Signs of Diabetes: Symptoms to Watch For

By Olivia Mungal

According to the American Diabetes Association, a whopping 7 million people in the United States are undiagnosed diabetics, and a shocking 79 million are pre-diabetic. On average, 1.9 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes every year. For most people, diabetes is preventable and even reversible if caught early enough.

Here are the symptoms of diabetes:

1) Frequent Thirst
Of course, the average adult is expected to drink up to 8 glasses of water a day, but if you just can’t seem to quench your thirst on a frequent or regular basis, that’s an indication of type 2 diabetes. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night just to quench your thirst, or you just can’t seem to drink enough water, see a physician immediately.

The culprit(s): Diabetes mellitus: Excess glucose in the blood causes your body to become dehydrated, causing you to drink more.

Diabetes insipidus: This form of diabetes can cause a reduction in the hormone that balances water excretion in the body. In turn, your kidneys excrete far too much water, causing dehydration and thirst.

2) Frequent Urination
Most people only need to relieve themselves a few times a day, but diabetics find themselves running to the bathroom far more often. As mentioned above, the excess sugar in your blood causes your body to become dehydrated, and your body urges you to drink more water and release it, and often.

3) Drymouth 
Another symptom of dehydration; if you have drymouth regularly in spite of  drinking a fair amount of water, you may have diabetes

4) Wounds are Slow to Heal
If you have cuts and bruises that seem to take forever to go away, it could be a sign that diabetes has compromised your immune system.

5) Blurry Vision
Typically a sign of type 1 diabetes, excess sugar in the blood can cause the lens of your eye to change shape and become less flexible. If you experience double vision, this is associated with type 2 diabetes and poor circulation in the  nerves of the eye that dictate fine muscle control. Cataracts are also a potential problem for people with untreated diabetes

6) Vaginal Itching
If you are experiencing more than 3-4 yeast infections a year, diabetes could be the culprit. Yeast that naturally lives in the vagina feeds on blood sugar. When your blood sugar is too high (as undiagnosed diabetes tends to do), the yeast population explodes and diminish the population of “good” bacteria that live in the vagina.  This can cause some very unpleasant side effects, including itching, burning, milky discharge and feminine odor.

7) Numbness and Tingling
If your hands, feet, legs, or arms frequently experience numbness or tingling, this can be a strong indication of type 2 diabetes, which can compromise the circulation of your blood vessels and nerves. Burning in these areas are also a symptom of diabetes.

8) Inexplicable Weightloss of Weight Gain
If you experience a strange change in your weight and you have not significantly changed your diet or exercise patterns, your body could be compensating for diabetes.

9) Darkening of the Skin
If the skin around your neck, armpits or groin suddenly change in color, this can be an indication of type 2 diabetes. The color change can also appear in other places on the skin,

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, speak with your doctor and schedule bloodwork. Getting tested for diabetes can make the difference between life or death, organ failure, or risk of coma.