Top 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Men & Women

How can you identify if you are suffering from diabetes? What are the early signs and symptoms you should look forward to? Other than identifying the signs healthy eating, regular exercise, and improving physical activity are the best way to manage your blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should follow these lifestyle changes to stay fit and healthy with diabetes. Read this blog to know about the early signs of diabetes in men or women.

The prevalence of diabetes is increasing globally. Diabetes is a critical metabolic disorder that is affecting people of all the age, sometimes regardless of their lifestyle. Diabetes can develop due to heredity factors, a side effect of some medication, stress, or ultimately your poor lifestyle. It causes your blood sugar levels to rise abnormally in your body and leads to various health complications. Therefore, it is significant to identify the early signs and symptoms of diabetes.

Importance of Diagnosing Diabetes Early

Recognizing the early signs and symptoms of diabetes allow the patient to get the diagnosis and the treatment at the earliest. It helps them to prevent the risk of complications due to diabetes. A persistent increase in blood sugar levels can become severe for your health. It also stops the person enjoy a healthy life. Identifying the early signs and symptoms enables the person to consult the doctor for appropriate treatment and make lifestyle changes to control diabetes.
early symptoms of diabetes

The Incubation Period of Diabetes

Diabetes type-1 and type-2 have different incubation periods. It can be as short as a month or as long as a decade. Thus, you should often keep checking your blood sugar levels and identify the signs and symptoms of diabetes at the earliest. The onset of symptoms of diabetes type-1 is quicker than the symptoms of diabetes type-2. The symptoms of diabetes type-1 develop quickly over a few days or few weeks. However, the symptoms of diabetes type-2 are recognizable over several years. It develops slowly.

Early Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Summary

Your body gives several signs and symptoms right on the onset of diabetes. Failure to recognize those signs and symptoms results in worsening of the health conditions. Therefore, you need to notice the signals that your body gives when your blood sugar levels increase. People often neglect the early signs and symptoms of their bodies. Sometimes, they do not understand the need for medical care for diabetes. It leads to serious health complications or sometimes proves fatal for their life.

It can be difficult for many people to believe that they have diabetes until they get their blood glucose levels to check. Most of the early signs and symptoms of diabetes are so mind that people do not notice them. Sometimes, people do not recognize that the warning signs that their body is giving can be the symptom of diabetes. Therefore, it is crucial to know the early signs and symptoms of diabetes. The common signs and symptoms of diabetes are:

  1. Frequent urination: Frequent urination is one of the early signs of diabetes. A person may need to pass urine four to seven times a day. However, a person with diabetes may go to pee much more times. It happens because their body tries to get rid of excess glucose from the body. Some people with diabetes even experience bed-wetting at night.
  2. Excessive thirst: Frequent urination results in excessive water loss from the sugar patient’s body. Over time, it causes dehydration and, the sugar patients may feel thirstier than usual. Sometimes, they experience a dry mouth even after drinking lots of fluids. Over time, it causes dehydration and, the sugar patients may feel thirsty than usual. Sometimes, they experience a dry mouth even after drinking lots of fluids. If you also feel thirsty more often than usual, do not delay checking your blood sugar levels.
  3. An increase in appetite: Feeling hungry all the time is another early symptom of diabetes. Your body converts the carbohydrates from the food you eat into glucose. The cells use this glucose for energy to the body. The cells need insulin to use glucose. However, when your body doesn’t make enough insulin or the cells resist using insulin, your body does not get the energy. It makes you feel hungry.
  4. Feeling tired: Not only working too hard or sleeping less but, diabetes can also make you feel tired.  It happens because diabetes impacts your energy levels. Thus, sugar patients feel tired all the time. It is worth seeing a doctor if you still feel tired even after taking a rest.
  5. Blurry vision: Hyperglycemia is responsible for damaging the tiny nerve vessels in your eyes. It leads to blurry vision. If the person with diabetes neglects the care and does not get the treatment at the right time, the damage to the nerve vessel can get severe. It can even result in the loss of vision. Diabetes also causes a change in fluid levels. It results in swelling in the lenses of your eyes. It prevents the lenses from focussing correctly and leads to blurry vision.
  6. Slow healing of the wounds and cuts: High blood sugar levels cause impairment of the blood circulation in your body. It is due to the damage of the body’s nerves and blood vessels.  Consequently, any wound or a mini cut may take weeks or months to heal. Sometimes, they become infectious due to late healing.
  7. Skin Discolouration: People with diabetes may notice the darkness of their skin as an early sign of diabetes. Insulin resistance causes acanthosis nigricans. It is the condition of the formation of dark patches on the skin. You may notice the dark skin patches on the creases of your neck, groin, and armpit.
  8. Unexpected weight loss: People who experience unexplained weight loss should check their blood sugar levels. They might have developing diabetes. Unexpected/unexplained weight loss is the most common early symptom of diabetes. When your body cannot use body glucose for energy, your body starts to shred weight suddenly
  9. Yeast Infections: If you are frequently experiencing yeast infections, you need to consult your doctor for diabetes. It is one of the early signs and symptoms of diabetes. Yeast feeds on glucose. When your blood glucose levels are high, the kidneys are unable to filter them well. Thus, the blood glucose gets to mix with urine and, the circulating blood glucose in your body is responsible for the overgrowth of yeast. It leads to yeast infection.
  10. Numbness of the feet or legs: Higher blood sugar levels affect the blood circulation in your body. It may lead to nerve damage in your body. Hence, the people who have the onset of diabetes feel the numbness of feet and legs. It occurs due to nerve damage or neuropathy due to diabetes. Some people experience the tingling effect, pain, or sensation apart from numbness in their feet or legs.

Unique Early Symptoms of Diabetes in Men and Women

Summary

Apart from the common symptoms of diabetes, men and women should not neglect the symptoms unique to their gender. It helps them to diagnose diabetes at an early stage and immediately get suitable treatment. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms of diabetes on a gender basis.

Generally, a man and a woman experience the same signs and symptoms of diabetes in the initial stage. However, some symptoms are unique to men and women, respectively.

 Some Early Signs of Blood Sugar in Men include:

  • Erectile dysfunction: It is a common symptom of diabetes in men. They experience erectile dysfunction because of the low blood circulation in the pelvis area. There must be a significant flow of blood in the penis of a man to achieve an erection.
  • Low Testosterone levels: Some medications for diabetes patients like metformin lowers testosterone levels in men. Men with low testosterone levels have high insulin resistance. Testosterone helps the tissues of the body to take up more sugar and respond to insulin. Thus, it increases the risk of diabetes.
  • Retrograde ejaculation: It is a kind of ejaculation problem that occurs when semen enters the bladder instead of coming out. Diabetes can cause retrograde ejaculation. People suffering from diabetic autonomy neuropathy due to poor control of their blood sugar levels can have retrograde ejaculation.
  • Decreased sex drive: Men with diabetes experience low libido. Diabetes also reduces their sex drive. It is due to low levels of testosterone. It is a common symptom of diabetes in men. Therefore, men with such problems should check their blood glucose levels to know if they are developing diabetes.

Some Early Symptoms of High Blood Sugar in Women Include:

  • Female Sexual Dysfunction: Women feel sexual dysfunction and reduced sexual desires when they have diabetes. Nerve damage due to diabetes is one of the causes of female sexual dysfunction. Nerve damage affects the different areas of their body. Therefore, they may lose sensation in the vaginal area, hands, and legs and leads to female sexual dysfunction.
  • Urinary Infections: Urinary tract infection or UTI is a common problem that women face at the onset of diabetes. They suffer from painful urination followed by a burning sensation. Since diabetes restricts the proper blood circulation in the pelvis area of women thus, it causes UTI. Women with diabetes need to consult the doctor immediately because infections do not heal early in people with diabetes.
  • Need to see your doctor at the right time: If you are experiencing the early signs and symptoms of diabetes, you should immediately make an appointment with your doctor. You can ask your doctor if you need to visit the clinic with a blood sugar test report. You can also ask what kind of diabetes test you should get to monitor your blood sugar levels. Discuss all the recent life changes that you are undergoing in the past few days or months. Also, discuss the symptoms that you are experiencing.

early symptoms of diabetes in women

Tests for Confirmation of Diabetes

Summary

Diagnosis of diabetes can be done with the help of several tests such as fasting, random, and postprandial glucose test.

In the present time, the diagnosis of diabetes is easy with the help of any of the following tests:

  1. Fasting plasma glucose test: This test measures your blood glucose levels when you are on an empty stomach. The person undergoing for fasting plasma glucose test need to fast for around 8 to 10 hours. Therefore, people prefer to get this test done in the morning.
  2. Random plasma glucose test: It measures your blood glucose levels at any point of the day regardless of what meals you have had or when. A random plasma glucose test is not suitable for the diagnosis of pre-diabetes.
  3. Postprandial glucose test: This test is best suitable for diagnosing gestational diabetes in pregnant women. In this type of test, the pregnant woman has to drink around 750 grams of sugary solutions at least two hours before giving the sample. It requires fasting of at least eight hours then consumption of sugary solutions.
  4. Oral glucose tolerance test: This test is best suitable for diagnosing gestational diabetes in pregnant women. In this type of test, the pregnant woman has to drink around 750 grams of sugary solutions at least two hours before giving the sample. It requires fasting of at least eight hours then consumption of sugary solutions.
  5. Haemoglobin A1C testThis test calculates the average blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months. Hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c test does not require fasting. It can confirm your diabetes as well as pre-diabetes.

diagnosis of prediabetes

You can take any of the tests to confirm your diabetes and blood sugar levels. Generally, the early signs and symptoms of diabetes go unnoticed. Therefore, you should keep checking your blood sugar levels half-yearly or annually to ensure that you not a pre-diabetic or diabetic. It is the best idea for those having a family history of diabetes to avoid delay in the diabetes treatment if they have diabetes.

Measures to Control Diabetes

When the blood sugar test confirms your diabetes, you should start taking precautions to keep your blood sugar levels in control. In addition to the prescribed medications, you should make some changes in your lifestyle as well. It will help you in diabetes management more effectively. The lifestyle changes that you should include in your life are:

  • Eat healthily: Give up eating all kinds of junk foods and unhealthy foods (carbohydrate-rich food). Switch to eat low-carb and high fibre food. Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. It helps in regulating blood sugar levels in your body.
  • Regular Exercise: Exercise is the best way to keep your body fit and healthy. People with diabetes especially need to exercise regularly. It helps them in maintaining healthy body weight and promote better functioning of the pancreas in Insulin release. Therefore, it improves the insulin sensitivity of the body to manage blood sugar levels. 
  • Improve physical activity: Give up eating all kinds of junk foods and unhealthy foods (carbohydrate-rich food). Switch to eat low-carb and high fibre food. Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. It helps in regulating blood sugar levels in your body.

Conclusion

The signs and symptoms of diabetes are mild in the initial stage. People who are pre-diabetic or have developed diabetes for the first time are unable to understand their diabetes. Thus, they delay seeking treatment from the doctor until their bodies start showing the signals of complications due to diabetes. Living a healthy life with diabetes becomes easy when you identify the early signs and symptoms of diabetes and start treatment immediately.

FAQs:

What are the non-medication methods of treating diabetes?

The non-medication methods of treating diabetes are effective for type-2 diabetes. However, it also helps people with diabetes type-1 to improve their health. The non-medication method includes diet changes and lifestyle changes. Regular exercise, increase the intake of fiber-rich food, drink plenty of water, avoid mental stress, and cut off carbs from your food to treat diabetes. These methods also reduce the risk of developing diabetes-related complications.

What to do on recognizing the first signs and symptoms of diabetes?

If you have noticed any early signs and symptoms of diabetes, you should visit your primary healthcare provider. The health care provider prescribes the diabetes medications to you depending upon your blood sugar levels. In addition to this, the healthcare provider also guides you on making lifestyle changes to make diabetes medications more effective than usual.

Can I get pregnant if I am a sugar patients?

A lot of women with diabetes ask the question of whether they can get pregnant or not. Normal blood sugar levels do not affect your pregnancy. However, women with diabetes should consult with their doctors when they plan to conceive. It helps them to control their blood sugar levels before they get pregnant. The doctor may also help you throughout your pregnancy on how you can manage your blood sugar levels.

What is pre-diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which the person’s blood glucose levels are higher than the normal range. However, it is not that high to be considered diabetes. People diagnosed with pre-diabetes or have high blood sugar levels are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. They need to immediately take help from a doctor and make modifications in their lifestyle to control diabetes.

What are the long-term complications of diabetes?

Negligence of healthcare can make diabetes more severe. It can lead to long-term health complications that can sometimes prove fatal for life. High blood pressure, heart diseases, retinopathy, skin infection, diabetic neuropathy, yeast infection, and kidney problems are some of the long-term complications of diabetes. It is essential not to neglect the early signs and symptoms of diabetes to avoid such complications.

References:

  1. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/
  2. https://www.medicinenet.com/diabetes_symptoms_in_men/article.htm
  3. https://www.healthyessentials.com/back-to-health-solutions/warning-signs-of-diabetes
  4. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/understanding-diabetes-symptoms
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323185
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311308/

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