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Don't Let Diabetes Sneak Up on You: Learn These 6 Early Signs

Don't Let Diabetes Sneak Up on You: Learn These 6 Early Signs

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic health conditions in the United States, affecting more than 34 million people. Unfortunately, of those 34 million, nearly 8 million are undiagnosed.  Another 88 million people (1 in 3 people in the U.S.) have pre-diabetes, which means they are at risk of developing diabetes.

In this blog, our providers at CHW Cares share six early warning signs of diabetes so you can be proactive and get the help you need to gain control of your blood sugar and feel your best. November is National Diabetes Month, so take a few minutes to learn about this common, preventable health condition.

1. Increased appetite

Diabetes occurs when your blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal. The sugar in your blood comes from the food you eat and serves as the primary source of energy for all of the cells in your body. 

The levels of sugar in your blood increase because of problems with insulin, the hormone that helps get the glucose from your blood into your cells. When your cells can’t properly absorb the sugar, they “starve,” making you feel extra hungry. 

If you feel hungrier than usual and eating fails to satisfy your appetite, schedule a primary care appointment.

2. Unexplained weight loss

You’re always hungry, and you eat more than usual, but you’re still shedding weight. Though this may seem like a dream come true, it may also mean you have diabetes.

If your cells can’t get glucose for energy, your body burns its fat stores, leading to weight loss. Check in with us if you notice sudden, unexplained weight loss.

3. Worsening vision

Blurry vision is also one of the early signs of diabetes. When your blood sugar levels spike, your eyes pull in water, triggering swelling in your lenses. This swelling changes your eye’s shape and ability to focus, affecting your vision. 

4. More frequent bathroom trips

Increased urination is another early indicator of diabetes. Normally, your kidneys filter glucose from your blood and then eliminate it through your urine. With diabetes, your kidneys need to make more urine to get rid of the extra sugar in your system.

You also may notice an insatiable thirst in addition to your frequent bathroom visits.

5. Tingling in your fingers or toes

The extra glucose in your blood affects almost every part of your body — even your blood vessels and nerves. Damage from diabetes often begins in the smaller blood vessels and nerves, like those found in your hands and feet.

Tingling, burning, numbness, or pain in your fingers or toes may indicate nerve damage and be a warning sign that diabetes has set in.

6. Lack of energy

Glucose provides energy for your body. Without that energy, you may feel chronically tired. Dehydration from frequent urination can also exacerbate your fatigue. 

These early signs of diabetes may be subtle and go unnoticed or dismissed as something else. One of the best ways to prevent diabetes from sneaking up on you is by scheduling an annual wellness visit. 

During this visit, we conduct a thorough review of your general health and screen for common health problems like diabetes. If we discover you’re at risk of developing diabetes, we work with you to stop the disease from progressing.

Do you suspect your symptoms point to diabetes? Don’t hesitate to request an appointment online or over the phone at our Washington Heights office in Manhattan, New York.

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