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Do I Have Diabetes?

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May 25, 2012, last updated May 5, 2015

By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other
members of our Editorial Board.]




If you are wondering whether you have diabetes, then you
have just joined a long list of Americans. According to the
American Diabetes Association, over 25.8 million Americans
have diabetes.  That's over 8.3% of all of us, and includes men,
women and children. Moreover, 7 million of the 25 million of us
who have diabetes don't know we have it. We're walking
around undiagnosed.


How do you know if you have diabetes? What are the signs of
diabetes?

First of all, let's state the obvious. If you feel that you have
diabetes, get thee to a doctor. Only a blood test can put to rest
your fears of whether you have diabetes.  

It may surprise you to learn that medical authorities
have not
always
agreed on what constitutes "diabetes", in terms of  your
blood profile.  The 3 main authorities which have proposed
standards over the years are the American Diabetes
Association, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes
and the International Diabetes Federation.   The standards at
one point were all over the place.  

However, the good news is that since 2010, all 3 auth
orities
have converged to agree on a general threshold.   

Here is the current state of medical authority. If you have a
fasting blood sugar level above 126 mg/dL or an A1C above
6.5%, you are diabetic. By "fasting", they mean that you have
not eaten for 8 hours.

Diabetes symptoms vary from person to person. However,
typical symptoms include unusual thirst (also called polydipsia),
needing to urinate frequently,
feeling more tired than usual
(without being connected to exercise), gaining or losing weight
(without dieting) and
shakiness (related to the plunge in blood
sugar that often accompanies diabetes).  


These symptoms are common in the form of diabetes most
people have --diabetes mellitus. Certain other symptoms can
appear in a rarer form of diabetes, called
diabetes insipidus.
One of the clearest signs of the rarer form of diabetes is your
urine color.

Other symptoms of diabetes may surprise you. For example,
our team of
Registered Nurses advises that there has been
evidence of increased yeast and bacterial infections in women
with diabetes.


If your diabetes has progressed far enough you can also
develop nerve damage, which can cause tingling or burning in
your hands or elsewhere in your body, eye damage or
blindness and damage to other organs.


Other common symptoms of diabetes are not well-known.
Diabetes can cause
cold hands and cold feet and thickness in
your blood which can lead to
circulatory problems.

In addition to the common signs ans symptoms of diabetes
mellitus, we have scoured the medical studies to compile a Top
10 list of symptoms of diabetes  that are less well-known:



Top 10 Symptoms of Diabetes You May Not Have Heard Of






























1.
Diabetes Can Cause Constipation.

Did you know that constipation can be a sign of diabetes? A
1994 study from Department of Gastroenterology, Heinrich
Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany found that 22% of
patients with Type 2 diabetes reported having constipation,
twice more than the norm.

Interestingly, Type 1 diabetes patients did
not have higher than
normal incidences of constipation.

(Read more for
natural remedies for constipation.)


2.
Diabetes Can Make You Intolerant to the Cold.  

Always turning up the thermostat?  You may be cold-intolerant,
a common sign of diabetes. Diabetes interferes with the body's
ability to circulate blood. This lowers your core body
temperature, making you feel cold, which in turn makes you
less tolerant of cold rooms.

More than 33% of diabetics suffer from this and others of a
cluster of symptoms, according to a 1996 study from The
Bowman Gray School of Medicine.


3.
Heart Palpitations Can Result from Diabetes.  Few people are
aware that diabetes can make your heart race, also known as
palpitations.  

4.
Diabetes Can Cause Labored Breathing.  Having a hard time
catching your breath? This condition is known as "dyspnea"
and often accompanies diabetes.


5. Indigestion Often Comes With Diabetes.  Diabetics often
complain of indigestion, according to the 1996 study from
Bowman Gray School of Medicine.  

6.
Diabetes Can Make Your Vision Blurred.  Seeing double or
having blurry vision? Untreated diabetes can attack the nerves
of your eyes and cause blurry vision.

7.
Male Impotence.  Diabetes can increase a man's risk for
erectile dysfunction. (Read more about the
connection between
ED and diabetes.)


8.
Forgetfulness.  Ever heard of the "sugar fog"?  Scientists
have found that untreated diabetes can make you forgetful.
(Read more about
why you may be forgetting more things
these days.)

9.
Hyper-Cholesterol Results from Diabetes. As though
diabetes weren't enough, it can also lead to a condition known
as "hypercholesterolemia", super-high cholesterol readings.

10.
Diabetes Can Make Your Skin Tingle. The sensation that
your skin is being pricked by needles or tingling is called
"paresthesia" and it often occurs in diabetes.

Update:

11.
Vaginal Discharge. In some cases, women with diabetes
have increased vaginal discharge.


Related:
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Foods That Lower Blood Sugar -Natural Insulin Foods

Does Drinking Coffee Affect Diabetes -A Comprehensive Review

Best Exercises to Lower Blood Sugar

Alcohol and Diabetes -Do They Mix?

Break Through Your Diet Plateau

How Many Calories Do I Burn

Quinoa-The New Superfood?

Break Through Your Diet Plateau

Magnesium-The Forgotten Essential Mineral

Ideal Breakfast for Hypoglycemia


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Egg white omelet stuffed with vegetables is one of the ideal
breakfasts for diabetics.
Read more.