It’s scary, but it’s true: some actually consider type 2 diabetes to be an epidemic since it now affects over 30 million Americans. Even scarier? About 25% of these individuals don’t even know they have it. Health experts are predicting that these numbers will skyrocket by 3030, leaving 54% of the population with a diabetes diagnosis. Right now, over 84 million Americans have prediabetes, which means that if they let it go untreated (and, according to the National Diabetes Statistics report, 12% will because they don’t know they have it), they’re on the road to full-blown type 2.
The first step in preventing diabetes and halting any progress that high blood sugar has already made is acknowledging that it’s there.
It is true that even later stages of diabetes can be reversed; however, it’s harder to make progress if you don’t catch the illness in its early stages.
Catching diabetes before it gets too serious means that you’re saving yourself from a lifetime of complications like heart disease, limb loss, blindness, autoimmune disease, and more. Of course, this shouldn’t sound appealing to anyone, so if you identify with any of the seven symptoms I’m about to share, you should definitely start monitoring your insulin and blood sugar levels.
1. Itching for Sweets
If you’re constantly feeling the need to indulge in sugary treats, your health may be at risk. Craving sugar can be a sign that your body feels underfed– these cravings are prompting you to feed it more; otherwise, it believes it’s almost out of fuel and will enter starvation mode. In reality, your body is most likely having trouble turning carbs into energy for your cells.
We can’t be eating all day every day, and if you become fatigued, hungry, irritable, or anxious while you’re waiting to eat your next meal, you may have hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia is a condition where your body is not efficiently turning food into fuel even though you’re eating enough.
3. Carbs Make You Sleepy
If you need a nap after eating bread, pasta, sweets, or rice, your body’s telling you that it can’t regulate the sugar you just consumed. This could mean it’s producing too much insulin, but it could also mean you’re not producing enough insulin. Regardless, carbs should generally equal an energy boost, so if they have the opposite effect on you, your blood sugar is probably out of whack.
4. Fungal Infections That Won’t Go Away
Fungi thrive off sugar, so when you feed them their favorite treat, they’ll grow and bring their friends, which means you’ll experience constant fungal infections. Everyone has a variety of tiny microbe strains that live in their guts and other important places in the body. When you eat too much sugar and your body isn’t able to regulate its blood sugar, dangerous microbes like fungus are getting the best of the sugar, and your healthy microbes lose the fight. Fungi can take many shapes and forms, so keep a look out for dry cracking and itchiness, yeast infections, thrush in the mouth, or even joint pain.
5. Feeling Mighty Tired
Persistent fatigue is a telltale sign that your body isn’t turning carbs into sugar or sugar into energy like it should be. Most likely, instead of fueling cells, sugar is settling in your blood, which means you have high blood sugar and constantly need to take cat naps.
6. Infertility or PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complicated illness that affects your hormones, and not only sex hormones, but also the ones that regulate stress, hunger, and metabolic activity.
If you have this condition or any fertility problems, you have a higher risk of developing diabetes, and you should be diligent in monitoring your insulin and glucose levels.
7. Growing Midsection
Extra weight gain around your midsection–the infamous “muffin top”– is nothing to take too lightly. No, not because that pesky fat is hard to get rid of but because this specific type of fat puts you at a higher risk for developing inflammatory diseases like diabetes. These fat cells are responsible for the production of certain hormones that can cause major bodily damage, ensuring that you’re not able to effectively regulate your blood sugar.
These seven signs will help you know what to look for in diabetes symptoms.
By taking note of these, you’ll be able to catch the early signs and prevent any further progress.
Diabetes is preventable, and you can often reverse the existing damage. If you catch it soon, you’ll have a higher chance of regaining control over your health.