18 Early Warning Signs of Diabetes You Should Not Ignore

15. Hearing loss When we talk about hearing loss, it’s associated with old age. It comes after years of exposure to loud noises and sounds. It… Simi - September 28, 2017
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15. Hearing loss

When we talk about hearing loss, it’s associated with old age. It comes after years of exposure to loud noises and sounds. It is also possible to suffer hearing loss as a result of an accident or injury. Some infections can cause severe and lasting damage to the hearing. When you suffer from hearing loss, sound signals travel from your ear to your brain. There are two main ways in which your body suffers from hearing loss. The first is damage to the auditory nerve. This causes permanent hearing loss and is age-related. The second is a build-up of fluids or a blockage in the ear. This comes from an earwax residue, an ear infection, a perforated eardrum or damage to any of the delicate bones inside the ear. Diabetes is increasingly linked to hearing loss.

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They conducted hearing tests on a sample of economically active Americans. It was found that those with diabetes or pre-diabetes were more likely to have some form of mild hearing loss. Researchers looked at other reasons for hearing loss such as exposure to consistent loud noise, age, and economic status. Even factoring these issues into the equation did not change the results. There was a definite link between diabetes and hearing loss. It seems that diabetes and the raised glucose levels it causes may decrease the amount of blood and oxygen that gets to the sensitive nerves and blood vessels of the ear. This lack of oxygen causes damage to the ear which results in hearing loss.

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16. Snoring

Sleep apnea is a breathing problem that the sufferer experiences during sleep. It is a widespread disorder that has its roots in several health issues. When you have sleep apnea, your breathing stops for 10 seconds or longer while you are sleeping. There is a disruption in the oxygen supply to the brain and body when you stop breathing. Sleep apnea sufferers stop breathing like this more than once a night. There are three types of sleep apnea. The first is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It is the most common form of sleep apnea. The throat muscles relax during deep sleep, disrupting breathing. The second type is Central Sleep Apnea. It occurs when the brain fails to send proper signals to your breathing muscles, thereby disrupting breathing. The final type is Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome. It’s quite rare and is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

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When you have sleep apnea, you tend to snore very loudly. Your partner or an observer may see you have an episode where you stop breathing. You might wake up suddenly in the middle of the night feeling breathless. It leaves you tired and irritated because you feel like you haven’t slept well. After much research, it seems that there is a link between OSA and diabetes. A study has found that people with severe OSA are up to 30% more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Those with mild to moderate OSA are at about a 23% greater chance of getting type 2 diabetes. The researchers took factors such as age, weight, and lifestyle into account when reaching their conclusions. OSA raises blood sugar levels. It disrupts the supply of oxygen to the lungs. This, in turn, interrupts the metabolism of glucose.

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17. Dry scalp

If you find yourself struggling with dry scalp, it could be a symptom of diabetes. This is a symptom that won’t appear in isolation. It will occur in conjunction with other symptoms. Dry scalp and dandruff are not the same. They both present with an itchy scalp and falling white flakes. Dry scalp occurs when the skin gets irritated and flakes off the scalp. Dandruff is caused by an oversupply of oil on the scalp. The oil captures excess dead skin cells. They build up, and then they fall from the scalp. Before you jump to conclusions, take the time to figure out which one of the two you have. You can tell the difference by looking at the appearance of the flakes. Dandruff flakes are more prominent and look oily. The skin flakes shed when you have dry scalp are smaller and look less hydrated.

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A dry scalp is the same as dry skin. A simple lack of moisture causes it. In fact, dry scalp is usually accompanied by dry skin on other areas of the body. Exposure to cold, dry air can trigger it. As you age, the skin on your scalp also dries out. An allergy to something your scalp came into contact with can also result in a dry scalp. It’s possible you may be allergic to the shampoo or styling gel you use. The reason that dry scalp may be diabetes indicates that the skin cells become dehydrated. When your glucose levels are high, the body responds by causing excessive urination to get rid of it. At the same time, the body is losing a lot of fluids. This is what results in excessive thirst which is a symptom of diabetes. It also results in the drying out of the skin and scalp.

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18. “Pins and Needles” Sensation in Hands and Feet

One of the more common symptoms of diabetes is an unexplained tingling in your arms, legs, hands, and feet. We often describe it as “pins and needles“. This is caused by peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage. It is a result of high blood glucose levels damaging nerves and nerve endings, as well as blood vessels. The causes of tingling and numbness from diabetes is usually peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage in the arms, legs, hands, and feet. This complication results from high blood glucose levels damaging nerves and blood vessels. Tingling and numbness are usually the earliest signs of Type 2 diabetes.

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The most common questions asked when a person is diagnosed with diabetes include:

  • What type of diabetes do I have?
  • How will I be able to manage it?
  • Do I need to take any kind of medication?
  • Do I need to check my blood sugar? If so, how often and when?
  • What should my blood sugar level be?
  • Is there a way I can prevent any of the complications like heart, kidney and eye diseases?
  • What kind of eating plan should I follow?
  • What are healthy fats and sugars?
  • Can I still work and travel?
  • Will I die?

If you have been diagnosed with any of the diabetes types it’s important to remember it isn’t a death sentence. While there isn’t a cure, making the necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle will keep in under control and you can continue to lead a normal life. It is only when we ignore the early warning signs that diabetes can, in fact, become life-threatening.