According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one out of three Americans (or around 84 million people) have prediabetes. Without knowledge of what the early warning signs are, you could be one of these individuals. Like diabetes, prediabetes puts you at risk for multiple health conditions, including heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough for the individual to be diagnosed with diabetes. To ensure you receive proper treatment and to prevent serious complications, consider the following pre-warning signs of diabetes.
If you find you wake up several times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, you may be experiencing an early warning sign of diabetes. In a normal person, glucose is reabsorbed in the body as it moves through the kidneys. For someone with diabetes, the body doesn't always reabsorb glucose, which can make you go to the bathroom more than normal. Also, if you are using the bathroom more than normal, you may find that you are always thirsty.
When you eat, your body converts your food into glucose, which is used as energy. Cells need insulin to convert this glucose into energy. For those with symptoms of diabetes, the body is either resistant to glucose or doesn't make enough insulin to convert the glucose efficiently. As a result, you'll likely feel extremely tired and hungry all the time.
Frequent urination requires excess water from your body. Less moisture often means a dry mouth, patchy and itchy dry skin and a susceptibility to dehydration.
The human body is made of approximately 60 percent water. When this level changes, it can cause the lenses of the eyes to swell and change shape, which causes blurred vision. Also, changes in blood sugar make it harder for the muscles in the eyes to focus. The good news is that when blood sugar levels return to normal, so does your vision.
Increased blood sugar levels eventually cause nerve damage, which is referred to as diabetic neuropathy. This pain often begins in the feet, which makes it difficult to stand or walk for long periods.
Tingling and numbness is another side effect of nerve damage caused by increased blood sugar levels. When this occurs in a localized area, it may go away on its own once blood sugar levels are stable. In some cases, the nerve damage may be irreversible, but it may be slowed down with proper treatment.
Early detection is your best defense when caring for and managing diabetes. At Autumn View Gardens in Creve Coeur, MO, we offer regular health screenings and round-the-clock medical care to help you identify illnesses quickly. Contact us to learn more about becoming a member of our assisted living community.