Know These 6 Early Warning Signs of Diabetes

Diabetes has been labeled a global crisis as numbers jumped from 108 million diagnoses in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. While this meteoric rise has leveled out in recent years, the fact is that more people are struggling with diabetes than ever before. While diabetes is tough to catch in its prediabetic stages, there are some signs you should be on the lookout for because identifying diabetes in its early stages allows you the chance to better manage the disease.

At Lafferty Family Care, Dr. Scott Lafferty and our team understand the enormous impact that diabetes has had on the collective health of our nation, and we want to do our part to bring these numbers down. Through preventive care, we can help you prevent diabetes in the first place, and if we catch the disease early on, we can partner with you to avoid the serious health complications that stem from diabetes. 

Here’s a look at six early warning signs that you may have developed diabetes, or that you’re more at risk of developing the disease.

1. Your scale is a warning flag

The relationship between Type 2 diabetes and being overweight is well-established, so one of the first warning flags is that number on your scale. This red flag is one you should pay close attention to as catching diabetes before it takes hold will save you considerable health hassles down the road. And we hesitate to use the word “hassle,” since diabetes can lead to serious and life-threatening problems such as heart attack and stroke.

Bringing your weight down is one of the best ways to avoid a diabetes diagnosis, and it can also improve almost every other area of your health. And often all it takes is losing just 10% of your overall weight.

2. Know your family history

Another great preventive tool is knowing your risks for diabetes. Outside of weight and diet issues, if you have a family history of diabetes, you may be more susceptible to the disease. Knowledge is preventive power when dealing with a chronic condition like diabetes, so if we know that diabetes runs in your family, we can take the necessary steps to keep you in the clear.

3. Excessive thirst and urination

When you have diabetes, your body is unable to regulate the levels of glucose in your bloodstream because of a lack of insulin or insulin resistance. When this happens, the job is left to your kidneys, which need to work overtime to filter the excess sugar out of your blood. This may lead to more frequent urination, which dehydrates you, leading to excessive thirst.

4. Feeling abnormally hungry

Your insulin is responsible for getting fuel to your cells, so when you don’t have enough of these hormones, or you’ve built up a resistance to them, your cells aren’t getting the energy resources they need. This can lead to feeling hungry as your cells demand fuel. And this hunger can be incessant, even if you’ve just had a full meal.

5. Wounds that don’t heal properly

Another hallmark of diabetes is your body’s inability to heal, especially in areas that are far from your heart, such as your lower limbs. This is because the high levels of glucose in your body can damage your nerves and blood vessels, preventing valuable healing resources from reaching your wound.

6. Peripheral pain, numbness, and tingling

A clear warning flag that you may have diabetes is any tingling, numbness, or pain in your lower extremities, especially your feet. As we mentioned above, diabetes can damage your blood vessels and nerves, which can lead to poor nerve signaling.

If you spot some of the early signs of diabetes, it’s important that you call our office in Bentonville, Arkansas, right away at 479-316-6947. Or you can schedule an appointment using our online scheduling tool.

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