The nonstop bathroom trips, numbness in the hands and the feet and the unquenchable thirst are the most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes. However, there are some other silent and subtle signs which indicate that there may be some problems with the sugar levels. We offer you a list of 5 surprising symptoms of diabetes below.
1. Loud and often snoring
According to Osama Hamdy, MD, director of inpatient diabetes management at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, about half of type 2 diabetes patients have sleep-disordered breathing. It is highly recommended to check your sugar levels in case you are diagnosed with this condition- loud snoring and daytime sleepiness. A study which was made recently in Canada showed that 23% of patients who are diagnosed with moderate or mild obstructive( sleep apnea) which is a common sleep disorder, are likely to develop diabetes in 5 ½ years. The relation between the two is still not completely clear but there is certainly one important link: People suffering from sleep-disordered breathing release stress hormones during sleep and this can affect the blood sugar levels, meaning to increase them.
2. Unpleasant skin changes
The skin changes indicate that something is wrong with your blood sugar levels. If you notice some dark patches in the folds of skin, usually on the elbows, knuckles or the back of the neck, you need to check your sugar levels because this is a sign of too high sugar levels. Sanjiy Saini, MD, a dermatologist in Edgarwater, Maryland states that even though the skin disorder (acanthosis nigricans) can be associated with genetics or some hormonal conditions, they can be a sign of high blood sugar levels as well. “High insulin levels promote the growth of skin cells and melanin, a pigment in these cells, makes the patches dark”- he says. In addition, he explains that the test may show that the patient already has diabetes or it will just detect that levels of sugar are higher than normal, meaning that the patient is getting close to developing the disease. This condition can be solved with losing weight( 10 pounds) which leads to lowering the blood sugar levels or the dermatologist can treat it with topical retina A or laser therapy.
3. The hearing is not as it used to be
In case you can`t get through a conversation without asking people to repeat what they have said or you need to crank the volume on the TV in order to hear better, then you definitely need to visit your doctor and ask for a blood sugar test. According to one study made by the National Institute of Health, hearing loss can be a silent symptom of diabetes. The researchers claim that diabetes damages the blood vessels and the nerves of the inner ear which leads to sub-par hearing. People whose blood sugar levels are higher than normal were 30% more likely to encounter some hearing problems in comparison to the ones whose glucose levels are normal and healthy.
4. Sudden improvement of the vision
Unfortunately, being able to get rid of your glasses suddenly is not good news. According to Howard Baum, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the diabetes division at Vanderbilt University, the blurry vision which is commonly treated as diabetes symptom is not very reliable because the vision can actually change for both better and worse. “I’ve had patients who tell me that their vision has improved when their blood sugars were elevated, and then after they start treating their diabetes, they needed their glasses again- he says. Diabetes affects the eyesight in the following way- it causes fluid levels in the body to shift around (including the eyes) and that leads to erratic eyesight.
5. Unrelenting itchiness
If you feel embarrassed to visit your doctor as a result of an unrelenting itchiness you need to know that it is a condition you don’t need to be embarrassed by. On the contrary, it is associated with diabetes which is a serious issue. Diabetes actually impairs blood circulation which leads to dryness and itchiness of the skin. As Baum puts it: “Some of my newly diagnosed diabetes patients mention they’re itchy on their extremities—the hands, lower legs, and feet—so it’s something doctors should consider in conjunction with other symptoms”. So, if you feel an unrelenting itchiness and a moisturizer don’t help, you need to consult your doctor immediately.