What Are the Early Signs of Diabetes?



High levels of blood glucose can damage body tissues and organs. Some complications are life-threatening. High blood glucose can lead to cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. It can also damage the nerves and cause numbness in the feet and hands. Diabetics also experience nausea and increased breathing.

Blood tests can determine the presence of diabetes and help doctors diagnose it. The blood sugar level can be measured at random times throughout the day or during a fasting period, usually after 12 hours without eating. A normal blood sugar level should be less than 100 mg/dL. However, a person may have diabetes even without any warning signs.

Foot problems are common among diabetics. Diabetes damages the nerves in the feet and can lead to severe infections. Because of this, diabetics may not notice their foot injuries until the damage or infection has progressed. Consequently, small skin sores can turn into deep, painful ulcers. Without treatment, the affected limb may even need to be amputated. Therefore, diabetics should get their feet checked at least twice a year.

Another symptom of diabetes is kidney damage. The disease can affect the kidney’s ability to process insulin, so a doctor may prescribe medicines to slow the damage to the kidneys. A patient with diabetes should also regularly have their blood pressure checked.