Would You Recognize these Diabetes Symptoms?
The government of Canada estimates that 60,000 new cases of type 2 diabetes crop up every year, making it one of the country’s fastest-growing diseases. Yet many people don’t realize that diabetes symptoms extend far beyond feelings of occasional sluggishness.
Diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough (or can’t effectively use) insulin to transport energy-providing glucose. In type 1 diabetes, which usually develops in childhood, your pancreas doesn’t generate any of the hormone. In type 2—which usually develops after age 40 and accounts for roughly 90 per cent of all diabetes cases—your body makes too little insulin, or your cells become resistant to it. All these scenarios allow glucose to build up in the blood, which can lead to serious consequences.
Type 2 diabetes can result from obesity and a poor diet combined with a sedentary lifestyle, or due to genetics and environmental factors. Dr. Jan Hux, chief science officer at the Canadian Diabetes Association, says in most cases it’s a progressive disease that requires medication to manage its numerous risks.
If you have the condition, here are diabetes symptoms and side-effects you should look out for.
Heart and Stroke
A buildup of glucose is hazardous to your vascular system. In extreme cases, blocked arteries can lead to heart attacks or strokes; according to the Canadian Diabetes Association, those with the condition can develop heart disease 10 to 15 years earlier than the general population.
Eyes and Ears
High blood-sugar levels can have significant effects on smaller blood vessels. For example, this can cause overgrowth and potential bursting of vessels behind the eye, near the retina, which is why diabetes is a leading cause of blindness.
High blood pressure can pose a similar risk in your ear canal. While the precise cause isn’t yet known, the American Diabetes Association reports that diabetics are twice as likely as non-diabetics to suffer hearing loss.