There are five symptoms generally associated with high blood sugar, as well as a few other warning signs you should be aware of.
1 — Are you thirsty all the time?
Increased thirst is one of the classic high blood sugar symptoms. There’s a reason for this. Your body is trying to wash the excess blood sugar — also called “blood glucose” — out of your system. Your body needs more fluids to wash the glucose out, so you become thirsty and drink more.
2 — Do you make more visits to the restroom?
Another classic symptom is having to urinate almost as frequently as you get something to drink. This only makes sense, since you’re taking so much fluid in. But remember your body is also trying to wash the blood sugar out — and the fastest way out is to urinate.
Sugar in the urine was one of the earliest tests for high blood sugar and diabetes. It used to be standard to check the urine with glucose test strips, which indicated whether high amounts of glucose were present.
3 — Do you feel generally fatigued or tired?
Fatigue can be a symptom of so many things, even of not getting enough sleep. But if you are thirsty and urinate more frequently, then feeling tired or fatigued might well be associated with high blood sugar symptoms.
The reason for fatigue from high blood sugar is because the blood sugar isn’t going into your cells where you need it for energy. Your cells need glucose for energy to grow and heal, but the glucose isn’t moving into the cells. It’s staying in your bloodstream. When your cells don’t get energy, you aren’t going to feel very energetic either.
4 — Is your eyesight getting blurry?
High blood sugar over time can affect your blood vessels. Some of the more easily affected blood vessels are in your eyes. If your vision changes or becomes blurry for any reason, you should see an eye doctor. Not only for glasses or contact lenses, but their exams can often detect other problems such as high blood sugar.
5 — Do you have changes in your disposition?
I don’t mean the onset of personality disorders or anything like that. But the fatigue that results from high blood sugar is not limited to physical fatigue. It can affect how you feel day-to-day. You can become irritable and touchy. Or emotionally tired and lackadaisical. You may not care as much about things or even people that you ordinarily would feel strongly about.
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Some other warning signs to watch out for are:
sudden weight loss —
The reason for this can be the same thing that causes you to feel fatigued. Glucose is not getting into your cells for energy. Your body has to get energy from somewhere, so you start to burn fat for energy. This is usually diagnosed as type 1 diabetes.
Burning fat instead of glucose for energy makes you lose weight, but it also produces toxic by-products known as “ketones”. If your body is producing ketones, you are in what is called the state of “ketosis”. This can become dangerous rather quickly, becoming “diabetic ketoacidosis,”or “DKA”.
The signs of DKA include a flushed appearance, dehydration, exhaustion, shock, and eventual unconsciousness. Severe DKA requires immediate and expert medical care. If you are experiencing these symptoms then see your doctor right away, as in immediately.
overweight, especially around your abdomen —
The unhappy opposite of weight loss is overweight or obesity. Being overweight can be a result of overeating, not enough exercise, and other causes. But if your cells aren’t getting enough glucose, it may be because you are “insulin resistant”.
In simple terms, insulin is the key that unlocks your cells to let the glucose in. If your cells become resistant to insulin, then they remain locked and the glucose doesn’t get in. So your body produces even more insulin to overcome the resistance.
Some of the glucose gets into your cells for energy. But that still leaves a lot of insulin in your bloodstream. And that insulin is used to store energy as fat. Insulin that doesn’t get used by the cells makes you fatter. Worse than that, when you get fatter, your insulin resistance increases. So it takes even more insulin to do the job next time. This is the cycle that is usually diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
As you can see, high blood sugar symptoms can be warning signs of diabetes. It is very important that you see your doctor as soon as you can. He or she can quickly check your fasting blood sugar levels and determine if further tests are needed. High blood sugar and diabetes can be treated and you can live a full and healthy life. But the first thing to do if you are experiencing these symptoms is see your doctor.
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