You Get Enough Sleep But You’re Still So Tired
Carbohydrates, which your body breaks down into glucose, are your bodys main source of energy. But your body cant effectively use that source of energy when you have diabetes, explains Goundan.
Of course, there are tons of other reasons you could be feeling exhausted, including your diet, stress levels, and how much youve been sleeping.
Still, if you can’t think of any other good reason for your extreme fatigue, and your low energy levels are accompanied by some of these other diabetes symptoms, its worth getting checked out.
There Are Different Types Of Diabetes
Remember that there are actually three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational . In type 1 diabetes, your body just cant produce insulin and in type 2, your body isnt responding to insulin as well as it should be. The symptoms for both types of diabetes are similar, although these symptoms can develop a lot faster in type 1. Find more information on the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes here.
Type 2 diabetes is also a lot more common than type 1. Unfortunately, many people who have it, arent diagnosed. This is because they dont recognize the symptoms or may attribute them to other conditions. Plus, some symptoms of type 2 diabetes may not show up for years and years.
What Diabetes Can Do
High blood sugar can impact different parts of your body:
Eyes. Diabetes raises your odds of having vision problems, including blindness. It can cause:
- Cataracts. The lens of your eye gets cloudy.
- Glaucoma. This can damage the nerve that connects your eye to your brain and keep you from seeing well.
- Retinopathy. This involves changes to the retina in the back of your eyes.
Heart. Years of high blood sugar may harm your bodyâs blood vessels and nerves that take care of your heart. That raises your chance of having heart disease. It can cause heart failure early on and heart attacks or strokes later. High blood pressure and high cholesterol make the problems even more likely.
Kidneys. Diabetes can affect blood vessels in your kidneys, too, so they may not work as well. After many years of trouble, they might stop working.
Feet. High blood sugar can harm blood flow and damage nerves, and that may cause cuts, scrapes, or sores to heal slowly. You may lose some feeling in your feet, which keeps you from noticing injuries that can get infected. If an infection gets serious, it might mean you need to have a foot removed.
Nerves. If high blood sugar damages your nerves, called diabetic neuropathy, you might feel pain, tingling, or numbness, especially in your feet.
Skin. Diabetes may make you more likely to have yeast infections, itching, or brown or scaly patches.
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If You Ignore The Signs Of Diabetes
Its hard to ignore the signs of type 1 diabetes because symptoms can often appear quite quickly. But leaving it untreated can lead to serious health problems, including diabetic ketoacidosis, which can result in a potentially fatal coma.
Although the majority of people with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in childhood and early adulthood, the symptoms are the same at any age. Adults with type 1 diabetes may not recognise their diabetes symptoms as quickly as children, which could mean their diagnosis and treatment may be delayed.
Type 2 diabetes can be easier to miss as it develops more slowly, especially in the early stages when it can be harder to spot the symptoms. But untreated diabetes affects many major organs, including your heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys. Being diagnosed early and managing your blood sugar levels can help prevent these complications. Use our Know Your Risk tool to check your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Your Breath Smells Awful
Diabetes-related dehydration contributes to dry mouth, and the bad breath that can accompany it.
Whats more, undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes can trigger ketosis, a process in which the body uses fat, rather than glucose, for energy. Ketosis releases a chemical byproduct called ketones, which can make your breath smell unpleasantly sweet or fruity, she sayssometimes it might even smell like acetone, since that’s a type of ketone.
Unless you’re on a keto diet , it’s worth talking to your doctor.
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What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, glucose stays in the blood and can’t get into the body’s cells to be used for energy. This can happen, for example, when someone skips doses of insulin or when the need for insulin suddenly increases and the doses are not adjusted.
When the body can’t use glucose for fuel, it starts to use fat. When this happens, chemicals called ketones are released into the blood. Some of these ketones, like extra glucose, pass out of the body through the urine.
High levels of ketones in the blood can be a problem because they cause the blood to become acidic. Too much acid in the blood throws off the body’s chemical balance and causes the symptoms listed below. In people with diabetes, this problem is called diabetic , or DKA. DKA is a very serious condition that can lead to coma or death if it’s not treated. The good news, though, is that it’s preventable and can be treated.
DKA happens more often in people with type 1 diabetes, but can sometimes also happen to those with type 2 diabetes.
Fasting Blood Glucose Level
A glucose level below 11.1 mmol/L on a random blood sample does not rule out diabetes. A blood test taken in the morning before you eat anything is a more accurate test. Do not eat or drink anything except water for 8-10 hours before a fasting blood glucose test. A level of 7.0 mmol/L or more indicates that you have diabetes.
If you have no symptoms of diabetes but the blood test shows a glucose level of 7.0 mmol/L or more, the blood test must be repeated to confirm you have diabetes. If you do have symptoms and the blood test shows a glucose level of 7.0 mmol/L or more, the test does not need to be repeated. See the separate leaflets called Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes for more details.
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Talking To Your Doctor About Diabetes
As is the case with so many medical conditions, getting an early diagnosis is critical to staying as healthy as you can. With diabetes, this is particularly important as the long-term consequences of living with diabetes include permanent nerve damage, heart disease, kidney disease, and other potentially lethal complications. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the main causes of disease onset are linked to lifestyle factors, so an early diagnosis can allow you time to make changes to your diet and lifestyle that can delay, stall, or even reverse the progress of your symptoms.
At TrustCare, we know the first steps to finding a diagnosis can be the most difficult. Our many walk-in clinics are open seven days a week to make it as easy as possible to get access to medical professionals who can help you understand what is going on in your body.
With rates of prediabetes running at nearly three times the number of confirmed cases of type 2 diabetes, the chance that you may be at risk of diabetes or already in the early stages of the disease is quite high. Early symptoms like frequent urination may not seem alarming, but if they appear alongside risk factors such as obesity, you should visit your healthcare provider as soon as you can.
Does Not Having Symptoms Mean Diabetes Is Being Managed Well
Blood sugar control is crucial when youre living with type 2 diabetes. Dips and spikes can not only make you feel cranky and sluggish, but they can also wreak havoc on your personal health.
For the record, the American Diabetes Association notes that you have diabetes if one of the following applies to you:
- Your blood glucose after fasting is 126 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
- Your blood glucose two hours after eating a meal is 200 mg/dl or higher.
- Your hemoglobin A1C is 6.5 or higher.
The tricky part is that with type 2 diabetes you may not feel it when blood sugar levels are too high, according to the ADA. It feels different for everyone. Not everyone will have the same symptoms, and some individuals will have no symptoms at all, says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, a Los Angelesbased former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Because blood sugar management is so important to your overall health with type 2 diabetes, you need to take action if you think your levels may be out of control, even if youre feeling totally fine.
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You Feel Tiredness And Fatigue Constantly
Fatigue and extreme tiredness are symptoms of uncontrolled blood sugar, the ADA says. Simply put, when your body is not processing insulin properly or it doesnt have sufficient amounts of insulin, the sugar is staying in our blood rather than getting into our cells to be used for energy, Zanini says. Also, frequent urination can lead to dehydration, which Bandukwala identifies as another contributing factor to fatigue.
Youre Hungrier Than Usual But Losing Weight
Many people with uncontrolled high blood sugar find that theyre hungrier than usual, which signals a symptom called polyphagia, MedlinePlus notes. And although youre eating more, you may be losing weight for no apparent reason if your blood sugar levels are too high, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Since your body is not getting energy from the preferred source, glucose, it has to turn to muscle and fat, Zanini explains. When your body starts breaking down muscle and fat for energy, you experience unintentional and unhealthy weight loss. In addition to these changes in weight and appetite, you may notice weakness in your muscles and experience more frequent falls, Emanuele adds.
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Follow Your Diabetes Meal Plan
Make a diabetes meal plan with help from your health care team. Following a meal plan will help you manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Choose fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, chicken or turkey without the skin, fish, lean meats, and nonfat or low-fat milk and cheese. Drink water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Choose foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt. Learn more about eating, diet, and nutrition with diabetes.
You Get A Surprising Number Of Yeast Infections
High blood sugars create an environment in your vagina thats ripe for yeast infections. Glucose is fuel for yeast. The more thats around, the more they can multiply, says Kellis.
If youre having two to three yeast infections every few months or if the standard treatments just arent working, its time to see a doctor. Once blood sugar is controlled, the frequency goes down, says Goundan.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is a condition where the body does not properly convert sugar from the food you eat into energy. Carbs and sugars in your food are converted into glucose during digestion. Your blood vessels then carry this sugar throughout your body to make it available for your cells to convert into energy. Your body uses the hormone insulin to process glucose. Your body may not produce enough insulin, or your cells can become resistant to it. When either of these conditions happen, you can end up in a state where your body cannot extract glucose from your bloodstream, resulting in higher than normal blood sugar levels.
The majority of cases of diabetes are categorized into either type 1 or type 2. Type 1 diabetes is often diagnosed early in life, and the causes are still under investigation. It is thought that there may be a mixture of genetic predisposition and exposure to environmental factors such as viral infections that trigger the onset of type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is typically the result of poor diet and lifestyle choices that make you predisposed to high blood sugar levels.
At Home Diabetic Test: Blood Test
The easiest and most accurate at home test for diabetes is a blood sugar test. Blood sugar meters usually come with a small amount of test strips, as well as a lancing device. It is important to follow the directions included with the meter. Also, before testing your blood sugar, it is important to wash your hands first to eliminate any sugar residue, which could alter the readings. Normal fasting blood sugar should be between 70-130 mg/dl. If testing within two hours of eating, then the results should be less than 180 mg/dl.
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Earlier Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes
- Frequent urination, especially waking up frequently in the night to go having to go to the washroom a lot is a common sign
- Increased thirst you may find you are drinking more than usual
- Increased hunger you may need to snack between meals more than in the past
- Feeling tired, even after a good nights sleep you may find you need to take a nap or feel like you have no energy
- Blurred vision that changes from day to day increased blood sugar levels can cause your vision to change
- Having cuts and wounds that are slow to heal this may be a result of poor circulation or nerve damage caused by high blood sugar
- Tingling, numbness or pain in your hands and feet increased blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage
- Skin changes, such as sudden dark spots around the nape of your neck or under your armpits
- Getting frequent urinary tract, yeast or vaginal infections people with diabetes are more susceptible to these infections
- Losing or gaining weight without trying to weight loss is usually seen more with type 1 diabetes
- Feeling itchy all the time, due to yeast infections, dry skin or poor circulation.
You can find more information about type 2 diabetes symptoms here.
Signs & Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
Keeping blood glucose levels in a healthy range can be challenging.
When the amount of sugar in your blood has dropped below your target range , it is called low blood sugar .
If your blood sugar has dropped, you may feel:
- shaky, light-headed, nauseated
- an increase in heart rate
- sweaty, headachy
- weak, drowsy
- numbness or tingling on your tongue or lips
Symptoms of very low blood sugar are more severe and can make you:
- confused and disoriented
- lose consciousness
- have a seizure
Make sure you always wear your MedicAlert® identification and talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about prevention and emergency treatment for severe low blood sugar.
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Who Is At Risk
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition and as yet the triggers for this condition are unknown. However, type 2 diabetes has a number of risk factors, including being overweight or obese, living a sedentary lifestyle, or eating an unhealthy, high-calorie diet. “With type 2 diabetes your body’s still producing at least some insulin but you can’t respond to it – you’ve lost that sensitivity.”
“If the system gets overworked – eating the wrong things, eating too frequently, too much – the system gets worn out and we lose the sensitivity to it,” explains Dr Jenna Macciochi, Doctor of Immunology at the University of Sussex.
Early Signs Of Diabetes
Both types of diabetes have some of the same telltale warning signs.
- Hunger and fatigue. Your body converts the food you eat into glucose that your cells use for energy. But your cells need insulin to take in glucose. If your body doesn’t make enough or any insulin, or if your cells resist the insulin your body makes, the glucose can’t get into them and you have no energy. This can make you hungrier and more tired than usual.
- Peeing more often and being thirstier. The average person usually has to pee between four and seven times in 24 hours, but people with diabetes may go a lot more. Why? Normally, your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through your kidneys. But when diabetes pushes your blood sugar up, your kidneys may not be able to bring it all back in. This causes the body to make more urine, and that takes fluids. The result: You’ll have to go more often. You might pee out more, too. Because you’re peeing so much, you can get very thirsty. When you drink more, you’ll also pee more.
- Dry mouth and itchy skin. Because your body is using fluids to make pee, there’s less moisture for other things. You could get dehydrated, and your mouth may feel dry. Dry skin can make you itchy.
- Blurred vision. Changing fluid levels in your body could make the lenses in your eyes swell up. They change shape and canÃ¢â¬â¢t focus.
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Signs That May Indicate You Are At Risk For Diabetes
**This article is a repost of an earlier written article. We are reposting because we believe the information is valuable and pertinent to many.**
There are some serious complications that can come with having high blood sugar such as heart failure and stroke. However, diabetes can be managed with prescription medication, diet, and exercise to help you live a normal, healthy life.