Sometimes being diabetic is blatantly obvious. Major diabetic symptoms can land you in the hospital.
However, pre-diabetes – which can develop into a full-blown case of the metabolic disorder – is often far more subtle. Symptoms can be mistaken for other problems.
Only three different blood tests, administered and interpreted by a doctor, can let you know if you have diabetes or not. There are many symptoms you can watch for, however, that will clue you in to the fact that these tests are necessary, and to discover if you need treatment.
There are several different symptoms that diabetics experience and which, if you experience them, may show that you are either diabetic or prediabetic. Since these symptoms are similar to those caused by other ailments, it is much more likely that you have diabetes if several symptoms are present rather than just one.
How Do You Know If You Have Diabetes? The Symptoms.
Diabetes causes problems with the body’s water balance. Thirst and urination are two of the major red flags that you can use to know if you have diabetes, especially if you experience both.
Many diabetics and prediabetics feel frequent, intense thirst, as in the case of the famous Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, who wrote Don Quixote, and who said that drinking the entire ocean could not have quenched his thirst.
This thirst is usual accompanied by frequent urination. The reason is that untreated diabetes causes most fluid to move through your body without being absorbed.
Thus, drinking a lot does not rehydrate you, but only refills your bladder over and over. Your body also tries to flush excess glucose out through the urinary system, triggering further urination.
Feeling hungry all the time while losing weight is another red flag for diabetes – without enough insulin, your body is unable to process the sugars in food properly to give you energy. Most of it goes to waste, leaving you undernourished.
Moreover, these problems can deal a blow to your energy. People with undiagnosed diabetes can feel weak and listless.
Injuries tend to heal slowly. Your body has neither the fluid nor the energy to deal with them properly. You may also be more prone to infections, especially bladder, skin, and mouth infections. Deprived of fluid, your eyes may start to blur on occasion.
Other signs are more subtle and might go unnoticed. A dry mouth, various aches, dry and itchy skin, and vaginal itching occur without diabetes and may be ignored even when they are a sign of it. If you notice these symptoms along with any of those above, there is a stronger chance that you are either diabetic or pre-diabetic. It might be a good idea to get tested.
Think You Have Diabetes? Try This.
Concerned about getting diabetes? You may want to start a diabetes-healthy diet.
Even if you’re not diabetic, it’s still helpful to eat a healthier food each day. Diabetic diets are low-fat, low-calorie diets that can help keep you healthier and more active. Fish is a good protein source for this diet and also improves cardiac health (though deep-fried fish can be harmful).
Legumes (such as beans), fruits, vegetables, and whole grains form the backbone of a diabetes-healthy diet. Nuts, olives, avocados, and olive oil are all helpful in moderation.
Aim for plenty of fiber and as little salt as possible. Though this diet will not directly help you know if you have diabetes, it will keep you stronger and lessen the problem’s effects if it really is there.