The information below was published by the World Health Organization (WHO) a few months ago. We are sure it will be of help to you.
Many deaths caused by diabetes is due to a lack of knowledge about it. This spurred the need to highlight for you the following facts sourced from the WHO documentation:
There is an emerging epidemic of diabetes that can be traced back to rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity. Total deaths from diabetes are projected to rise by more than 50% in the next 10 years. Most notably, they are projected to increase by over 80% in upper- middle income countries.
The early signs of diabetes are not always obvious. They may develop slowly over time, making them hard to identify. Many are asymptomatic. Because they can worsen over a period of years, type 2 diabetes may remain undiagnosed longer than other more obvious conditions.
Here are 7 early signs to watch out for:
1. Frequent Urination
Also known as polyuria, frequent and/or excessive urination is a sign that your blood sugar is high enough to start to spill into the urine. Because your kidneys can’t keep up with the high glucose levels, they allow some of that sugar to go into your urine, where it draws additional water, making you have to urinate often.
2. Extreme Thirst
Extreme thirst is one of the first noticeable symptoms of diabetes for some. It’s tied to high blood sugar levels, which cause thirst, and is exacerbated by frequent urination. Often, drinking won’t satisfy the thirst.
3. Increased Hunger
Intense hunger, or polyphagia, is also an early warning sign of diabetes. Your body uses the sugar in your blood to feed your cells. When the cells can’t absorb the sugar (because of a lack of insulin), your body looks for more sources of fuel, causing persistent hunger.
4. Nerve Pain or Numbness
You might experience tingling or numbness in your hands, fingers, feet, and toes. This is a sign of diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage. You are most likely to experience this after several years of living with diabetes.
5. Slow Healing Wounds
There are several reasons why a wound will heal more slowly if you have diabetes. Poor circulation, the effects of high blood sugar on blood vessels, and immunodeficiency are just a few. If you experience frequent infections or wounds that are slow to heal, it could be an early symptom.
6. Blurred Vision
Blurred vision occurs early in unmanaged diabetes. It can be a sign of high blood sugar levels, which cause fluid to shift into the lens of the eye. This usually resolves when blood sugar levels normalize.
7. Dark Skin Patches
Dark discoloration in the folds of your skin is called acanthosis, nigricans and is another early warning sign of type 2 diabetes. They are most common in the armpits, neck, and groin regions according to the Mayo Clinic.
If you have any suspicion that you may be experiencing the early signs of type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor. As with most serious diseases, successful treatment and reduced risk of complications depend on swift diagnosis. Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can lead to lifelong impairment or death.