How to recognise if you have diabetes

The good news is that at least half the number of diabetes patients can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by simple lifestyle modifications. The bad news is: at least 50% of diabetics are not aware that they have diabetes. They are not aware of signs and symptoms which can help them recognise if they have diabetes, and manage it accordingly before it causes damage to vital organs.

Pic: wikimedia commons

What then should alert you if you are at risk of diabetes, or have diabetes. Some of the common symptoms that should alert you are:

  • Increased appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination.
  • Increasing fatigue, sometimes nausea and vomiting.
  • Unexplained weight loss, in spite of good appetite.
  • Headaches.
  • Blurred vision
  • Impotence
  • Delayed healing of cuts and wounds
  • Numbness and tingling of hands and feet.

In a few cases, the first signs may be certain complications. The common complications of diabetes include neuropathy due to involvement of peripheral nerves, leading to tingling sensation in hands and feet. In feet, the altered sensory input means that they are more prone to get ulcers on foot, or toes. This may be further complicated with peripheral circulation issues. Diabetes can cause inflammation of peripheral blood vessels- a condition known as Microangitis.

If you have any of the above symptoms, it is worthwhile getting checked for blood sugar. Typically, it involves getting your fasting as well as post-prandial sample tested, i.e. getting your sample once after a few hours of fasting, and once two hours after eating.

Some try to cheat themselves by preparing for the test. Before getting the test done, they stop eating sugar, carbohydrates, sweets, and then return to eating a lot once the test report is out and indicates results are within normal range.

If you really wish to know your correct status, get HbA1C test done which reflects the diabetic control. The other tests which are usually advised include glucose tolerance test.

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About Mukul Saxena 34 Articles
Col (Retd) Dr Mukul Saxena has over 30 years of cross-functional expertise in healthcare, both in public and private sectors.