Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how the body converts food into energy. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 or type 2, with the latter typically diagnosed later in life based on lifestyle factors. What are the first symptoms of diabetes? Read on for the nine indicators.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune reaction that attacks cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
In type 1, the immune system destroys the cells that release insulin, causing the body to be unable to produce insulin.
Type 1 is typically diagnosed in childhood and lasts a lifetime.
Type 2 is a disease that develops later in life and can be triggered by obesity, inactivity and genetic predisposition.
Read more: Best Diet Supplements: Cinnamon For Lowering Blood Sugar
Early signs of diabetes
1. Frequent urination
You may need to use the bathroom more often.
This is because when blood sugar levels are high, the kidneys try to remove the excess sugar by filtering it out of the blood.
This can lead to more frequent urination, especially at night.
2. Increased thirst
Coupled with frequent urination, you may feel thirsty than usual.
This is because trying to remove excess sugar and using the bathroom more often will cause you to lose more water.
This can lead to dehydration and a feeling of needing to drink more.
5. Blurred vision
Another tell-tale symptom of type 2 diabetes is blurred vision – especially blurred vision.
This is because excess sugar in the blood can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, which then leads to blurred vision.
Your vision could be blurred in one or both eyes and it could come and go.
6. Slow healing of cuts and wounds
Here, too, a high level of sugar in the bloodstream can hinder blood circulation and damage the blood vessels.
You may find that even tiny cuts, like paper cuts, take weeks to heal, and that slow healing time can lead to infection.
7. Tingling, numbness, or pain in your hands or feet
As mentioned earlier, high sugar levels can affect blood circulation and nerves.
In type 2 diabetes, for example, pain, tingling or even numbness in the hands and feet can occur.
If left untreated, the diabetes, known as neuropathy, can worsen and cause serious complications.
8. Spots of dark skin
You may notice darker areas of skin in the groin, armpit, or even the folds of the neck.
These areas of skin, known as acanthosis nigricans, can be very soft to the touch.
9. Itching and yeast infections
Another by-product of high blood sugar levels can be yeast infections.
The sugar nourishes yeast, which can then cause infections in the warm and humid areas of the body.
This may be the mouth, genital area, and armpits and will appear red, sore, and may be very itchy.