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11 Subtle Signs of Diabetes That Are Easy to Miss

Because diabetes can develop gradually, it’s important to recognize any early warnings signs and take preventative measures as soon as possible. If you find that these symptoms fit you, consult your doctor.

1. Changing Vision

Sudden fluctuations in vision should be taken very seriously—even if that change is for the better. While it may be exciting to suddenly find yourself less reliant on your glasses, vision that seems to improve or worsen out of nowhere is a potential sign of diabetes.

2. Excessive Trips to the Bathroom

If you find yourself making what seems like an endless amount of bathroom breaks over the course of the day, it may be more than just a mild inconvenience. Diabetes sufferers use the bathroom far more frequently than most, sometimes urinating as much as 20 times per day—and always with a full bladder.

3. Snoring

Snoring occurs for a variety of reasons, many of which don’t point to a serious health complication. However, if your snoring has progressively worsened to the point where it wakes you or others up, diabetes may be a factor.

4. Extreme Fatigue

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Diabetes often leads to feelings of fatigue, and no amount of sleep can remedy it. The excessive urination that comes with diabetes is often a contributing factor, as well as the body’s inability to process sugar properly for energy purposes.

5. Slow-Healing Bruises and Cuts

An excess of glucose in the blood reduces the effectiveness of white blood cells, resulting in longer healing times. If a minor cut or an ordinary bruise appears to linger longer than it has in the past, schedule an appointment with your doctor to ensure diabetes isn’t the culprit.

6. Increased Itchiness

According to Howard Baum, MD, an assistant professor in the diabetes division of medicine at Vanderbilt University, even skin problems can potentially be linked to diabetes. Because diabetes hinders blood circulation, dryness and itchiness is a common result. Itchy extremities in particular are common for diabetes patients.

7. Frequent Colds

Because diabetes dramatically reduces the effectiveness of white blood cells, a worsened immune system is an inevitable result of the disease. If you’ve been catching cold after cold, it may indicate something more than simply an unlucky winter.

8. Unexplained Weight Loss

If you’re losing weight without even trying, hold off on the celebration. Diabetes prevents sugars from reaching your cells, which means your body is not receiving the nutrition it needs. The result is significant weight loss and constant hunger.

9. Decrease in Hearing Ability

When your ears always worked reliably before and you suddenly have to turn the volume up to hear the TV or fully appreciate music, that could be a sign of unhealthy glucose levels — something confirmed by a National Institute of Health study. One of your first steps after discovering hearing loss should be to get a blood test.

10. Increased Need for Hydration

It may be very subtle initially, but if you’re finding that your body seems to be craving liquids a little more than usual, diabetes is potentially the reason behind it. This is especially problematic for those who hydrate with sodas or sugary juices.

11. Tingling Extremities

High blood sugar can cause nerve damage, so patients may experience pain or tingling in their extremities. In extreme cases, feet may even go completely numb. Even a mild tingling sensation should be taken seriously, however, as it may be an early indicator of diabetes.

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