Diabetes is a chronic health condition which impacts how the body turns food into energy. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 or Type 2, with the latter typically diagnosed later in life due to lifestyle factors. So what are the early symptoms of diabetes? Read on for the nine indicators.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune reaction which means cells in your pancreas which create insulin are attacked.
With Type 1, the immune system destroys the cells which release insulin, and this leads to the body being unable to produce insulin.
Typically Type 1 is diagnosed in childhood and lasts throughout the affected person’s life.
Type 2 is a disease which is developed later in life and can be triggered through obesity and inactivity, and also genetics.
Early signs of diabetes
1. Frequent urination
You may find yourself needing to go to the toilet more often.
This is because when your blood sugar levels are high, the kidneys try to remove the excess sugar by filtering it out of the blood.
And so this can cause a need to pass urine more frequently, particularly at night.
2. Increased thirst
Going hand in hand with frequent urination, you may feel thirstier than usual.
This is because as you try and remove excess sugar and go to the toilet more often you lose more water.
This can lead to dehydration and so feeling as though you need to drink more.
5. Blurry vision
Another telltale symptom of Type 2 diabetes is problems with vision – specifically blurred vision.
This is because an excess of sugar in the blood can damage blood vessels in the eyes, which then causes blurry vision.
You could experience blurry vision in one or both of the eyes and it may come and go.
6. Slow healing of cuts and wounds
Again, high levels of sugar in the bloodstream can impede blood circulation and damage blood vessels.
You may notice even tiny cuts like paper cuts can take weeks to heal, and this slow healing time can lead to infection.
7. Pins and needles, numbness, or pain in hands or feet
As mentioned above, high levels of sugar can impact blood circulation and nerves.
So, in those with Type 2 diabetes, they can experience pain, pins and needles or even numbness in the hands and feet.
If the diabetes is not treated, this condition – known as neuropathy – can get worse and cause serious complications.
8. Patches of dark skin
You may notice areas of darker skin across your groin, armpit or even in the creases of your neck.
Known as acanthosis nigricans, these patches of skin may feel very soft.
9. Itching and yeast infections
Another byproduct of high sugar levels in the blood can be yeast infections.
The sugar feeds yeast, which then can trigger infections in the warm and moist areas of the body.
This can be the mouth, genital areas, and armpits and appears red, sore and can be very itchy.