The scary truth is that countless people are unknowingly living with high blood sugar. The fact is that type 2 diabetes has hit epidemic levels, affecting more than 30 million Americans (almost 10% of the population), and 25% of those people are living with it unknowingly. Experts estimate that those numbers will soar, leaving 54% of the population with diabetes by 2030. That is just the tip of the iceberg! Over 84 million Americans are prediabetic, which if left unattended, will evolve into type 2 diabetes. What’s more shocking is The National Diabetes Statistics report suggests that not even 12% of people living with prediabetes knew that they had it.
Looking at the flip side, this means that about 88% of those in the beginning stages of diabetes don’t know it and are doing nothing to prevent the devastating fate of this disease.
The first step in preventing and reversing the snowball effect of high blood sugar is knowing you have it. While even later stages of diabetes can be effectively improved and even sometimes reversed completely, it is so much easier to climb out of high blood sugar if you catch it early. Knowing you have high blood sugar is not just the first step in preventing diabetes, it means preventing diabetic complications like heart disease, limb loss, blindness, autoimmune disease, and more. This is not a fate that anyone wants, so if you are experiencing even a few of the seven symptoms below, it’s time to check your insulin and blood sugar levels.
1. Sugar Cravings
If you frequently find yourself heading to the cookie jar, your health may be in trouble. Sugar cravings can mean that your body thinks it’s running on fumes and is prompting you to feed it. In fact, you are not starving, but your body thinks you are because it can’t efficiently turn carbohydrates into fuel for your cells.
Feeling shaky, fatigued, hungry, irritable, or anxious between meals, can mean hypoglycemia. This condition often occurs with high blood sugar and is another sign that your body is not turning food into energy even though you are eating plenty.
3. Fatigue After Eating Carbs
If bread, pasta, sweets, or rice make you feel like you need a nap, your body can’t regulate blood sugar after eating.
This may mean it is pumping out too much insulin, or you may not be producing enough insulin, which still leads to the same fate. Either way, carbs should equal an energy boost, but if the opposite occurs, your blood sugar is off.
4. Chronic Fungal Infections
Fungi love sugar, and when you feed them their favorite food, they will grow and conquer the world–their world just happens to be your body. You have countless strains of tiny microbes that live in your gut and throughout your body. Eating too much sugar and not being able to balance blood sugar means that dangerous microbes like fungus are fed, and your healthy microbes are knocked out. Fungus can grow on the skin and cause dry cracking and itchiness, yeast infections, thrush in the mouth, and even radical symptoms throughout the body like joint pain.
General fatigue is another sign that instead of your body turning carbs into sugar (glucose) and sugar into energy, this process has lost its flow. Instead of sugar fueling cells, it stays in the blood, meaning you have high blood sugar and low energy.
6. Infertility or PCOS
PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is a complex condition that involves not only sex hormones like estrogen but also insulin and other hormones that regulate stress, hunger, and metabolism. If you have PCOS or infertility issues, your risk of developing diabetes is much higher, and you should keep an eye on your insulin and glucose levels.
7. Central Obesity
Extra weight around the midsection, playfully referred to as a “muffin top” or “spare tire,” is nothing to make light of. In fact, this specific type of fat puts you at a high risk for diabetes and other inflammatory conditions. These fat cells produce hormones that damage your body and can be a sign that you are not able to regulate blood sugar.
Now that you know what to look for, don’t waste time if you are experiencing these symptoms. Diabetes is preventable and often reversible. The earlier you catch it, the better chance you have of getting your health back.