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Diabetes Warning Signs

Because type 2 diabetes can lead to serious health complications, it's important to be aware of any diabetes warning signs and get tested for diabetes if you have any of these symptoms. Treating diabetes early can help prevent serious complications.

We'll explain the various diabetes warning signs and also warning signs of specific diabetes problems. Discover why it's important to listen to your body and alert your doctor if you notice any new signs or problems.

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Warning Signs of Diabetes

Sometimes type 2 diabetes can develop without any warnings signs. In fact, about a third of all people who have type 2 diabetes don't know they have it. That's why it's important to talk to your doctor about your risk for diabetes and determine if you should be tested.

Common warnings signs of diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination or urine infections
  • Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
  • Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches

 

If you have any of the above mentioned warnings signs of diabetes, give your doctor a call and schedule a diabetes test. With the right diabetes diet, regular exercise, and medications, if needed, you can manage type 2 diabetes and live an active, productive life.

If you have symptoms of the following diabetes complications, it's important to seek immediate medical attention. Each brief discussion links to more in-depth information.

Hypoglycemia and Diabetes

As you'll learn in this health topic, hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, occurs when the level of sugar or glucose in the blood drops too low to fuel the body. Hypoglycemia is not a disease but a condition that results from a variety of causes.

Hypoglycemia is most commonly a complication of diabetes treatment (diabetic hypoglycemia). You can develop hypoglycemia by taking too much insulin or other diabetes medications or by delaying a meal. Hypoglycemia can also be the result of some medications, other diseases, or poor nutrition.

We'll explain more about some warning signs of hypoglycemia in this health topic, including nausea, a jittery or nervous feeling, a rapid heartbeat, mood changes, blurred vision, and difficulty walking. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness, seizures and coma, and may be fatal.

For more detail, see WebMD's article Hypoglycemia and Diabetes.

Hyperglycemia and Diabetes

In this health topic, we explain the dangers of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar levels, and diabetes. Hyperglycemia causes many of the warning signs of diabetes listed above. Hyperglycemia may be caused by skipping or forgetting your insulin or diabetes medicine, eating too many grams of carbs for the amount of insulin administered, simply eating too many grams of carbs in general, or from stress or infections.

For more detail, see WebMD's article Hyperglycemia and Diabetes.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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70-130
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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