

Exercise can be a tool to greatly decrease the chances of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day, 5 days a week.

Family history is relevant to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Having a history of diabetes in your immediate family significantly increases the odds that you may contract the disease.

Pregnant woman getting her blood sugar checkedGestational diabetes or having diabetes while pregnant, occurs in 4% of pregnancies and usually goes away shortly after the child is born. However, it can increase the likelihood that a mother will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes later on in life, and can also be a contributing factor in the likelihood of the child developing type 2 later in life as well.

Headaches are a common sign of diabetes, as they can result from either high or low blood sugar levels.

Increased thirst and hunger can also be a sign, so if you begin feeling unsatisfied after consuming a meal or even a glass of water, you may be able to consider that an early warning sign.

Journaling can be used as a tool for living with diabetes, or as a means of prevention. By tracking your exercise and diet, you can be mindful of the decisions that you make that can lead to type 2 diabetes - such as your exercise routine, or the consumption of sugary beverages. If you are living with diabetes, then having a journal can be a useful way to chronicle your glucose levels, allowing you access to the information that may have caused a spike in your glucose levels.

Ketoacidosis is the development of flu-like symptoms more commonly associated with type 1 diabetes that has gone undiagnosed in children. A medical emergency associated with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, shortness of breathing and breath that smells like fruit, this must receive immediate medical treatment. Ketoacidosis is uncommon but possible in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, occurs in diabetics who are unable to process their glucose levels. Early symptoms of hypoglycemia include confusion, dizziness, shakiness, and irritability.

More than 100 million people in the United States are now living with diabetes and prediabetes - so the condition may be more common than you imagine.

Man rubbing his feetNumbness of the hands, fingers, toes, and feet can all be associated with type 2 diabetes.

Obesity is a factor in type 2 diabetes. Staying at a healthy weight can reduce your risk of contracting the disease.

Pre-diabetes a condition defined by higher than normal sugar levels and can be a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. This affects 84 million Americans - the ADA recommends testing for pre-diabetes to being at age forty-five.

Rashes that can result in skin conditions linked to diabetes, including vitiligo, scleroderma diabeticorum, and acanthosis nigricans.

Smokers are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 30-40% more likely, in fact. If you still haven’t kicked the habit, here is yet another excuse.

Tired feeling, weakness, fatigue; whatever you call it, if you are not processing the sugars coming into your body into the energy you need, your body may be operating a lower energy level than normal.

Urinating more can be a sign of diabetes. As the body is unable to process glucose, it tries to expel excess amounts through urination.

Vision blurring maybe an early sign of diabetes. When glucose levels are high, the blood thickens, which causes the eye to swell. When this happens, it can mean they eye has difficulty focusing - causing blurred vision.

Weight loss, especially when one is not trying to lose weight - can be a sign of diabetes. When the body is producing insufficient insulin, it is unable to process glucose into energy, meaning the body has to then rely on burning muscle and fat reserves.

Yeast infections may be connected to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. As yeast feeds off of sugar, and since the body is unable to process glucose at normal levels, sufferers may be prone to more frequent infections.

Z - Okay, we admit it, there wasn’t a symptom, risk factor, or preventive measure that we could associate with every letter of the alphabet. However, with the information in this post, you should be well aware of the medical symptoms that may develop around a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and be better prepared to discuss testing with your healthcare professional if necessary.

An annual check-up with a primary care physician is recommended, and you may be referred to an Endocrinologist to manage your diabetes.