6. “Pins and Needles” in Your Hands or Feet
A typical sign of early diabetes is a sensation like tingling or numbness in your hands and feet. Often this can happen when your first wake up and in some people it can even feel like your hands or feet are burning. This is a sign that sugar is lingering in your blood and is damaging your nerves (11).
7. Blurred vision
Sudden or growing bouts of blurred vision or seeing ‘floaters,’ is another symptom of diabetes.
As we age it is normal for our vision to deteriorate some, but in cases of diabetes, excess sugar can pull fluids from your cells and tissues, including your eyes, which can cause swelling and actually change its shape, which can affect your vision. This condition can improve, however, when you get your blood sugar levels under control (12).
8. Dry, Itchy Skin
There are plenty of reasons why your skin can become dry and itchy (thyroid for one), but if your skin begins to become excessively itchy it can signal high sugar levels.
Another skin problem in diabetics is what is called acanthosis nigricans, which is a condition in which the skin darkens around your armpits or neck.
This is caused by poor circulation and even excessive fluid loss from having to pee too much and insulin resistance (13). If you see any of these changes in your skin, speak to your doctor who can have your glucose levels tested.
9. Slow Healing Wounds or Cuts
When you have high blood sugar, often it is harder for your skin to heal.
People with this condition will find they bruise easier and that small cuts seem to take a long time to heal.
The farther the body part is away from the heart, the worse the condition because the excess glucose in the body starts to damage the arteries and veins, which ultimately restricts your circulation.
Because blood is required to help heal wounds, when you have poor circulation, the healing process will also be impeded (14).
10. Feeling Shaky
People with unstable sugar levels can often find they feel unsteady and need to eat carbs in order to stave off the feeling.
According Marjorie Cypress, the 2014 president of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association, when your glucose levels drop it can leave you feeling shaky so you crave sugar or carbohydrates to give you that extra boost.
The issue is that when you eat something high in carbs, your body “shoots out” too much insulin, which causes your glucose to drop quickly. “This can lead to a vicious cycle,” warns Cypress.
And so, if you find you are regularly having these issues, you should speak to your doctor.
What Can You Do?
If you experience any of these symptoms, or especially if you experience several of them, talk to your physician who can easily test your blood sugar levels. Having an early diagnosis can greatly improve your odds at preventing these symptoms from worsening and becoming dangerous and even permanent.