Diabetes can come with a host of ailments. Some of these ailments might be minor, such as the occasional drop in blood sugar, quickly remedied by a sweet food o drink like juice. Other ailments might have dangerous ramifications, such as poor circulation accompanied by a lower-extremity wound.
Because diabetics are often in and out of doctor’s offices, knowing what requires an immediate doctor or ER visit and what can wait can be difficult. Some symptoms of diabetes should never be ignored, however, and may even require a visit to the closest emergency room.
5 Symptoms Diabetics Should Never Ignore
#1. Difficulty Healing
Some difficulty healing can be expected in diabetes patients with uncontrolled sugar, but is not necessarily a hallmark of having diabetes. If you find that a cut, scrape, muscle pull, or other injury is not healing after a few days or even a week, make a call to your doctor.
Failure to heal could mean your body is not using your medication properly, or you are having a difficult time keeping your blood sugar levels within a normal, healthy range. Treatment may include changing your medication, or simply tweaking your exercise routine.
Dizziness is rarely benign, and usually indicates some type of deficiency. In diabetes, dizziness is often caused by hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. If you find yourself feeling dizzy or faint, your body may be telling you your blood sugar needs a quick lift.
If you find yourself experiencing dizzy spells with increased frequency, speak with your doctor immediately. Prolonged bouts of hypoglycemia can wreak havoc on your health, and can even lead to seizures and coma.
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#3. Overwhelming Fatigue
Being tired after a long day, or feeling sleepy following a night of restless sleep is normal. Being too exhausted to get through the day, or being unable to rouse yourself in the morning, however, are far from normal. Increased fatigue is another symptom of uncontrolled blood sugar, this time indicating high sugar. Check yourself often if you find that you are constantly fatigued to make sure our levels are within a healthy limit.
#4. Emitting a Sweet Smell
It might not seem like a big deal, but having sweet, almost fruity-smelling skin and breath can signal a dangerous condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. In DKA, your body is not processing glucose properly and begins using fat stores to create energy, which can create a reaction in your body akin to starving. Noticing a sweet or fruity smell requires an immediate call to your doctor, and may require a visit to your local emergency department.
#5. Changes in Vision
Vision changes should never go ignored in diabetes. Increased blurriness, floaters, or bright spots can all indicate the presence of high blood sugar (short-term) or nerve damage (long term). If blurriness occurs occasionally, check your levels to make sure they are not too high. If eye changes are constant, you may have a condition called diabetic retinopathy, which requires medical intervention.