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High Blood Sugar: 8 Warning Signs You May Be at Risk

High Blood Sugar: 8 Warning Signs You May Be at Risk
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By    |   Sunday, 24 September 2017 08:02 PM

Like high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar can be a silent threat to your health. Both problems may not show any obvious symptoms until a lot of damage is done to blood vessels and organs.

“The problem with high blood sugar is that, initially, most people don’t feel bad from it, and it can climb higher and higher as the months go on,” says Veronica Brady, a family nurse practitioner and spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators. “It can lead to really bad outcomes.”

High blood sugar, also called hyperglycemia, is the defining trait of diabetes. Sugar in the form of glucose is used by the body to make energy, but when there is an excess, your body starts losing the ability to process glucose properly. More of it stays in the blood, wreaking havoc throughout the body.

“High sugar levels cause a lot of inflammation, which affects the way the organs function,” Brady tells Newsmax Health. “Glucose also damages blood vessels, so people get impaired circulation.”

All of that can contribute to heart disease, kidney failure, stroke, vision loss, erectile dysfunction, and even amputation of extremities. High blood sugar also weakens the immune system, causes nerve pain called neuropathy, and some experts believe it fuels the growth of cancer cells.

The best way to avoid this calamity is to make sure your doctor checks your blood sugar, via a blood test, during your annual visit. If you skip those yearly checkups, you may have a serious problem and not even realize it. And even if do see a doc once a year, you still don’t want to be going months on end with potentially damaging blood sugar levels.

Fortunately, there are a few warning signs of high blood sugar that should send you on your way to a checkup:

Overwhelming fatigue: If you start to feel completely drained, it could be due to high sugar levels causing inflammation of blood vessels. Researchers say that sends immune cells called monocytes into the brain, triggering fatigue. Another reason is that sugary blood is gloppy and doesn’t circulate as well, robbing the cells of oxygen and nutrients needed to generate energy.

Excessive thirst: The more sugar you have in your blood, the harder the kidneys have to work to filter it out. To do so, they draw fluid from bodily tissues, drying them out. You’ll feel it in your mouth.

Frequent urination: All that fluid your kidneys are using to filter the glucose out of your blood has to go somewhere.

Constant hunger and weight gain: Excessive sugar in the blood inhibits the ability of insulin to transport glucose into cells to create energy. Lacking fuel prompts the body to crave more food, which is likely to raise blood sugar even higher. Not only will you eat more, but the added insulin dumped into your system to deal with all the sugar promotes fat storage. It’s a lose-lose situation in which you gain-gain — weight, that is.

Tingling, numbness, or burning in extremities: This is a sign of neuropathy and is typically caused by a long duration of high sugar levels. No one is sure why sugar damages nerve cells, but it could be due to inhibited blood flow cutting supplies of nutrients to the cells and/or inflammation from a sugar-spawned autoimmune response. In any case, it will usually be felt first in the feet and legs.

Blurry vision: This may be one of the first signs of high blood sugar. The excess sugar causes fluid to leak into the lens of the eye, swelling it and distorting focus. Fortunately, it clears up once you get your blood sugar under control.

Headache: Another early warning sign of blood sugar trouble, headaches can be sparked by the kidneys dumping too much fluid. That results in dehydration, which can cause a pounding noggin.

Gum disease: Bacteria feed on sugar, and high levels often show up as gum disease. If your gums get red, tender or swollen, pull away from the teeth or bleed when you brush or floss, high blood sugar may be the culprit.

© 2019 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

   
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High blood sugar can be a silent threat to your health, increasing your diabetes risk. But hyperglycemia doesn’t always cause obvious symptoms and can cause subtle changes. Here's what to look for.
blood, sugar, diabetes, warning, signs, symptoms, risk
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2017-02-24
Sunday, 24 September 2017 08:02 PM
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