The Warning Signs of Diabetes
Do you know that a staggering approximation of 422 million people have diabetes and 1.6 million deaths are ascribed to diabetes? Diabetes is a condition where glucose levels, also known as blood sugar, in your blood are elevated. Like many other diseases, the body signals warning signs of which are so mild that you don't notice them; this is especially true of type 2 diabetes. Some don’t even know they have diabetes up until the long-term damages produced by the disease surfaces. For type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, the symptoms typically present themselves quickly and severely, in a matter of days or a few weeks. So, what are the telltale signs of diabetes and how do you identify it? Read on for the myriad of symptoms we’ve listed below.
Constant Need To Urinate
One of the most common early signs of diabetes is urinating frequently during the day and night. When your blood sugar levels are high, the kidneys are sent into overdrive to filter and eradicate the excess sugar from the blood, thus leading to the need to frequent the toilet.
Feeling Increased Thirst
Frequent urination and increased thirst are correlated to one another because when the body continually dispels excess sugar from the blood, you also lose water. When you lose water over time, the body suffers from dehydration and leads to increased feeling of thirst.
Increased Craving For Food
In a healthy body, insulin works to convert what you eat into energy. This energy is either stored or used when needed. Unfortunately, with diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or at all, which leaves the excess sugar in the bloodstream and the muscles and other cells in the body starved for energy. As a result, this creates craving for food and feeling of hunger despite having eaten recently.
As aforementioned, insulin transports glucose from the bloodstream to the cells for energy. When there is a lack of insulin or the insulin isn’t working effectively, it means that our cells can’t receive the energy they need which results in fatigue.
Blurred vision is a common warning sign of diabetes that isn’t under control. When blood sugar levels are consecutively high for a period of time, fluid is drawn to the lenses in your eyes, causing it to swell. They also change shape and lose focus.
Wounds Heal At A Slower Rate
When you get cuts or wounds, the circulation of blood around the affected area is critical for wound healing. When the body has high levels of sugar in the bloodstream, it takes a toll on the nerves and blood vessels which impairs blood circulation. What would take days to heal may take weeks or months. In addition, slow wound healing creates an increased risk of infection.
Tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands or feet
It has been ascertained that high blood sugar levels affect blood circulation and damage the body’s nerves. But for those with type 2 diabetes, this nerve damage blocks the signal from the hands and feet and can lead to tingling, pain or numbness in their hands and feet. Known as neuropathy, this condition can worsen over time and cause a slippery slope of complications if their diabetes isn’t treated.
Dark Patches of Velvety Skin
If you notice a dark patch of velvety skin forming on the creases of the neck, armpit, groin or elsewhere, it means you are at a high risk of getting diabetes. The medical term for this skin condition is acanthosis nigricans.
Itching and yeast infections
The effects of diabetes on the body become more apparent over time. Those who have trouble keeping their sugar levels in check may develop complications such as difficulty to fight off infections — bacteria or fungus. Women with poorly controlled glucose levels are more susceptible to yeast infections which thrive on warm and moist areas of the skin. The affected areas are usually uncomfortable as it’s itchy, could develop stinging sensation, redness, and soreness.
Evidence has been presented supporting the notion that coconut oil can reduce the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. A study conducted on animals with a medium-chain fatty acids-rich diet, such as coconut oil, found that it could help prevent obesity and fight insulin resistance — both of which lead to type 2 diabetes. In a more recent study on rats with diabetes showed a lowered blood glucose level, cholesterol levels and improved glucose tolerance when fed with coconut oil. In addition, research revealed that medium-chain fatty acids have the ability to lower fat buildup and sustain insulin action in fat tissue and muscle. However, the relationship between coconut oil and its effects on type 2 diabetes requires further research. To date, there isn't any research on coconut oil’s effect on patients with type 1 diabetes.