World Diabetes Day: 90% Diabetics Are Unaware About Their Health

Early symptoms of diabetes are hard to spot! Learn the silent signs of this massive epidemic.

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Diabetes takes more lives annually than AIDS and breast cancer combined and is the leading cause of heart and kidney failure, amputation and blindness. (Photo: iStockphoto/altered by <b> FIT</b>)

India is truly diabetic.

We’re the biggest consumers of sugar in the world and it’s poisoning us. Home to 65 million diabetics yet 9 out of 10 people are completely unaware of their blood sugar condition. (Source: Survey conducted by the Association of Physicians of India (API) in eight Indian cities)

There are two types of diabetes. Though both involve the body’s inability to process sugar and glucose, they are very different. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the person’s body can not secrete insulin. Only 10 percent diabetes cases are of Type 1, which is usually diagnosed during childhood or adolescence and is managed through daily insulin shots.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is a sneaky monster. Here the body produces insulin but can’t process it properly. The early warning signs are hard to spot and sometimes people brush it off as stress and fatigue.

Here are five warning signs for when to get tested:

1. You’re Always Running to the Loo

Suddenly feel the pressing need to urinate more often? It might be time to see a doctor (Photo: iStockphoto/altered by <b>The Quint</b>)
Suddenly feel the pressing need to urinate more often? It might be time to see a doctor (Photo: iStockphoto/altered by The Quint)

If you guzzle down a lot of water, you will obviously pee more often than others.

In diabetes, your body converts food into sugar far less efficiently and therefore, sugar starts accumulating in the blood. The body gets rid of the extra sugar by excreting it through the urine.

This is the reason for frequent urination. So if you are up at night because you need to go to the washroom more than one or two times, it’s time to get your blood sugar checked.

2. You’re Obese

(Photo Courtesy: Tumblr/ <a href="http://awesome-pics-blog.tumblr.com/post/116593716184/relatable">AWESOME-PICS-BLOG</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Tumblr/ AWESOME-PICS-BLOG)

I’m the last one to say anything about being fat, but those who are heavy, run a higher risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. And those with a beer belly run an even higher risk.

The reason?

When you’re overweight or obese, your body’s systems – metabolic and cardiovascular – are destabilised because of the kind of chemicals which the fat releases.

Overeating results in a group of stressed cells which are unable to process all the food that’s coming in; the network signals to weaken the insulin receptors on the cell surface. Therefore, the body slowly becomes resistant to insulin and high concentrations of glucose in the blood becomes a medical issue-aka, diabetes.

Also Read: World Health Day: Diabetes in Pregnancy Can Affect Baby’s Brain

3. You Have Blurred Vision and Headaches



(Photo: iStockphoto/altered by <b>The Quint</b>)
(Photo: iStockphoto/altered by The Quint)

You feel like pounding your head with a hammer during a migraine attack? That’s different. But if you notice an increase in regular episodes of headaches and the condition is accompanied by blurry vision, for no rhyme or reason, chances are that all is not well. Your blood sugar levels may be running awry or your eyesight may have weakened. Either way, best to get it checked by an expert.

Watch: Got Diabetes? Take a Crash Course In The Disease By An Expert

4. You OD On Soda



(Photo Courtesy: Tumblr/gifloop)
(Photo Courtesy: Tumblr/gifloop)

Sugar drinks, including sweetened soda, kill more than 1.85 lakh people globally. And it’s not just the sugar which is a killer here. A large-scale study published last year in medical journal Diabetologia, conducted by European scientists, involving over 12,000 people, found a direct link between drinking one can of soda every day for 6 months and a 25 percent higher risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The same study also concluded that soda consumption is a “direct” path to diabetes – no matter what your weight may be.

Also Read: Good News For Diabetics: End to Insulin Injections Soon?

5. You Are Always Hungry and Thirsty

(Photo Courtesy: Tumblr/<a href="http://troyler-lifestyle.tumblr.com/post/116457425572/yes-it-is">TROYLER-LIFESTYLE</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Tumblr/TROYLER-LIFESTYLE)

Polishing off a cheesy burger with coke and fries, and not gaining weight is the biggest problem of my life, said no girl ever. But if you’re living this miracle, it might not necessarily be a dream. Unless of course, you lucked out on the gene pool.

Eating too much and still being able to fit in your hot pants is a sign that your insulin isn’t working as it should. Because of this, pancreas over-produce the insulin and make you feel hungry all the time.

Also Read: Approved: Rs 5 Ayurvedic Drug to Treat Diabetes

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