Could You Have Diabetes and Not Know It?

Type 2 diabetes is a common problem affecting more than 30 million American adults, and an additional 84.1 million have prediabetes. Having an undiagnosed blood sugar disorder, like prediabetes, may not seem serious. But, even mildly elevated blood sugar levels can cause nerve, kidney, and retina damage. And without treatment, people with prediabetes typically have full-blown Type 2 diabetes within five years.

As an endocrinology and metabolism specialist at Sonoran Endocrinology, Dr. Rohit Dwivedi recommends watching for the following early warning signs of diabetes so you can get treatment as soon as possible.

Making more trips to the bathroom

Don’t ignore a change in your urinary habits, because it’s often an early warning sign that your blood sugar is off. Your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes increase once you reach 45, so it’s easy to assume that changes in urinary frequency are a normal part of getting older. But, when you have high blood sugar, your kidneys kick into high gear, trying to filter it from your blood. As a result, your need to urinate increases, especially at night. 

Noticing vision changes

If you’ve noticed blurry vision or changes with your prescription, it could be due to high blood sugar. These symptoms develop when excess sugar damages the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. When left unchecked, these blood vessels can sustain severe damage, even leading to permanent vision loss.

Feeling tired all the time

Diabetes can cause fatigue for a variety of reasons, ranging from dehydration and disrupted sleep from nighttime urination to kidney damage. Unlike tiredness that comes and goes, the exhaustion that comes from high blood sugar is typically persistent and often interferes with daily life.

Having skin changes

High blood sugar can also impact your skin, causing visual changes known as acanthosis nigricans. It’s easy to recognize this condition because dark patches of skin develop in your neck folds, knuckles, armpits, or groin. In many cases, these areas of skin feel soft and velvety. It’s also common to have cuts and wounds on your skin that take weeks or months to heal.

Experiencing chronic infections

When your kidneys can’t get rid of enough sugar, it ends up in your urine. Unfortunately, this warm, moist environment can provide the perfect breeding ground for urinary tract and yeast infections. It’s also possible to experience yeast infections and other areas of your body, including your mouth and armpits. These infections usually cause itching, redness, burning, or tenderness in the site.

If you notice any of these symptoms, Dr. Dwivedi recommends seeking medical attention as soon as possible to reduce your risk of long-term complications, including:

For more information about diabetes, contact one of our convenient locations in Surprise, Gilbert, Lake Havasu City, or Prescott, Arizona, by calling or booking online today.

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