Lots of people live with high blood sugar without even knowing it. This is not just an ordinary problem. High blood sugar can be dangerous and it can lead to many health issues.
According to statistics, there are more than 30 million Americans suffering from diabetes. This disease occurs when blood sugar levels are too high or as a result of insulin resistance. Diabetes can also appear due to the inability of the pancreas to make enough insulin and is called type 1 diabetes.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), 25% of people with diabetes don’t know they have the disease. Additionally, there are about 84 million people with high blood sugar levels who don’t know they have it.
There are many people at high risk of diabetes today in the U.S. who are unaware. Therefore, it’s crucial to know the signs of high blood sugar levels and turn to a doctor if you experience them.
When the glucose from the food enters the bloodstream, the pancreas produces the necessary amount of insulin. This is the hormone that helps move glucose from the bloodstream and energy. A healthy body that is able to control blood glucose should never become significantly hyperglycemic.
While type 1 diabetes symptoms can appear suddenly and severely, it’s important to note that type 2 diabetes symptoms can raise gradually and be mild enough to remain unnoticeable. In fact, most people with prediabetes have no symptoms, therefore it’s crucial to get screened if you have risk factors, like having excess weight, having a family history being inactive, or being over 45. Let’s look at some signs of high blood sugar:
High blood sugar levels put a big load on your kidneys, which are constantly trying to pour out more sugar to get rid of it. When they remove the sugar, they pull out water with it making you want to pee all the time.
Too much sugar in the blood can actually affect your eyes gradually leading to blindness. This is due to the fact that excess sugar accumulates in the lens in the middle of the eye, creating a blurred effect. Fortunately, this is temporary and reversible but needs medical attention immediately.
Constant fatigue is probably the most common sign of high blood sugar levels. Fatigue can also occur in people without diabetes or prediabetes when they eat a large number of simple sugar. Fatigue is a nonspecific sign but if you experience fatigue regularly right after you eat, it might be blood sugar spikes.
Having high blood sugar levels in the long term can affect the nervous system causing nerve damage, which is called neuropathy. Most commonly people with hyperglycemia develop peripheral neuropathy, which impacts the hands and feet. The symptoms include tingling, numbness, or burning in your hands and feet.
Sugar is contained in your saliva as well as in your blood. When your saliva contains too much glucose, it leads to bacterial overgrowth in the mouth. This causes tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath. Over time, constant high blood sugar levels can provoke diabetes gum disease.
Confusion, nausea, and vomiting are all the signs of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This condition is extremely dangerous and is characterized by high levels of ketones, which become toxic and make the blood acidic. Keep in mind that if left ignored, DKA can be fatal.
Long term high blood sugar levels can weaken the immune system making it harder for your body to deal with infections, which make them more frequent and even serious.
Women with diabetes experience frequent yeast infections. This is due to the fact that too much sugar helps feed the bacteria that provoke infections. Also, women with diabetes are more prone to UTIs.
Therefore, when the body loses too much water due to frequent urination, it needs to get more water. You may start feeling thirsty all the time.