- Health A-Z
- Diet & Fitness
- Home Remedies
Uncontrolled diabetes is an invitation for several complications, involving almost every part of the body. Therefore, if you have diabetes you need to be aware of these cardinal symptoms; all of which may indicate progression towards a severe condition that needs immediate medical attention.
1. Swelling (edema): If you notice swelling in any part of the body, be it in the hands and feet, in the gums, or around the eyes, you should immediately notify your doctor. High sugar levels cause increased pressure that can damage small capillaries and cause edema and leakage of fluids into the surrounding tissues. This is why swelling is very common in diabetics.
2. Tingling or burning sensation in the feet: Foot problems are common among diabetics due to poor blood circulation. One of the early signs of foot problems is mild numbness and tingling sensation in the feet. Without proper attention, something as trivial as a minor cut can result in foot ulcers, which are susceptible to infection, as a result of peripheral neuropathy.
3. Vision problems: If you start experiencing blurred vision, vision loss or swelling around the eyes, it could indicate diabetic retinopathy. 'As the blood vessels start getting damaged, the retina receives less blood supply. With low blood supply, the oxygen supply also lowers (hypoxia). This is seen as swelling and blood clots on the retina,' says Dr Haresh Asnani, a retina specialist from Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute, Navi Mumbai. It can even lead to complete loss of vision.
4. Early satiety, nausea: If you feel satiated soon after eating or if you experience loss of appetite, there is a good chance that you might be suffering from diabetic gastroparesis, a complication that results in digestion problems among people with diabetes. 'The condition may occur as a result of damage to the vagus nerve that controls contractions of the stomach muscles. So, the food moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract,' explains Dr Pradeep Gadge, consultant diabetologist.
5. Erectile problems: According to statistics mentioned by Rajiv Kovil, consultant diabetologist, around 60-70% of men living with diabetes are bound to experience erectile problems in their lifetime. But what you should know is that erectile dysfunction is treatable. Do not ignore the problem. Instead, make it a point to consult a urologist and get proper treatment.
6. Heaviness or tightness in the chest or chest pain: Diabetics are five times more likely to develop heart disease, as compared to the averaged adult. High blood glucose levels increase your chances of developing atherosclerosis. As a result of reduced or poor blood supply to the heart, tightness in the chest, chest pain or chest discomfort can be an indication of an underlying heart disease.
7. Tooth ache: If you notice bleeding or any sort of swelling in the gums, you should immediately visit a dentist. Periodontal and gum diseases are more common in diabetics compared to those without diabetes.
You may also like to read:
For more on diabetes, check out our diabetes section and Diabetes page. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates! For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter. And to join discussions on health topics of your choice, visit our forum.
Follow us on