If there’s any disease that tops the charts of debilitating diseases, diabetes is the one. Characterized by unusually high amounts of sugar in your bloodstream, diabetes can claim you as its victim for a myriad of reasons. These reasons can be different for different people and may even manifest different symptoms. However, before we delve into the 14 symptoms of diabetes that you should know about, let us give you a clear idea of its various causes so you can nip it in the bud.
The common causes of diabetes
The scientific name of diabetes is diabetes mellitus. It can be divided into three types – Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes (caused during pregnancy). Our focus is going to be Type 2 diabetes as it is the commonest one. And as we mentioned before, it is caused by a number of factors. Let’s take a look at them below:
- Your family history- The primary cause of diabetes lies in your genes . If you have a family history where your parents, grandparents etc. have suffered from it, you are likely to get it too.
- Lack of physical activity- If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you are at high risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes .
- Obesity and bad diet- Both of these are interrelated . In fact, obesity also leads to a sedentary lifestyle as you don’t have the energy to move around much.
Increasing age is another risk factor that can raise your chances of being afflicted by diabetes. Based on the causes we have discussed, if you feel that you are at high risk of contracting the diseases, then you should watch out for its symptoms.
The Top 14 Symptoms of Diabetes
Here’s a list of 14 symptoms that you should pay close attention to if you are at high risk of this disease. Even one of these symptoms can be a sign that you need to take a blood glucose test.
- Urinating frequently: If you find yourself hitting the washroom more than you used to, especially at night, it could indicate diabetes.
- Blurred vision: Never had glasses but find your vision to be blurry lately? Diabetes can be the cause.
- Dry mouth: If your mouth feels dry even after drinking water, you should get yourself checked for diabetes.
- Thirst: With a dry mouth comes the increased feeling of thirst.
- Impotence: If you feel like you’re having trouble between the sheets lately or cannot conceive a child despite trying, diabetes might be the cause.
- Wounds and cuts take a long time to heal: Diabetes can slow down your body’s healing process.
- Poor concentration: Lack of focus is another outcome of diabetes.
- Recurring infections: Just like wounds may take a long time to heal, infections you have had may keep recurring too.
- Problems in digestion: Digestive problems such as nausea and vomiting are common when you have diabetes.
- Increase in appetite: If hunger pangs strike you more often than they used to, you should get a blood glucose test done.
- Problems of the nerves: Over time, diabetes can ruin your nerves, and you may feel pain in your legs, arms, feet and the like.
- Skin problems: Your skin may turn dry and itchy, and you may become more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.
- Weight gain: Obesity is not only a sign of diabetes but also an outcome of it. You are more likely to put on weight on your waist.
While you cannot free yourself from the symptoms of diabetes, you can definitely control them; especially if you eat right.
The foods you should eat to control the symptoms of diabetes
Diet plays a significant role in controlling as well as reducing the symptoms of diabetes you experience. You need to have food that contains low glycemic index as foods with a high index can increase the level of glucose in your blood . Hence, you should have foods with a low GI only. The GI index is measured from 0-100, and those with a GI of 55 or below are completely safe for consumption. Here’s a list of the foods you should eat:
- Cashew nuts
- Apples (medium-sized)
- Turkey Sausage
- Onions (medium-sized)
- Green grapes
- Tomato juice
- Pineapple juice
Keep in mind that the above-mentioned foods are only safe for consumption if you have them in limited quantities, which means you shouldn’t have more than a cup of any of them daily.
Just as you should include the above foods in your diet to lead a healthy lifestyle despite being diabetic, you should also avoid certain foods. These include popcorn, white rice, white bread, potatoes, cornflakes, glucose, processed meals, sweetmeats, etc. All of these have a very high GI.
Regular exercise and diet changes can go a long way in keeping diabetes in control. So make sure you don’t make any sacrifices in this regard as diabetes can be fatal if you let it go out of control.