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The #1 Sign Your Blood Sugar is "Out of Control"

Here's what to watch out for
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

Blood sugar might sound like an innocuous thing, but it's vital to the body's function, and when it's out of whack, it can cause serious problems. Chronically uncontrolled high blood sugar can lead to diabetes, which can raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia, and blindness. To keep your blood sugar in a healthy range, get it tested regularly and be alert to the most common signs that your blood sugar is out of control, including what is possibly the #1 signal. 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

Frequent Urination

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If you find yourself urinating more than normal, it could be due to what is perhaps the most common sign of high blood sugar. When there's excess sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream, the body tries to eliminate it by flushing it out through the urine. If you notice you're urinating more than is normal for you, check in with your doctor.

2

Thirst

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Frequent urination can cause dehydration, as blood sugar pulls fluid away from other tissues as it leaves the body. That can result in increased feelings of thirst. If you find yourself drinking more and not feeling sated, it's a good idea give a healthcare practitioner a call.

3

Fatigue

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High blood sugar often happens because the body becomes resistant to insulin, the hormone that helps process sugar so cells can use them for energy. Deprived of that energy source, someone with high blood sugar might feel constantly fatigued.

4

Frequent Hunger

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People with very high blood sugar can feel increasingly hungry. Despite eating more, they may keep losing weight. That's because the body is deprived of energy from glucose and demands more food to use as fuel. Chronically high blood sugar may also result in unexpected weight loss, as the body may start to burn excess fat stores for energy.

5

Blurred Vision and Frequent Headaches

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High blood sugar levels can swell and distort the lenses of the eyes, causing blurry or double vision. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes can cause blood vessels in the retina to leak, or abnormal new blood vessels to grow, leading to vision problems. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, diabetic neuropathy is the leading cause of blindness in American adults.

6

Tingling and Numbness 

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Chronically high blood sugar levels 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. It can produce tingling, burning, numbness, decreased sensitivity to pain or temperature or sharp pains or cramps in the affected areas. The symptoms tend to get worse at night. 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