You can thank a hormone called insulin for driving your metabolism. Straight from your pancreas, this hormone converts the sugar (glucose) in your blood into energy that your cells use for any and all functions. Without insulin, or with ineffective insulin, glucose accumulates in your blood and can damage your organs and tissues.
A chronic condition called diabetes throws your insulin out of whack and can lead to high glucose complications like vision loss and neuropathy. There are several different types of diabetes that can cause these complications, but they have key differences.
Type 1 diabetes is usually detected early in life and happens because your pancreas can’t produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, usually develops later and comes from insulin resistance. Over time, insulin resistance can develop because of a sedentary lifestyle and an imbalanced diet. A third type, called gestational diabetes, is similar to type 2 diabetes but appears only for the length of your pregnancy.
All types of diabetes share a collection of telltale symptoms that indicate your need for a blood glucose test from your family physician. Our team at Westmed Family Healthcare in Westminster, Colorado, can measure your blood glucose with a simple blood draw and provide any other necessary tests for the different types of diabetes.
Are you wondering if you have diabetes, or if you’re at high risk for it? Monitor yourself for these telltale symptoms and book a visit to Westmed Family Healthcare if you experience them:
1. Increased urination
Running to the restroom more often than usual? Frequent urination is one of several common diabetes symptoms. This might affect you most at night, which can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep.
You’ll almost definitely notice increased thirst alongside your increased urination. After all, where else is all that urine coming from? You can also attribute your increased urination to your kidneys, which must work overtime to filter extra glucose from your blood and subsequently flush it out in your urine.
2. Exhaustion — more than usual
A common early sign of diabetes is fatigue or exhaustion. If you come home from work or running errands and instantly can’t help but lay down on the couch, your fatigue may run deeper than a lack of sleep the night before.
There are a few reasons you might feel so exhausted as diabetes sets in, but it primarily happens because your body is failing to use the high levels of glucose in your blood for energy.
You might suspect poor immunity as a reason you’re experiencing so many infections, but frequent infections can also indicate underlying diabetes. Yeast infections and urinary tract infections are particularly common in people with diabetes because the extra sugar in your urine attracts bacteria and fungi to warm and moist environments like your urinary tract, skin folds, or vagina.
Sores can develop into ulcers when you have diabetes because they heal more slowly due to poor blood flow and high blood sugar. These sores are also prone to infections, so it’s important to check your legs and feet for any opening in your skin that could develop into a sore or ulcer.
4. Unintended weight loss
People who are trying to lose weight are usually thrilled to see such results, but if you’re not actively trying to lose body fat, a drop in your weight is concerning.
Many people with undiagnosed diabetes experience rapid weight loss because their bodies must turn to their fat supply to use as energy rather than the high supply of glucose in their blood. Insulin resistance makes it difficult or impossible for your body to convert that glucose into energy.
5. Vision decline
Those who are prediabetic or insulin resistant are often encouraged to visit their optometrist more often than the average person. High blood glucose can cause rapid damage to your eyes, leading to a change in your glasses or contacts prescription. High glucose levels can pull fluid from the lenses of your eyes which affects their ability to focus.
Without diabetes detection and treatment, the condition can cause extra blood vessels to grow in your retina which can eventually lead to vision loss and blindness.
Consult an expert today
If you have concerns about insulin resistance or think you may already have diabetes based on your symptoms, reach out to Westmed Family Healthcare online or by phone right away.