Did you know that more than 100 million adults in the United States are living with diabetes or are prediabetic?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released these findings in a recent study on the impact of diabetes in the U.S.
The study found that diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., with approximately 9.4 percent of the U.S. population now suffering from this condition.
Catching symptoms early
With diabetes becoming an ever increasing health problem in the United States and worldwide, it’s helpful to familiarize ourselves with the risk factors of diabetes, so that we can catch symptoms early if they do arise.
Take control of your health
Although many factors can help you decrease your odds of developing diabetes, education and routine doctor’s visits can go a long way when it comes to taking control of your health.
Here are 9 surprising diabetes symptoms
High or low blood sugar levels, in addition to possible problems in the inner ear, can often cause feelings of dizziness or instability in diabetics. One 2009 study found that diabetics are 70 percent more likely to have balance issues caused by inner ear-related problems.
It has been found that approximately 67 percent of diabetics reported feelings of fatigue and lethargy leading up to their diagnosis. One likely cause of this is high blood sugar levels that can cause sleepiness when glucose levels are not carefully regulated with insulin or medication.
3. Excessive thirst
Perhaps one of the most obvious symptoms of diabetes is excessive thirst. Known as polydipsia, this condition leaves diabetes feeling constantly thirsty and it is usually accompanied by dryness of the mouth for extended periods of time.
A somewhat common symptom, irritability is sometimes reported by diabetics and is usually caused by low blood sugar. When a person is experiencing low blood sugar, the body and brain are left starved for energy, often resulting in irritability and an unpleasant mood.
5. Excessive eating or insatiable appetite
Individuals who are diabetic or prediabetic may often feel the urge to eat incessantly and find that they cannot satisfy their hunger. This condition of extreme hunger is known as polyphagia and is caused by the body’s inability to absorb blood glucose and deliver it to the cells.
6. Unexpected weight loss
Unexpected or sudden weight loss can sometimes be an indicator of type 1 diabetes. Although not the most common symptom, weight loss can be a tell-tale sign that the body is not properly using glucose as energy and instead is burning the body’s fat deposits for fuel.
7. Blurred vision/poor eyesight
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition where high glucose levels cause the blood vessels in the eye to constrict and break under pressure, leaving sufferers with blurred or impaired vision. The American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy has found diabetic retinopathy to be the leading cause of adult blindness in the U.S.
8. Pain, numbness, or tingling
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition where a person’s hands, legs, or feet constantly feel like they are asleep. This is caused by nerve damage that occurs as a result of high blood sugar and is experienced by more than half of all diabetics.
9. Frequent urination
As the body tries to eliminate excess blood glucose, diabetics may feel the urge to urinate more frequently. According to a German study, approximately 94 percent of people experienced this symptom prior to being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Tips to help reduce your risk
- Drink plenty of water
- Reduce excess body fat
- Try a plant-based, low-calorie diet
- Reduce stress
- Sleep well
- Stay on top of medical appointments
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