Type II diabetes is a modern age disease, its symptoms are very easy to overlook, so it shouldn`t surprise us the fact that one third of the population suffering from this condition has no idea about it.
Diabetes should be taken seriously because it causes dangerous complications like neurological or cardiovascular damages, so the importance of early detection is huge.
In order to keep diabetes under control we must practice a proper diet, take medications and exercise regularly, so that normal life can be continued.
Watch out for these warning signs of diabetes, in order to protect your health.
Worldwide, 382 million people had diabetes in 2013, 90% type II diabetes. This condition is metabolic, characterized by high levels of glucose or sugar in the blood.
Insulin is a hormone produced by pancreas, it regulates the balance of blood sugar levels. Diabetes causes decreased production of insulin or unresponsive cells to the hormone. When this happens, you`ll notice some of the following symptoms:
- Increased hunger: The urge to eat grows because the levels of blood sugar are too high or too low. Body starts to crave sugar because cells do not get enough of it.
- Dry mouth: Dry mouth will attract bacteria, causing oral and dental issue. This, as well as gum disease, are side effects of diabetes.
- Fatigue: The body is constantly tired from compensating for the lack of glucose. People with diabetes can be chronically tired, in a bad mood because of the low sugar levels.
- Yeast infections: Bacteria and fungi thrive in environment rich in sugar. Yeast infections are very common for diabetics, especially vaginal candida infections in women.
- Skin changes: Dark skin on the neck, groin or armpits, accompanied by itching can be a sign of diabetes.
- Bruise, cuts and infections which cannot heal: Due to diabetes, blood vessels get damaged- high amounts of sugar in the blood causes veins and arteries to be less capable of transporting blood to the area that need repairing.
- Unexplained weight gain or loss: Cravings and increased intake of sugar will cause weight gain. Or if the cells lack glucose they`ll start using muscle proteins, leading to drastic weight loss in short time period.
- Frequent urge for urination (polyuria): Often urination, and frequent urges during the night can be a warning sign for diabetes, because kidneys are making extra effort to get rid of the excess blood sugar.
- Increased hunger (polyphagia): Frequent urge to eat is caused by extreme lows and highs of blood sugar levels, because the cells are getting starved from the lack of glucose.
- Extremely increased thirsts (polydipsia): kidneys try to get rid of the excess sugar in your blood, meaning you lose more water, so you feel thirsty all the time.
- Problems with vision: High blood sugar can change the shape of the eyes and the lens, making your vision blurry. Distorted vision and frequent flashes of light are possible symptom. Long periods of high sugar levels can lead to loss of eyesight.
- Sexual dysfunction: Diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves in the sex organs, resulting in erectile problems in men and vaginal dryness in women. 35-75 % of men with diabetes experience impotence, occasional or permanent.
- Numbness, tingling in feet and hands: Diabetes can damage the nerves, causing neuropathy. Tingling and numbness can be accompanied by swelling and burning pain. The damage may become permanent if blood sugar levels remain high for longer period, which is a serious complication.
If you notice some of these symptoms, consult with your doctor and do a blood tests to confirm if you have type II diabetes. Few tests can give reliable results. The fasting plasma glucose test is performed after fasting for 8 hours- if the blood sugar is higher than 126 mg/dl two times in a row, you have diabetes. Even levels of 100-125 mg/dl should be worrying because they can indicate pre-diabetic condition.
Don`t worry, diabetes is, to some degree, preventable. If you exclude the following risk factors from your lifestyle, you can prevent this condition from developing:
- Overweight/visceral obesity/belly fat
- Consuming unhealthy, processed food, lots of red meat, refined sugar and unhealthy fats. Only one can of soda drink can increase the risk of diabetic by 22%
- Physical inactivity
What measures can you also take? Try eating healthy, avoid these bad habits, keep stress level on minimum and live a healthy and active lifestyle.