Diabetes is a disease that can affect the whole body and cause various symptoms. Many common and unusual symptoms are caused by high and uncontrolled blood sugar. Early recognition of symptoms can be the key to successful treatment and management of the disease. Diabetes describes a group of medical conditions that affect the way the body converts sugar into energy. The most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Without proper care and treatment, diabetes can lead to several complications. It is therefore important that people are aware of the common and unusual symptoms that may indicate diabetes.
This article discusses some unusual symptoms of diabetes, as well as the more common warning signs and when to contact a doctor.
5 unusual symptoms
Some potential unusual symptoms of diabetes may include:
1. Skin changes
Diabetes can potentially affect many parts of the body, including the skin. When blood sugar is too high, it can often show on the skin. For example, diabetes can cause dark spots to appear on the skin, especially in skin folds such as the back of the neck, armpits, and groin. This condition is known as acanthosis nigricans. Although the exact cause of this condition is unknown, there is strong evidence that it is related to insulin resistance and occurs when a person has too much insulin in their blood. High blood sugar can also cause other skin conditions such as diabetic dermopathy and xanthomatosis eruptive. In addition, high blood sugar can also lead to dry and itchy skin.
2. Poor wound healing
High blood sugar can cause wounds to heal slowly, poorly, or not at all. High blood sugar can disrupt the function of white blood cells, which play an important role in the immune system. If they cannot function properly, the body is less able to heal wounds. High blood sugar can also affect circulation and lead to nerve damage. Poor circulation can slow healing because blood moves more slowly, which can make it harder for the body to deliver nutrients to wounds. Due to nerve damage, a person may not notice the ulcer and will not be able to treat it properly.
3. Vision changes
High blood sugar can also damage the eyes and affect vision. High blood sugar can damage the small blood vessels in the eye, causing them to weaken and swell. These delicate blood vessels can then leak blood and other fluids, which can lead to swelling that can impair vision. Over time, uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to serious eye problems that can impair vision and lead to vision loss.
4. Fruity breath
Many people associate bad breath with a recent meal or poor dental hygiene. However, it can also be a potential symptom of diabetes, more often type 1. Fruity breath is usually a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis. This term refers to the body’s inability to obtain energy from glucose; it then enters a state of ketosis and begins burning fat for nourishment. When the body is unable to produce or use insulin effectively, blood sugar levels rise. Insulin allows the glucose present in the blood to enter the cells so that they can use it as energy. Without insulin, the body instead uses fat for energy and releases acidic byproducts called ketones. Acetone is a type of ketone, which is a fruity-smelling substance commonly found in some nail polish removers. If a person has fruity breath, it could indicate that they have high levels of ketones in their blood due to diabetes. When the body produces too many ketones too quickly, they can build up in the body to dangerous levels and cause serious complications.
5. Recurrent infections
Another potential symptom of diabetes is an increased risk of infections. A high blood sugar level can weaken a person’s immune system and allow infections to develop more quickly. For example, someone with diabetes may be more likely to suffer from urinary tract infections and yeast infections.
Common warning signs
Diabetes can present itself with a range of potential symptoms – what one person experiences may be different from another. However, it is proven that the most common symptoms of diabetes are:
unexplained weight loss
Also, others may mention three poly diabetes as common warning signs. This term applies to:
Polyuria: Urinate frequently to help the body remove excess glucose that the kidneys filter into the blood.
Polydipsia: increased thirst to compensate for fluid loss during urination.
Polyphagia: increased appetite due to loss of glucose and fluids due to excessive urination.
In addition to the above, other symptoms of diabetes may include:
tingling in the hands or feet
wounds that heal slowly
more frequent infections than usual
When to contact a doctor
If you experience symptoms such as frequent urination, increased thirst and fatigue, it is strongly recommended to contact a doctor. A doctor may perform tests to measure a person’s blood sugar levels, such as the A1C test, which can help diagnose diabetes.
It is also important to consider risk factors for diabetes that can make a person more susceptible to developing the disease. Possible risk factors for different types of diabetes may include a trusted source:
Type 1: Having a close relative with type 1 diabetes.
Type 2: Prediabetes, obesity, or a family history of type 2 diabetes.
Gestational: Gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, delivery of a baby weighing more than 3 kg or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Once diabetes is diagnosed, the doctor will recommend regular check-ups every 3 to 6 months. A trusted resource to help monitor a person’s health and ensure they are following their treatment plan.
Diabetes can affect the entire body and cause a variety of symptoms that can make it difficult to recognize the signs of the disease. It is important to watch out for more common symptoms such as increased thirst and frequent urination, but also for unusual symptoms such as fruity breath and blurred vision. If you have any unusual symptoms that could indicate diabetes, it is advisable to make an appointment with your doctor. A healthcare professional can assess symptoms and perform tests to confirm or rule out the condition. Once the diagnosis is made, the doctor can recommend the most appropriate treatment.