Frequent visits to the washroom, little fatigue, excessive thirst, rapid weight loss – none of these symptoms are shocking on their own. But taken together, they could be silent signs of an epidemic which is affecting more and more Indians in the current scenario.
Many of you might already know that India is called as the ‘Diabetes Capital of the World’ with as many as 50 million people suffering from type-2 diabetes. Out of these, 25 percent of people with type 2 diabetes don’t even know about their condition.
There are two types of diabetes. Though both involve the body’s inability to process sugar and glucose, they are very different. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the person’s body cannot secrete insulin. Only 10 per cent diabetes cases are of type 1, which is usually diagnosed during childhood or adolescence and is managed through daily insulin shots.
Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is a sneaky monster. Here the body produces insulin but can’t process it properly. The early warning symptom of diabetes is hard to spot and sometimes people brush it off as stress and fatigue. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with 10 subtle silent symptoms of diabetes you should not ignore.
- Frequent trips to the loo – If you drink a lot of water, you will obviously pee more often than others. But in diabetes, our body converts food into sugar less efficiently and therefore, sugar starts accumulating in the blood. Our body excretes this extra sugar through urine. So, if you need to urinate frequently, especially at night, contact a doctor.
- Increased thirst – Making extra trips to the washroom 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 washroom.
- Unexpected weight loss– Weight loss due to diabetes happens for two reasons mainly – one, from the water you lose from urinating. Two, your body don’t absorb all the calories from the sugar in your blood. The good thing is that once you learn about your diabetes symptoms, and start controlling your blood sugar, you may even experience weight gain.
- Lack of energy and fatigue– If you’re continually feeling exhausted, tired and lethargic, no matter how much extra sleep you get, you may have diabetes. Diabetes affects the ability to break down the food we eat and create energy out of it.
- Feeling hungry all the time– 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 for more food. If this frequently happens to you, discuss the issue with a doctor.
- 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.
- Irritability and mood changes– High blood sugar can mimic symptoms similar to depression, despair and frustration. These feelings can cause people to be moody.
- Slow healing cuts and sores – Minor cuts and scrapes normally should heal quickly. If healing seems to take a while, visit a doctor for the diagnosis.
- Yeast infections– Increased levels of blood sugar can lead to higher incidences of yeast and urinary tract infections, especially in women.
- Tingling, pain, or numbness in 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.