Diabetes is a disease that many people around the world have to face. Most times, it is a life long and needs to be managed through constant treatment. According to a 2020 study by the International Diabetes Federation, roughly 19% of all people in the UAE have diabetes.

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One of the best ways to stop it from worsening and causing a threat to your health is to detect it early by understanding its warning signs, symptoms, and knowing when to see a doctor.

By noticing its early warning signs, not only can you get it diagnosed and treated sooner, but you can also avoid it entirely by making adjustments and following the proper cause of action to prevent it. 

Types of Diabetes

But before we discuss and identify the early warning signs of diabetes, let’s develop a better understanding of its two main types:

  • Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system will attack and destroy the cells in the pancreas where insulin is produced. Until now, research into the exact reason why the immune system will do this is unclear. Around 10% of all people with diabetes worldwide have Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is most likely to occur in children and teenagers. It is also most likely to be inherited in genes. If there is a family history of type 1 diabetes, there is an increased likeliness the disease will occur. 
  • Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body grows a resistance to insulin and sugar starts to build up in your blood and reach alarming levels. This is the most common type of diabetes and is also the most preventable. Unlike type 1 diabetes, this type is often developed due to poor lifestyle choices in terms of diet and exercise.

Early Signs of Diabetes

The two types of diabetes both have their own set of warning signs and symptoms to look out for. However, the below list of warning signs of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes:

  • Hunger and fatigue. Your body needs glucose that your cells will use for energy. Your body needs food to be converted into glucose. When your body doesn’t make enough glucose or insulin, in turn, you will become weaker and fatigued due to the lack of energy. You will also feel hungrier.
  • Peeing more often and being thirstier. The average person will pee between four to seven times a day. Your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through your kidneys. Diabetes, however, pushes your blood sugar up, causing difficulty for your kidneys to bring its back down. This will cause you to urinate more often. As you urinate more often, you become thirstier. Hence, you drink more, then pee more, then the cycle repeats.
  • Dry mouth and itchy skin. As you are peeing more often as a result of diabetes symptoms, your body will naturally become dehydrated. As a result, you will notice your skin and mouth becoming drier than usual. You’ll see cracked, dull, and rough skin texture. It can also cause itchiness throughout. 
  • Blurred vision. With the inconsistent levels in fluid in your body constantly fluctuating, it can result in dehydration and swelling in your eyes, causing your vision to blur. 

Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

The following symptoms may be warning signs that type 2 diabetes may exist in your health.

  • Sores and cuts that take longer to heal
  • Unexplained weight gain or gaining weight rapidly
  • Frequent yeast infections
  • Decrease vision clarity and function 
  • Dark skin changes in the neck, armpit, groin, called acanthosis nigricans
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • Erectile dysfunction or impotence
  • Itchy skin (commonly around the cardinal or groin area

Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes

The following symptoms may be warning signs that type 1 diabetes may exist in your health.

  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Feeling nauseous and frequent vomiting. 
  • Bed-wetting in children even in children who do not usually wet their bed
  • Extreme hunger
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Decreased vision clarity and function

When to See a Doctor?

A lot of these symptoms can often be mistaken as other forms of sicknesses or as a minor health condition. However, if you notice multiple symptoms, or that they become worse in severity be sure to speak with your doctor.

Not only may it be diabetes, but it can also be the result of another serious health condition that your doctor will have to diagnose. Remember, early intervention is the best possible thing you can do to prevent or treat diabetes.

This is also highly recommended for people who may have one or more risk factors of diabetes. To learn more about the risk factors of diabetes and its causes, speak with your doctor. 

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.