12 Signs You’re at Risk for Diabetes And How to Care for it
What is diabetes?
Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as “diabetes” is a chronic disease associated with an abnormally high level of the sugar glucose in the blood. This is due to one of two workings:
- The inadequate production of Insulin, which is made by the pancreas and lowers blood sugar.
- The inadequate sensitivity of cells to the action of the produced Insulin.
There are two main types of diabetes – Type 1 which Is insulin-dependent where there is not enough insulin and Type 2 which is non-insulin dependent where there is generally enough insulin but the cells upon which it should act are not normally sensitive to its action.
Diabetes is a serious illness that can result in the loss of life if left untreated. There are many signs that show you are at risk for developing the disease, and it’s important to know what they are.
If you experience any or all of these listed signs and can’t find a suitable explanation, make an appointment with your doctor. (Search for a hospital close to you here)
Some of the signs and symptoms of both types of diabetes include frequent urination, decreased appetite and also fatigue.
We have listed 12 signs that show you’re at risk for diabetes that you should watch out for.
12 Signs You’re at Risk for Diabetes
If you get plenty of sleep every night but still go through rounds of fatigue throughout the day, this may be a sign. Go see your doctor and also, go do a blood sugar test.
2. Frequent urination
Having to urine often (and sometimes wetting the bed at night) is one definite sign you’re at risk for diabetes. And you noticed this happens whether or not you’re in a chilled (cold) environment.
If you begin to suspect you’re urinating outside the norm, check the frequency, make a note every time you go to the bathroom especially with the colour (light yellow) and take the information to your doctor, who will let you know whether you need further testing.
3. Heavy and regular thirst
Excessive thirst (especially when you’re not engaged in activities that are making you sweat) is usually a sign that diabetes is near. Track your water intake for a few days while you wait to see your doctor. It could be an early symptom of type 2 diabetes, which has subtle signs, like thirst and frequent trips to the bathroom. Never ignore these signs.
4. Always hungry
It can be hard to separate “eating when you’re hungry” from “emotional eating.” But if you find yourself having hunger cramps often and at irregular time intervals beyond mealtimes, it may mean you’re at risk for diabetes.
5. Blurry vision
Blurry vision is often one of the first signs of diabetes. If you can’t explain away fuzzy letters, or have the sudden inability to read texts and signs that had been readable before, bring this up with your doctor.
6. Dry mouth
There can be several causes for a lack of saliva in your mouth (also known as “dry mouth”), and high levels of glucose are one of them. When you feel this way, and it is not a result of working in a hot area or walked under a heated sun, this is a symptom of diabetes.
There are some treatments for dry mouth, you can find at your pharmacy. Be sure to talk to your doctor about what you’re experiencing before treating it so that you can be tested for diabetes.
ADVICE: Stop self-medication.
7. Frequent headaches
If you get headaches often it might be a sign that your blood sugar is out of its normal level — this could be a sign of diabetes. If you find the headaches are becoming regular and aren’t due to sleep deprivation or dehydration, go see your doctor. (don’t have a doctor, see hospitals that can help)
8. Mood swings (Or Moodiness)
Mood swings have been known to be an early symptom of a hyperglycemia attack and type 2 diabetes. The mood swings might also be a by-product of suffering from other symptoms of the disease.
Either way, don’t ignore them: Moodiness and depression is your body telling you something really aren’t right. Go see a doctor.
9. Wounds take longer to heal
People with diabetes often take much longer to heal from wounds and cuts. They are also at risk for frequent infections.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it could mean something else is going on. See your doctor to rule out all assumptions or do a blood sugar test for diabetes.
10. Inactive lifestyle
An inactive (sedentary, desk-bound) lifestyle puts you at risk for lots of health ailments, including diabetes. Without regular exercise and movement, you’re at risk as your system will not be metabolically well-regulated, which, in turn, results in fatty deposits. That puts you in the higher risk category for developing type 2 diabetes.
Do what you can to prevent it. Always be moving your body part. (Want to join a fitness team or Centre, search for one closest to you here)
Also, Read: The 4 Myths About Weight Loss
11. Untreatable skin conditions
There are a number of specific skin problems related to diabetes. One particularly visible one is the darkening and thickening of skin, especially in the skin folds. Called acanthosis nigricans (what is this?), this appears mostly in people who are very overweight.
Sometimes, the skin becomes slightly raised and appears velvety. Other times, it looks like small warts on the side or back of the neck, armpits or in the breast and groin area.
12. Sudden weight loss
If you’ve experienced sudden (and unintentional) weight loss, no matter what and how you eat, you might be at risk for diabetes. The lowered weight, in these cases, is due to high blood sugar which results in dehydration, muscle breakdown and thyroid problems — all of which are serious and should be understood and treated by a doctor.
So, while your clothes might start fitting better, this sudden and dramatic weight loss is nothing to get excited about. Go do a blood sugar test. (See a diagnostic lab In your area)
Treatment and Care For Diabetes
The treatment for diabetes is aimed at reducing blood glucose concentrations to normal levels. Achieving this is important in promoting well-being and in minimizing the development and progression of the long-term complications of diabetes.
The measurement of HbA1c can be used to assess whether an individual’s treatment for diabetes is effective. Target values of HbA1c levels (what is the normal value???) should be close to normal.
For people without diabetes, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1c level is between 4% and 5.6%. Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% mean you have a higher chance of getting diabetes. Levels of 6.5% or higher mean you have diabetes.
You can start with the following:
Diet and Exercise:
Put yourself on diets designed to help you reach and maintain normal body weight and it is encouraged to exercise regularly, this enhances the movement of glucose into muscle cells and blunts the rise in blood glucose that follows carbohydrate ingestion.
Usually, patients are encouraged to follow a diet that is relatively low in fat and contains adequate amounts of protein.
In practice, 30% of calories should come from fat, 20% from protein and the remainder from carbohydrates rather than simple sugars.
Also, Read: What Truth Do You Know About The Ketogenic Diet?
If you’re in the Type 1 diabetes where you’re unable to produce insulin in your body, then you require Insulin Therapy. The traditional way is the continual injection of the hormones, which are often customized according to individual and variable requirements.
Research into other areas of Insulin Therapy includes pancreas transplantation, beta cell transplantation, implantable mechanical insulin infusion systems, and the generation of beta cells from existing exocrine cells in the pancreas or of the islets of Langerhans.
The other thing you need to do whether or not you’re diagnosed with diabetes is to test your blood sugar every day. You need to know how well you’re taking care of your blood glucose levels. You need to know the level – it is something you should be aware of. The best way to find out is to test your blood. This will give your doctor the information to work with – whether to change your diet, exercise or medical plan.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only. We do not in any way take the place of your doctor or nutritionist. Please consult your doctor to guide you in the best solution suited for you.