Have you been feeling really thirsty or hungry lately? Have you noticed yourself urinating frequently? Have you noticed that you’re having an increase in conditions like yeast infections? Is so, you may want to consider getting get checked, and one of those tests may include a diabetic screening.
This writing is to inform you of some symptoms that you (or others) may have, that you may not have noticed. This is not intended to scare you, or diagnose you, but to give you knowledge of potential diabetes warning signs.
As a nurse, I notice that frequently when people are diagnosed with diabetes, they are completely caught off guard, and were not expecting the diagnosis. Once they learn more about the symptoms of the disease, they realize that they’ve had warning signs for some time but never paid them much attention.
Here are some symptoms of diabetes (not everyone has the same symptoms):
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Blurred vision
- Slow healing wounds
- Frequent infections
- Tingling or numbness of hands and feet
- Potential unexplained weight loss
- Fatigue (Mayo Clinic, 2013)
This does not mean you have diabetes. Diabetes must be officially diagnosed by a medical provider (i.e. nurse practitioner, physician, or physician assistant) through lab results, and there are simple tests to get checked. It’s also important to know your family history. If your close relatives have a history of diabetes, there’s a chance you’re at increased risk.
Early detection is so important because, untreated diabetes can cause severe consequences. This includes even if you are completely unaware that you have the disease.
Complications of Poorly Controlled Diabetes:
- Heart Attack
- Kidney Failure (needing dialysis)
- Severe nerve pain & numbness
- Frequent Infections
- Sexual Problems (i.e. erectile dysfunction)
If you’re already experiencing these symptoms, do not worry, but get checked. Early detection is key. As a nurse, I’ve personally seen patients with critically high blood sugars (high enough for an immediate coma or even death) as newly diagnosed diabetics, and they had no idea that they were diabetic. After being educated about diabetes, having a strong determination to succeed, and discipline in their diet and exercise, they never had to get on insulin, or were quickly taken off of insulin. Now these patients have normal blood sugar numbers that are in the same range as those that do not have diabetes. Everyone’s situation is different, and treatment should be individualized and specific. This may not be the same case for you or others. Use this example to show that even if you are diagnosed, you can take charge and be the victor instead of the victim.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or advise on any medical condition. The information is solely educational in nature to warn of diabetic symptoms, to increase awareness, and to promote timely detection and treatment if indicated.
Mayo Clinic. (2013). Diabetes Symptoms: When Diabetes Symptoms are a Concern. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-symptoms/art-20044248