Posted January 26, 2015
You could have diabetes and not know it.
About 24 million Americans have diabetes, but only 18 million know they have it, reports ABC News. Diabetes is categorized as a silent killer because many symptoms of the disease are easy to miss. Unless you have a family history, the disease may not be on your radar of health concerns. Often diabetes goes undetected until it’s in a more advanced state. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with 10 subtle silent diabetes symptoms you should not ignore.
- Frequent trips to the bathroom – Many people are not aware of this red flag. Since diabetes affects how the body breaks down sugars, more of it may be in your bloodstream. This triggers the body to make extra trips to the bathroom to flush out the sugar. If you need to urinate frequently, especially at night, contact your doctor’s office.
- Increased thirst – Making extra trips to the bathroom could lead to dehydration, creating the need to drink more beverages. Often people choose sugary drinks to rehydrate, such as soda, juice or chocolate milk, which only adds more sugar to the bloodstream and causes more trips to the bathroom.
- Unexpected weight loss – People with diabetes lose weight from the frequent urination and their inability to absorb extra sugars in the blood. If the weight loss is sudden, and you’re not intentionally trying to lose weight, consult your physician.
- Cravings for carbs and sugar – When there is excessive sugar in the bloodstream, the body struggles to regulate glucose levels. And when glucose isn’t absorbed into our cells, the body feels starved and craves more carbohydrates or sugar. If this frequently happens to you, discuss the issue with a physician.
- Exhaustion – Too many late nights and stress can cause the body to feel tired. But if you’re continually exhausted, no matter how much extra sleep you get, contact your doctor’s office. Diabetes affects the ability to break down foods and create fuel the body needs.
- Grumpy and short-tempered – High blood sugar can mimic symptoms similar to depression, despair and frustration. These feelings can cause people to be moody.
- Blurred vision – When diabetes is in an early stage, glucose can build up in the eye and cause blurred vision. The good news is that it goes away once blood sugar is regulated. If things look blurry, contact your eye doctor or physician to have the problem checked.
- Slow healing, itchy skin – Minor cuts and scrapes normally should heal quickly. If healing seems to take a while, discuss the problem with your physician. In addition, darkened, itchy skin near the neck or armpit also may be a sign of diabetes.
- Tingling feet – Numbness or tingling in the feet may be caused by high blood sugar levels. Ask your doctor about possible nerve damage and see if you need to get a blood glucose monitor.
- Yeast infections – Increased levels of blood sugar can lead to higher incidences of yeast and urinary tract infections, especially in women. Consult your physician for assistance.