Diabetes alters your body's reaction to glucose, which in turn affects a range of other chemical reactions in your body. Over time, diabetes-related changes can affect almost everything about your body, from your weight to your circulation. But not all diabetes symptoms are immediate, or even particularly severe. Some people have the condition for years without knowing, allowing it to steadily escalate out of control, wreaking havoc on their health. Early diabetes interventions save lives and fortunes. If you experience any of these relatively unknown symptoms of diabetes, it's time for a conversation with your physician.
1. Weight Loss
In the popular imagination, diabetes—and especially type 2 diabetes—is associated with weight gain. Weight gain is a risk factor for diabetes, not necessarily a symptom. When your body can't properly absorb glucose, you may lose a little weight. It's unlikely that this weight loss will be dramatic, but if you find you're eating more but weigh a little less, it's time for a talk with your doctor.
2. Changes in Your Mood
Changes in your blood sugar make you feel weak, shaky, and exhausted. They can also slow down other biochemical processes, including those associated with regulating your mood. If you feel moody, aggressive, or sad without explanation, consider talking to your doctor. You could have depression, but it might also be diabetes.
3. Frequent Urination
Diabetes interferes with your body's ability to break down food and process sugar. To compensate, your body attempts to flush the excess with more frequent urination. If you suddenly find yourself getting up multiple times in the night to urinate, can't sit through a meeting, or need frequent breaks on a road trip, tell your doctor.
4. Unexplained Thirst
Excessive thirst accompanied by frequent urination is a classic diabetes symptom. When you urinate more frequently, your body has less time to process fluids, resulting in dehydration. Other dehydration symptoms you might notice include dry, cracked lips, peeling skin, decreased oil in your hair, and a sudden reduction in skin breakouts.
When your body struggles to regulate glucose levels, you're more likely to experience peaks and valleys in your overall sense of wellness. Particularly after eating a lot of carbohydrates, you might find yourself feeling weak and shaky. Some people also struggle with fainting and shakiness between meals. If you experience these symptoms and haven't had a blood glucose test lately, talk to your doctor. Shakiness is never normal, and is associated with a host of health issues.