One third of people suffering from diabetes don’t know they have it. Often, the symptoms of diabetes seem benign, so many sufferers avoid seeking medical help, which can leave diabetes untreated for years. When detected early, diabetes complications are much easier to prevent.
Because diabetes is so common, it’s important to look for signs and get regular check-ups. At Gastonia Wellness & Long Term Care, we want you to be aware of the subtle symptoms of diabetes and get professional help as soon as possible.
Let’s examine a few common, mild symptoms that could signal diabetes.
Frequent urination and increased thirst
On average, you should go to the bathroom anywhere between four and seven times per day. But if you’re developing diabetes, your body uses the water from your tissues to get rid of the extra sugar in your blood. As a result, you get thirstier and go to the bathroom more often.
Losing or gaining weight without trying
If you aren’t trying to lose or gain weight, yet you gain weight too easily or the pounds simply melt off, it could be a sign that your insulin isn’t working properly.
With type one diabetes, because your body produces little or no insulin, it switches from using sugar for fuel to using fat for fuel, which leads to rapid weight loss.
With type two diabetes, difficulty losing and gaining weight is a symptom, as the insulin is still working but cells are resistant to it. So, instead of your body using the sugar from food as a source of energy, it stores the sugar as fat because your cells can’t use it properly.
Dark skin patches
Have you noticed any darkening and thickening of the skin on various areas of your body? While it’s not dangerous, acanthosis nigricans is a sign of insulin resistance, and unless you get tested and find out its cause, it doesn’t go away by itself.
Your body uses sugar as fuel, but when the sugar doesn’t get converted into energy by your cells, your blood sugar levels go up while your energy levels go down. In other words, chronic fatigue could be a sign that your cells can’t use sugar to fuel your body.
Slow healing wounds
Chronic high blood sugar affects your body’s ability to heal wounds in two ways. First, it impairs the ability of your white cells to fight off bacteria. Second, it slows down your blood circulation, which makes it more difficult for your body to carry the nutrients it needs to heal the affected area.
Why it’s important to get tested for diabetes
If you’re between 40 and 70 years old, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that you get regularly tested for diabetes.
No matter how thin your waist is and regardless of whether or not you have someone with diabetes in your family, just by getting older, the chances of you developing diabetes increase significantly.
So if you’re worried about developing diabetes, contact Gastonia Wellness & Long Term Care with your concerns. With the right lifestyle changes and treatment, you can manage diabetes without lowering your quality of life.