Regardless of if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, many of the symptoms overlap and can be linked back to fluctuating blood sugar levels over a long period of time.
For instance, in patients with type 1 diabetes, low blood sugar episodes often occur quite suddenly and early in life during childhood into young adulthood. However, the telling symptoms of type II diabetes may not appear until adulthood and often go undetected for a long time, until the condition is diagnosed with a blood sugar screening.
The following symptoms are characteristic of type I and type II diabetes:
- Decreased healing
Cuts and abrasions that resist healing can indicate diabetes, as well as slow to heal bruises. For example, high blood glucose can damage blood vessels over time and even restrict blood flow needed to heal infections, surface abrasions, bruises, cuts, and ect.
- Tingling, chills, or numbness
Tingling, pins and needles, or numbness in the extremities, particularly the hands and feet are indicative of diabetes due to neuropathy (or damaged nerves). Keep in mind that If diabetes continues to go untreated, neuropathy can be permanent.
- Increased appetite
Sudden increases in hunger often occur due to lack of insulin for glucose energy, which is often described by patients as a rollercoaster of “hangry”. A ravenous appetite can occur as blood sugar levels drop dangerously and the body needs glucose to function.
- Increased thirst
Low blood sugar often causes what patients describe as an unquenchable thirst and dry mouth, accompanied by frequent urination and/or sudden bedwetting in type 1 diabetic children. In type 2 diabetics, excessive thirst occurs as the body attempts to eliminate excess blood glucose, and then replenish those low fluid levels.
- Blurry vision
Lack of blood glucose often leads to fluid retention, which can cause swelling of the lenses in the eyes, and compromised eye focus, floaters, and even light sensitivity. However, typically vision stabilizes once blood sugar levels out. However, long term blood sugar imbalance can damage vision permanently.
6. Unexplained weight loss
Unexplained weight fluctuations are often considered a diabetes red flag. This occurs due to calorie deficiency due to low blood sugar, unregulated hormones, frequent urination, and rapid weight loss of up to 10 to 20 pounds in a matter of weeks or months as your body begins to burn fat and muscle for energy.
7. Extreme fatigue
A general malaise often accompanies diabetes onset, which can occur due to a combination of low and spiking blood sugar levels, immune suppression, and frequent urination that keeps you awake at night and also eliminates vital vitamins, nutrients, and minerals in the process.