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6 Ways to Detect Diabetes

Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad

2 min read

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The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 108 million known cases of diabetes in 1980-more than 3 decades later, that number has increased to a staggering 422 million adults diagnosed worldwide in 2014. While diabetes is now taken as little worse than a bad flu, it can lead to nerve damage, kidney damage, eyesight loss, and heart issues, among other complications. It is becoming increasingly important to recognize if you may be a diabetic because Here are some common signs that might help you detect it early-on:

1- You Always Feel Hungry and Tired:

The cells rely on glucose extracted from food as an energy source and on insulin for absorption in blood. The inability of glucose to enter into the cells drains you of your energy and results in unregulated episodes of hunger and fatigue.

2- You Drink and Urinate Too Much:

A normal person urinates 4-8 times a day. However, in diabetics, the kidneys try to remove excess sugar from the blood because it is not effectively being reabsorbed; it is filtered through urine with the help of extra fluids, hence draining the body’s water supply. This results in several trips to the bathroom. Over time, this can lead to dehydration and an increase in the individual’s intake of water and other fluids. 

3- You Can’t See Clearly:

Fluid loss from the eye lens due to high levels of blood sugar causes the eyes to dry up, swell, possibly change shape and create difficulties in focusing, resulting in blurred vision; this is referred to as diabetic retinopathy. It is the third most common symptom of diabetes, and an eye doctor may well assist in detecting the symptoms. Water is also drained from other parts of the body, causing dryness-particularly in the mouth area-and probable itchiness on the skin.

4- Regular Mood Swings:

Excessive sugar in the bloodstream can imitate depression-like symptoms, making you believe that you have a mental disorder instead of diabetes. You might also feel lethargic with regular episodes of irritability.

5- You Lose Weight Without Even Trying:

An unavailability of sugar as a source of energy due to ineffective reabsorption resulting from low insulin levels leads to the cells looking towards other sources burning muscles and stored fat to fulfill energy requirements for effective functioning often results. Low insulin levels occur if your body is not making enough or any insulin, or if your cells continue to reject the insulin your body makes. While many people aspire to lose weight, it is important to remember this is not a healthy form of weight-loss.

6- Your Gums Hurt:

The condition of your gums can indicate a possible case of diabetes. Red, swollen gums or their recession from the teeth-which causes them to loosen-as well as recurrent gum diseases or infections might be a forewarning of onset of diabetes.

Other Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes:

While all of the above signs are common for both type 1 and 2 diabetes, you might be able to tell if its type 2-which is hard to detect in the earlier stages- by some additional symptoms:

  1. Slow or non-Healing cuts and sores- over time, increased blood sugar can intercept healthy blood flow, leading to nerve damage that makes it difficult for your body to heal wounds
  2. Yeast infections in warm, moist folds of the skin (e.g. under the breasts, between fingers and in or around sex organs)- this occurs because there is an abundance of glucose available, which is what yeast feeds on
  3. Frequent urinary tract infections
  4. Dark skin patches in your neck folds or discoloration in your knuckles – this is a condition often caused by insulin resistance, known as acanthosis nigricans  
  5. Numb or painful legs and feet – this is often a result of nerve damage
  6. Breath that smells like nail polish remover

You can get ahead of diabetes and manage its severity by early detection. Regular checkups and testing are essential because the symptoms of diabetes are subtle or nonexistent. In order to detect and prevent diabetes, you will need to consult and follow the advice of a Diabetes Specialist.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad
Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad - Author Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad is a consultant family physician and diabetologist based in Lahore. He has extensive experience in managing all sorts of acute and chronic health issues including diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, musculoskeletal issues including performing joint injections, depression, menopausal symptoms, etc. You can book an appointment with him via oladoc.
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