Don’t Ignore the Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes SymptomsIf you have Diabetes, you are aware of the best ways to manage it, such as a healthy diet and exercise.  Medication may also be a part of your routine as you work to control your blood sugar and maintain an active, healthy lifestyle.

With so much to do to take care of yourself and manage the disease, while at the same time handling everyday activities such as work, school, family, etc, it may be easy to overlook some important warning signs.  As easy as they may be to forget, it is imperative to be aware of these symptoms to keep blood sugar under control and to manage your overall health.

Three common symptoms that you should never ignore are extreme hunger or thirst, frequent urination and blurry vision.  These can be symptoms that your blood sugar is not under control.  If you are experiencing these symptoms you may not need to rush to the emergency room, but you may want to call your doctor to be sure that you know the correct next step.

These days there are many alternatives. You can test your blood sugar at home or call your doctor on the phone rather than having to go to the hospital in most cases.  In any case, do not ignore the symptoms as they can lead to more severe issues such as ketoacidosis (in Type 1 Diabetes patients) or hypersomolar coma (Type 2 Diabetes patients).

Sometimes, when medication works better than it should and creates too much insulin, this can drive your sugar level too low.  In this case there may be temporary changes in behavior such as appearing to be drunk.  This can often be corrected by adding sugar.  Drinking a glass of juice can bring your levels and behavior back to normal.  In some cases though, depending on the medication or situation that caused the incident, emergency care may be required.

Other symptoms one should never ignore are bloody or swollen gums, foot sores or infection.  For these symptoms, see a doctor.  Be especially aware of sores on your feet as foot ulcers are common among diabetics.  All diabetics should have regular checkups by a doctor as well as checking their own feet every day.  Your feet need to be washed with warm water, dried thoroughly and apply moisturizer.  This last step will help keep your feet from cracking and lower the risk of infection.

Retinopathy is a condition of the eye which can cause vision loss.  If you experience any changes in vision such as blurriness or “floaters”, call your doctor immediately.

If you have any symptoms of a heart attack, be sure to get to the emergency room immediately.  This is not limited to chest pain.  Heart attack symptoms can be as subtle as shoulder pain or nausea, or as dramatic as a stabbing in the chest or worse.  If there is any question whether or not any particular symptom may be related to your heart, go to the emergency room right away.

Heart disease also requires regular checkups.  Since symptoms are not always physical, make sure your doctor performs tests on a regular basis to monitor any concerns.

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