This fast-paced age of changing trends and rat race where no one wants to end up second has been the root cause of stress and unhealthy habits in people! This era of fast-foods and quick bites has given rise to numerous life-threatening diseases like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, stroke, obesity, and other respiratory diseases. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), about 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year, yet many may remain undiagnosed.
Diabetes is a chronic, progressive illness, hence detecting it early in its tracks is the only way to control any future damage. So recognizing symptoms is key to maintaining a healthy blood sugar level. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), more than 30 million people have diabetes out of which more than 7 million are estimated to be undiagnosed in adults! While the usual symptoms of diabetes are:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Extreme hunger
- Slow-healing sores
There are some symptoms which are rare and unusual that go unnoticed by many, and they are:
Inflamed or infected gums:
According to research published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, periodontitis, gum disease may be an early sign of type 2 diabetes. The study found that people with gum disease had higher rates of diabetes and pre-diabetes than those without.
One such unusual yet noticeable warning sign of diabetes is the development of dark patches on your skin, particularly around your neck. Dark velvety or thicker patches may develop in the creases of the skin, sometimes on the groin and armpits, too. This condition is known as acanthosis nigricans (AN) which is common with type 2 diabetes and in those with darker complexions. It occurs when high levels of insulin in the bloodstream cause skin cells to reproduce at a faster rate than normal.
When you have high levels of sugar in your blood, it is difficult for your white blood cells to travel through the bloodstream, lowering your body’s ability to fight infections! Having diabetes weakens your immune system, making it more susceptible to illnesses; resulting in frequent infections which may include:
- Vaginal infections
- Yeast infections
- Bladder infections
- Skin infections
Blurred vision and hearing loss:
Elevated blood sugar levels can damage your retinas and also affect nerve cells in the ears, leaving you with blurry or impaired vision or causing impaired hearing. Once blood sugar levels return to normal, eyesight is usually restored—but when diabetes goes unmanaged for too long, the damage could become permanent!
In a scientific review presented at the European Association for the Study of Disease annual meeting, it was reported that people who took longer daytime naps were 45% more likely to have type 2 diabetes compared to those who napped less than an hour or didn’t at all. They concluded that it can be a warning sign of an underlying problem like sleep deprivation, depression, or sleep apnea—all of which are associated with an increased risk of diabetes.
Early symptoms of diabetes can be hard to recognize, which is why it is crucial for you to keep an eye out for the unusual symptoms that don’t improve or worsen with time. Making an appointment with your doctor and testing can confirm or rule out the possibility of you having this disease! If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor can recommend the best course of treatment suited for you.