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If You Do This Every Morning, Get Checked For Diabetes

Here are five signs of diabetes you should never ignore.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

According to the CDC, there are 37.3 million people in the U.S. with diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile-onset diabetes and typically appears in adolescence, while type 2—the most common form of diabetes—develops over time and is linked to serious health conditions such as heart disease and nerve damage. "When we diagnose someone, we assume they have probably already had diabetes for about five years," says endocrinologist Kevin Pantalone, DO. "During screenings, a certain number of people who are newly diagnosed already have kidney problems and retinal issues, so they've had it for some time." Here are five signs of diabetes you should never ignore. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Fatigue

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If you had a good night's sleep but still wake up feeling fatigued, check your blood sugar levels. "Feeling fatigued is definitely a symptom of diabetes," says Nicole Justus, RN, BSN. "However, fatigue can also be a sign or symptom of many other diseases, so it is important that you talk to your doctor about any problems that you are having. Another reason that fatigue is a sign of diabetes is because of high blood sugar… There is a link between fatigue and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels). 61% of newly diagnosed people with Type 2 diabetes experience fatigue."

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2

Increased Hunger Even After Breakfast

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Feeling like you're starving even after eating a big breakfast is a warning sign of high blood sugar. "Even after you eat, you may still feel very hungry," according to Amy Hess-Fischl, MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDCES and Lisa M. Leontis RN, ANP-C. "That's because your muscles aren't getting the energy they need from the food; your body's insulin resistance keeps glucose from entering the muscle and providing energy. Therefore, the muscles and other tissues send a "hunger" message, trying to get more energy into the body."

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3

Tingling Pain In Hands and Feet

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Waking up with a tingling, burning sensation in your hands and feet could be a symptom of Type 2 diabetes. "High blood sugar is toxic to your nerves," says pain management specialist Robert Bolash, MD. "When a nerve is damaged and misfiring, you may feel tingling, pins and needles, burning or sharp, stabbing pain. Anyone with diabetes can get nerve damage at any time. There is an association with very high levels of blood sugar and the development of diabetic neuropathy, but the two do not always go hand in hand."

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4

Unexplained Weight Loss

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If you're in the habit of weighing yourself every morning and find the scales are consistently going down without explanation, it could be a sign of high blood sugar. "This weight loss can occur relatively quickly — over a few weeks to a couple of months," says registered nurse Sue Cotey, RN, CDCES. "When the glucose doesn't arrive in your cells, your body thinks it's starving and finds a way to compensate. It creates energy by burning fat and muscle at a rapid pace. This causes unexplained weight loss. It's important to remember that unexplained weight loss isn't normal."

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5

Frequent, Foamy Urination

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Frequent urination throughout the night will not only disrupt sleep and make you cranky in the morning, it is also a common sign of diabetes—especially if the urine looks foamy. "If your urine is frothy-looking, or has a foamy consistency, this could be a sign that you have protein in your urine," says Elisabeth Almekinder RN, BA, CDE. "This usually indicates issues with your kidneys, that may include trying to deal with high blood sugars, such as in diabetes. You should see your doctor if you see foam or froth in your urine, and have it evaluated to determine the cause." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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