According to the CDC, over 30 million people in the US have diabetes. That's nearly 10% of the population. Somewhere around 90% of these cases are Type II diabetes, which is the kind of diabetes that people usually develop in adulthood as a result of diet and lifestyle. The CDC also estimates that another seven million people may not yet know they have diabetes, potentially giving this condition a year or more to cause irreversible damage to the body. That's why recognizing some of the lesser-known early warning signs of diabetes is so important.
These three may really surprise you.
1. You're just so thirsty
Do you find yourself sipping on water or other drinks all day long because otherwise you feel dehydrated, or have you noticed that after you binge on a sugary snack, you feel very thirsty? These are tell-tale signs that your body is struggling to process the additional sugar out of your bloodstream as the body seeks out extra fluid to dilute the sugar until it can flush it out through the kidneys. Unfortunately, if you turn to juice or sugary soft drinks to quench your thirst, you're adding even more sugar to the bloodstream, making matters worse.
You need glucose (sugar) to properly function. Glucose is instant energy for your cells. The pancreas produces the hormone insulin, which helps the glucose get into the cells so that they can use that energy and it then takes the glucose that remains out of the blood, storing it in fat cells. However, in a person with diabetes, that same amount of insulin doesn't work as well as it should so that glucose doesn't get to the cells where it's needed.
2. You've got to go a lot
Along with the thirst comes the other end of the equation, frequent urination. Because you're drinking so much more, you'll also be urinating more. Many people are honestly unaware of how often they urinate because they don't keep track of it, especially if they work from home as many people do these days. A surefire way to know that you need to ask Dr. Walker to check you for diabetes is if you frequently get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Most people can hold out while they sleep, but people with diabetes have trouble doing that because the bladder fills up so fast.
3. You're craving caffeine and carbs
When you eat food to power up your body, your cells don't get that sugar because of the poor performing insulin. You feel sluggish and foggy even though you're getting enough sleep, and you may even feel you need to drink excessive caffeine to stay alert and think clearly. This is really bad because caffeine constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure making blood sugar even harder for your body to manage.
On top of the tiredness, you might also feel a shaky feeling when you eat a high carb meal to try to replenish that energy. This occurs because the pancreas overproduces insulin to try to handle the carb load and in doing so it "overshoots," and the glucose level in the blood drops too rapidly. Now you feel like you're starving and crave carbs again, which starts the cycle all over again.
This vicious cycle is one of the reasons that not knowing you have diabetes is so devastating to the body, but when you become aware that you have diabetes and begin treatment and management, you can break this cycle and live a much healthier life.
Don't allow not knowing you have diabetes to control your life. Take control by finding out for certain if this is the cause of your symptoms. Book your appointment online with Walker Family Care today.