High blood sugar may not get as many headlines as health concerns like COVID, heart disease and cancer. But chronically high blood sugar—commonly known as diabetes—is a silent epidemic in the US, a condition that can cause serious health consequences and can even be fatal. To protect yourself, have your blood sugar checked regularly and be aware of the potential signals that it’s elevated. These are some sure signs that your blood sugar is too high. If you notice any of them, it’s worth giving your doctor a call. 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.
One of the most common signs of high blood sugar is urinating more than what’s normal for you. That happens because when sugar (glucose) builds up in the bloodstream, the body tries to flush it out through urine. If you’re urinating more frequently than usual, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor.
Another common symptom of high blood sugar is frequent thirst. Increased urination can cause dehydration on two fronts—urinating more often deprives the body of fluids, and blood sugar actually leaches fluid away from tissues as it leaves the body. That can result in increased thirst, and drinking more water may not satisfy it.
Blood sugar often becomes chronically elevated because the body has become resistant to insulin, the hormone that helps cells use sugar for energy. Lacking that energy source, someone with high blood sugar might feel frequently fatigued.
People with high blood sugar may feel hungry more frequently, and they might lose weight despite eating more. That’s because the body, deprived of energy from glucose, 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 fat stores for energy.
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.
High blood sugar levels can swell and distort the lenses of the eyes, causing 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. This is called diabetic retinopathy. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, diabetic neuropathy is 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 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