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Diabetes warning signs

Type 2 diabetes develops when your blood sugar levels become so elevated that either your pancreas has a difficult time producing enough insulin – the hormone that helps convert glucose into energy – or your body has trouble using the insulin it produces. This results in insulin resistance and, ultimately, an insulin deficiency.

You don’t have to be overweight to develop diabetes. Even if you are overweight, it’s not a foregone conclusion that you’ll become diabetic. Yet, over 90% of those who suffer from type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Medical professionals agree that being overweight a major risk factor. Excess fat, especially around the abdomen, can interfere with the body’s response to insulin.

How can you tell whether you might be diabetic? Watch for these five symptoms:

1. Insatiable thirst

Higher glucose levels in your blood force your kidneys to work hard to either absorb the excess sugar or flush it out through your urine. Frequent trips to the bathroom will leave you feeling thirsty and dehydrated, creating a vicious cycle of incessant rehydration and dehydration.

2. Unexplained and sudden weight loss

Weight loss isn’t positive unless it is achieved by healthy and sustainable methods. Rapid weight loss can therefore be a leading indicator of diabetes. When insulin production or your body’s response to insulin is hampered, your body finds another energy source by breaking down the proteins found in muscle. Additionally, to deal with the excess sugar, other organs, such as your kidneys, must exert a considerable amount of energy, thus burning calories and resulting in additional weight loss.

3. Skin problems

Diabetes can make an individual more susceptible to common skin issues, such as dry, itchy or irritated skin. However, more severe conditions can be associated with type 2 diabetes. Be mindful of fungal infections, blisters and acanthosis nigricans, a discoloring, darkening or even thickening of the skin. Acanthosis nigricans is especially prevalent in body fold areas, such as around the neck and near the armpits and groin.

4. Blurred vision

When your body experiences a sugar rush, your vision changes temporarily. The lens of the eyes swell and change shape, causing blurred or distorted vision, floaters and sudden flashes. If you experience such episodes frequently, report them to your doctor — especially if these episodes lengthen in duration.

5. Slow healing

High glucose levels gradually weaken and damage blood vessels, which circulate blood, oxygen and other nutrients throughout the body. In the event of an injury, this damage delays the healing process. If you notice that even seemingly minor cuts and bruises are taking longer to heal than expected, make an appointment to see your doctor.

Reversing the process?

While diabetes is a life-threatening disease, a solid path to recovery exists. Studies show that symptoms can be ameliorated and even reversed with diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes that promote healthy weight loss. Many diabetic patients have also benefited from weight loss surgery. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, “nearly all individuals who have bariatric surgery show improvement in their diabetic state.” If you’re considering treatment options for type 2 diabetes, make an appointment with Dr. Bagshahi at Bagshahi Bariatric and General Surgery. Dr. B and his team will talk through your options and develop a plan tailored to your needs.