Under normal circumstances, when we eat, the glucose from our food goes into the bloodstream, and the pancreas secretes an appropriate amount of insulin.
This is the hormone the body uses to transport glucose from the blood to the cells, which will then be converted to energy or stored. This process keeps the blood sugar in check. Depending on age, gender, and body size, a fasting blood sugar level of less than 100mg/dL is acceptable for people without diabetes.
For a person with type 2 diabetes, there is a disruption to this process which causes the glucose in the bloodstream to build up, which can have disastrous consequences. A person experiencing out-of-control sugar levels might not realize it until it is too late, as the signs can be pretty easy to miss.
Many people walk around oblivious that their blood sugar levels are off the charts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that over 21% of adults with diabetes don’t realize they even have it. Additionally, there are also about 80 million people in the U.S. who have prediabetes.
So, how can you know whether your blood sugar is out of control? Let’s take a look at the 7 main indicators that might give you a hint – and might even save your life.
7 Signs Your Blood Sugar Is Out of Control
Fatigue is a common symptom of high blood sugar and the easiest to miss, as it can happen due to many other non-diabetes-related reasons. A person who does not have diabetes can also experience fatigue if they have fluctuations in their blood sugar due to the high consumption of carbs or sugars.
Fatigue is considered a non-specific symptom, as it comes up when one’s blood sugar is too low.
It is best to watch out if you feel tired regularly after consuming certain foods, especially ones high in sugars or carbs, and adjust. Enjoying your regular meals isn’t discouraged, but if you feel periodically tired after eating them, it is best to cut back and consult your doctor about it.
The kidneys have a habit of trying to release more sugars to try and get rid of existing sugars in the body, and in doing this, water comes along with it, leading to your constant bathroom breaks after consuming that carb-heavy meal. This is called polyuria.
Polyuria is the medical term for frequent urination. If your blood sugar is not controlled over time, it can lead to more serious conditions like extreme dehydration and kidney injury. Under normal circumstances, when the kidneys create urine, the sugar is reabsorbed and directed back into the bloodstream. Still, when you have high blood sugar levels, the excess sugar goes into the urine and draws more water into the kidneys, leading to increased urination.
This is a direct consequence of frequent urination because this dehydrates your body. You pee more and drink more, which becomes a loop of always drinking and peeing as your blood sugar increases.
Headaches can be a sign of many different things, but when coupled with some other symptoms like increased thirst, it can be a sign that your blood sugar is spiking. A common cause of these headaches when your blood sugar is high is dehydration.
Fatigue can also play a part, but often, dehydration can worsen the exhaustion and, in turn, cause worse headaches. It is important to get yourself checked as soon as possible when experiencing two or more symptoms alongside a headache. It may be nothing, but it also might be something.
If you notice that your eyesight isn’t as sharp as it used to be, and your vision tends to appear blurry, you might have high blood sugar. This is because when excess glucose is in your bloodstream, your lenses can swell due to the extra sugar and water getting trapped in them. This can result in the shape of the lens changing, limiting its ability to properly focus and, in turn, causing your vision to be blurry.
Blood circulation can be impaired by an out-of-control blood sugar level, limiting the body’s ability to heal itself. These slow healing sores can be commonly found on the feet, resulting from possible nerve damage and reduced blood circulation to the feet. Cuts, scrapes, bruises, and other wounds can take an unusual amount of time to heal due to high blood sugar levels. This can often put you at a higher risk of developing an infection or, in worst-case scenarios, a foot ulcer.
Tingling hands and feet
High blood sugar levels can, over time, cause nerve damage, commonly known as diabetic neuropathy. This neuropathy is often peripheral, which means it affects the body’s extremities. This can cause tingling or numbness of the hands and feet. Neuropathy tends to affect people who have had diabetes for a long time, but uncontrolled blood sugar levels can also result in this condition.
Taking note of these symptoms and acting on them as soon as possible is important, but, as it is often said, prevention is better than cure.
This means monitoring your diet and keeping a close eye on your blood sugar levels. Nowadays, you can do that effortlessly with apps like Klinio, which can be integrated seamlessly with your blood monitoring devices.
Your blood sugar level is something to be taken very seriously, as often, a few mg/dL is the difference between life and death or between a complication-free life and one filled with pain and discomfort. Be smart, make use of apps like Klinio, and keep your blood sugar levels under control.