Special Report

10 Warning Signs That You Might Have Diabetes

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1. Frequent urination and increased thirst

Excessive thirst is a classic symptom of diabetes. The reason is the extra sugar in your blood. The kidneys have to work extra hard to filter the glucose. Whatever they can’t handle gets eliminated into your urine, taking with it fluids from other muscle tissues, leaving you dehydrated, constantly thirsty, and frequently running to the bathroom as a result.

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2. Numbness and tingling in hands and feet

Common symptoms of diabetic neuropathy are pain and numbness in the feet and hands (peripheral neuropathy). High blood sugar and fat levels damage the nerves and the blood vessels that bring nutrients to them. Your feet, hands, legs and arms may also feel weak or like they are burning. Up to 50% of people with diabetes have peripheral neuropathy.

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3. Dry mouth

Xerostomia, or dry mouth, may be a result of high blood sugar levels. Dehydration is another cause. A dry mouth increases the risk of cavities because there’s less saliva to wash away germs. This is one reason why gum disease is one of the most common problems affecting diabetics.

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4. Slow healing cuts and bruises

High levels of sugar in the blood stiffen the blood vessels, decreasing circulation. When, as a result, nutrients and oxygen can’t get to the cells, cuts and other wounds can’t repair or heal. Such injuries in the feet are especially risky because they are not always detected in time. Foot ulcers are a leading cause of amputations among diabetics, affecting 15% of them.

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5. Itchy and very dry skin

Itchy and often dry skin are caused by the poor blood circulation resulting from diabetes. The most affected areas are usually the lower parts of the legs. The medical term for the itchy and painful, reddish or brown patches on your skin is necrobiosis lipodica. Avoid hot showers, which can wash away the natural oils of the skin, further damaging it.

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