In the US, more than 100 million people are living with diabetes or prediabetes. In order to better treat it, it is important to detect the first signs. Here are ten of them.
1. Unquenchable thirst
Permanent thirst (polydipsia) and dry mouth are the main signs of diabetes. It is the consequence of kidneys seeking to get rid of excess sugar.
Thirst can be considered excessive when three liters of water are consumed daily and when it is necessary to get up several times a night to drink.
2. A desire to urinate frequently
Polyuria which results in a urge to urinate frequently, including at night is a hallmark of diabetes.
The diabetic patient is also more susceptible to urinary tract infections.
The smell of urine is sulfur.
3. Permanent fatigue
Sugar can no longer ensure its role as a source of energy in diabetics, resulting in a state of intense fatigue even at rest.
This results from frequent hypoglycaemia. Hence the importance of controlling your blood sugar regularly when you have diabetes.
4. A decrease in visual acuity
Diabetes has consequences for vision.
The main symptoms observed are: a confused view that varies from one day to another, dry eyes, a double vision, appeared suddenly, problems to perceive the colors, a difficult night vision. Ophthalmological control and monitoring are essential.
The itching associated with diabetes is due to the destruction of certain nerve fibers located in the outer layers of the skin.
But they can also result from diabetic neuropathy, a complication of diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy occurs when high levels of glucose in the blood damage nerve fibers, especially those of the feet and hands.
6. Slower healing
Diabetes causes high levels of blood sugar that can end up affecting the nerves and lead to poor blood circulation, which is necessary for skin repair.
Consequences: this can cause the wounds to remain open and not healed for months, which increases the risk of infection.
7. A loss of sensitivity
Excess sugar causes a loss of sensitivity (pain, heat, cold) especially in the lower limbs. This loss of sensitivity is due to an impairment of the nervous system which is a complication of diabetes.
When the blood sugar level remains too high over a long period of time, it can damage the nerves, especially those of the lower limbs (peripheral neuropathy).
Up to 50% of people with diabetes may experience nerve pain or tingling, especially in the feet and legs.
The tingling sensation feels numb and, in the case of diabetes, is a sign of an impairment of the peripheral nervous system.
9. Hypoglycemic discomforts
The discomforts are common in people with diabetes and result in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
The person experiencing the discomfort feels weak, sweats and becomes pale. In extreme cases, there is a loss of consciousness.
10. Feet problems
The complications of diabetes that affect the feet are related to the decrease in sensitivity of the contact nerves, which prevents the perception of small wounds such as corns, calluses, fungus, etc., which eventually grow and become infected.
In the US, nearly 70,000 amputations due to complications of diabetes occur each year.