1. Fatigue Diabetes results in high levels of sugar in your blood, but not enough sugar (or energy) in your cells. As your body works to get your blood sugar down, you may notice less energy than usual. This feeling of tiredness may be particularly evident after a high carbohydrate meal. You may lose interest in hobbies, or just be spent at the end of the day. Exercise may become more difficult than it was in the past.
If you find yourself sitting on the couch more than usual, with no energy or drive to get up and get going, consider having your blood glucose checked.
2. Frequent Urination When your blood glucose levels are high, your body tries to eliminate excess sugar through the kidneys. That is really the only way to excrete sugar from the body (otherwise sugar must be burned for energy or stored as fat). As a result, you may notice that you urinate more frequently than you used to. This can be especially evident at night.
3. Increased Thirst Because of the increased urination described above, and because of increased concentration of glucose in the blood, diabetes often results in increased thirst. Your body is trying to dilute the concentration of sugar, so it sends thirst signals to the brain. This, in turn, increases urination even more.
4. Numbness or Tingling While usually thought of as a late sign of diabetes, one can develop neuropathy, or numbness, tingling, and pain in the extremities very early in the disease. While poorly understood, it is thought that excess blood glucose and the subsequent excess blood insulin results in damage to the sensory nerves in the arms and legs. This often affects the feet before it affects the hands. It has been described as stinging or burning pain, or sometimes just a feeling of numbness.
There are other early warning signs of diabetes and pre-diabetes (also known as insulin resistance), but these are the most common. Unfortunately, many people have no symptoms early on, so it’s important to know the risk factors and have your blood glucose checked regularly if you are at risk.