Insulin, a protein hormone produced by the pancreas, regulates glucose levels in your blood. It is also responsible for efficiently taking sugar from carbohydrates and converting it into energy for normal body functions. In the absence of insulin, sugar can’t enter your cells and leads to its accumulation in your bloodstream. All these developments will trigger a chronic and progressive illness called diabetes and unusual symptoms of diabetes.
There are two categories of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin. If you are a type 2 diabetes patient, your body doesn’t use insulin properly. Both diabetes variants cause a more enormous accumulation of glucose, or sugar, in your blood.
In most people, the symptoms of diabetes never make a noticeable appearance, and, in most cases, diabetes disease manifests itself as lesser-known symptoms of diabetes. As a result, by the time you visit a doctor, your diabetic condition could have worsened.
When diabetes and the most common symptoms of diabetes is concerned, there are two medical terms you must be acquainted with. They are insulin resistance and prediabetes.
Insulin resistance, a medical condition, occurs when your fat, liver, and muscle cells can’t efficiently respond to the insulin and fail to take glucose from your blood. As a result, your pancreas is compelled to produce more insulin to allow glucose to enter your cells. As long as your pancreas produces enough insulin to compensate for the weak response of your body cells to insulin, your blood glucose levels will stay in the healthy range. If not, it triggers subtle symptoms of diabetes.
If your body has high blood glucose levels than usual but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes, you have entered the Prediabetes stage. People who have joined this stage already have some insulin resistance, and over time, they could develop type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
In reality, the subtle symptoms of diabetes are quite common, and the only way to recognize them is to know what they are and how they manifest themselves. Ignoring these symptoms of diabetes may lead to irreversible health complications. Note that even a minor spike in blood glucose levels will damage your kidneys, eyes, and nerves.
In the prediabetes stage, the diabetic condition can be prevented from progressing. This fact highlights the relevance of identifying the subtle signs of developing diabetes. Moreover, this health practice holds the key to maintaining healthy blood glucose levels.
Here we list seven unusual symptoms of diabetes you should watch out for:
- Frequent Visits to the Loo
Have you ever noticed that the frequency of your bathroom visits increases after you had sugary drinks and sweetened foods? And chances are high that it happens at night. This frequent urination results from higher glucose levels in your blood that act as Diuretics, also known as water pills, which drain out salt (sodium) and water from your body.
- Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is one of the possible physical symptoms of diabetes, mainly a symptom of type 2 diabetes. This symptom of type 2 diabetes typically affects males making it challenging to attain an erection.
In men, sexual dysfunctions occur when high blood sugar or glucose levels damage the nerves and the blood vessels that carry blood to the male sexual organ. Sexual dysfunction occurs in women as well. It causes lower arousal and poor vaginal lubrication in them. However, research on women-related sexual issues is less convincing than the ones conducted on sexual dysfunction in men.
- Losing or Gaining Body Weight
In people with Type 1 diabetes, inefficient insulin production prevents the body from using glucose as an energy source; therefore, the body is compelled to convert the storage of fat and protein into energy. As a result, the individual may experience involuntary weight loss.
The lack of insulin in individuals suffering from Type 2 diabetes does not allow their bodies to convert glucose into energy. Conversely, this symptom of type 2 diabetes creates extreme hunger resulting in uncontrollable eating habits and weight gain.
- Blurred Vision
High glucose levels in the blood cause blurry vision as it distorts the light waves that fall on our eyes. So, when blurred vision, one of the signs of developing diabetes, appears in an individual, they consult with an ophthalmologist, thinking that they need a new spectacle. But, in reality, what they have to do is lower their glucose levels in the blood.
When the glucose levels are high, it causes exhaustion, one of the most common symptoms of diabetes. There are two reasons for tiredness. First, the body can’t utilize the higher amounts of glucose in the bloodstream for energy, damaging physical endurance. Second, frequent visits to the loo, dehydration, lack of sleep, and kidney damage. The fatigue can be moderate to severe in some individuals, while it can cripple some.
- Your Breath Smells Like Fruits!
You read it right! Fruit-smelling breath, also known as diabetic ketoacidosis, is one of the lesser-known symptoms of diabetes.
When your pancreas fails to produce insulin to convert fat into energy, it breaks down your fat cells and converts it into energy. An acid known as ketones is produced during this process. Although excess ketones in your blood leave your body through urine, the breakdown of fat cells creates breath that smells like fruits, nail polish, or acetone.
However, Diabetic ketoacidosis, one of the unusual symptoms of diabetes, is a complicated diabetic condition. Therefore, you must seek immediate medical consultation if you believe you have it.
- Healing Deficiency
If you notice that a cut or wound on your body takes longer than usual time to heal, it should be taken as one of the subtle symptoms of diabetes, and never hesitate for a diabetes diagnosis. Higher glucose levels in your blood damage your immune system. An inefficient immune system delays the healing process of your body.
More people succumb to death because of diabetes and obesity rather than hunger or poverty in today’s world. Being aware of these unusual symptoms of diabetes increases your odds of an early diagnosis and treatment. You should keep in mind that modern medical science doesn’t have a cure for diabetes. But it can be brought under control with efficient treatment and medication.
Regarding diabetes treatment and medication, the earlier, the better. But if you fail to treat your high glucose levels, it can lead to complications such as irreversible nerve damage, blindness, amputation, stroke, and death, among a few.
It is recommended that individuals aged between 40 and 70 should be screened or tested for Type 2 diabetes. The screening should be done every 3 years. For individuals with a higher risk for diabetes, more frequent testing should be started earlier.