More and more experts agree that diabetes, due to its progression and number of cases, acts as an epidemic disease.
Although it is one of the leading causes of death in this century, it is a preventable condition. To anticipate its appearance, we are going to review its main warning signs and what measures are useful to keep it away.
Diabetes warning signs
Preventing diabetes by identifying early signs or symptoms helps receive early diagnosis and treatment, thus reducing the risk of complications. Be aware of the following warning signs:
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Excessive thirst can often go unnoticed as a sign of diabetes, as it is a fairly common sign. If this becomes frequent, you should consult an expert.
When you have diabetes, glucose accumulates in the blood, forcing the work of the kidneys to be able to filter and absorb it.
When the kidneys can’t keep up with this rate, glucose is excreted directly into the urine, dragging fluid from the tissues with it. This causes dehydration and thirst respectively.
Numbness of hands and feet
Numbness or popular “tingling” in the hands and feet can be an early sign of diabetes, specifically diabetic neuropathy.
This occurs due to the constant presence of glucose in the blood, which in the long run affects and weakens the functioning of the nerves.
This situation can be aggravated if, in addition to high blood sugar levels, the patient smokes or suffers from hypertension.
Frequent wounds and infections
When blood glucose levels are high, they can affect blood flow and impair the body’s recovery processes.
This translates into more frequent wounds or longer healing times, especially on the feet.
It is also common for some women with diabetes to experience more vaginal and bladder infections.
In addition to poor circulation, high blood glucose levels also make it difficult to fight infections.
This is usually first seen in the gums, which appear red, swollen, or sensitive.
In the worst cases, teeth can become loose or sores or pus blisters develop on the gums.
High blood glucose levels affect the body’s ability to use sugar to meet its energy needs and ensure proper cell function. This can cause, among other things, extreme and unexplained tiredness or fatigue.
Unintentional weight loss
Excess glucose causes frequent urination, and with it, many calories are also lost. In addition, diabetes can make it difficult for cells to absorb sugar properly, causing rapid weight loss and poor body function.
High blood glucose levels can cause fluid to be withdrawn from tissues, including the lenses of the eyes. This affects the ability to focus.
- Ways to prevent diabetes
Although for most people these early changes do not cause vision problems, if they progress undetected they can lead to vision loss or blindness.
How to prevent diabetes
By incorporating some simple lifestyle measures you can prevent diabetes or delay its onset:
- Healthy diet: it is advisable to include foods with a low glycemic index (a measure that indicates how quickly a food can raise blood sugar levels), rich in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants while being low in carbohydrates. Try apples, berries, kiwis, grapes, broccoli, kale, legumes, fish, and seeds. It is also advised to avoid sugary, refined, salty, or processed products.
- Avoid tobacco use – Nicotine and certain chemicals found in cigarettes can damage cells, cause inflammation, affect insulin response, and increase the risk of increased belly fat. These are all risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
- Perform physical activity: exercise it fulfills a double function to prevent type 2 diabetes, since it increases the consumption of glucose by the organism, at the same time that it stimulates the muscular fibers, favoring the transport of sugar to the interior of the cells. Although all types of movement are shown to be positive when it comes to preventing type 2 diabetes, the greatest benefits are seen in activities of moderate intensity.
- Having a healthy weight: Being overweight, especially when it is distributed in the abdominal area, increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Specialists advise losing weight, not recovering it, and keeping it in the long term. This also protects against other types of health problems or disorders.
Until there is meaningful scientific evidence from human trials, people interested in using herbal therapies and supplements should be very careful.
Do not abandon or modify your medications or treatments, but first talk to your doctor about the potential effects of alternative or complementary therapies.
Remember, the medicinal properties of herbs and supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, other herbs, and supplements, and even alter your diet.
Sources consulted: US National Library of Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mayo Clinic, World Health Organization.