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If You Notice This on Your Body, Have Your Blood Sugar Checked

It's an important set of numbers to keep track of.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Blood sugar may not get the hype of cholesterol, but it's an important set of numbers to keep track of. Chronically high blood sugar can lead to diabetes, which can have destructive effects on many major systems of the body. Aside from following your doctor's advice on when to get your blood sugar checked, be alert to some of the early signs of high blood sugar, which can be subtle. If you notice these symptoms on or about your body, it's a good idea to have your blood sugar tested. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Slow-Healing Wounds

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According to the Cleveland Clinic, cuts or sores that are slow to heal might be a sign that your blood sugar is too high. This happens because excessive blood sugar can cause the arteries to stiffen and narrow, compromising the circulation of oxygen and nutrients necessary for wounds to heal. 

2

Frequent Skin Infections

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Having recurrent skin infections might also be a sign that your blood sugar is too high. These can be caused by a compromised immune system, which can be caused by excessive blood sugar. 

3

These Sensations on Your Skin

Swollen feet
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Chronically high blood sugar can damage nerves throughout the body, a condition called diabetic neuropathy. The most common form is peripheral neuropathy, which affects the feet, legs, hands and arms. You may feel tingling, burning, numbness, decreased sensitivity to pain or temperature, or sharp pains or cramps in the affected areas. Experts say your skin may also seem frequently dry or hot, and the symptoms may get worse in the evening.

4

Unexpected Weight Loss

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People with high blood sugar may feel hungry more frequently. That's because high blood sugar actually prevents your body from using sugar (glucose) for fuel, so the body demands more food. But even eating more might lead to weight loss, as the body may start to burn fat stores for energy.

5

Blurred Vision

Woman rubbing her eyes.
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High blood sugar can cause the lenses of the eye to swell and become distorted, leading to blurry or double vision. Diabetes can cause blood vessels in the retina to leak, or abnormal new blood vessels to grow, leading to vision problems and a condition called diabetic retinopathy. It's the leading cause of blindness in American adults. 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.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more about Michael