9 Early Warning Signs of Diabetes to Recognize for a Timely Diagnosis

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6. Itchy skin

As mentioned above, when excess sugar is excreted into your urine, it takes along fluids from your other tissues, including your skin (your largest organ!). Dry skin can make you itchy, and scratching those dry patches can lead to your skin getting broken and even infected. Another reason for itchy skin is yeast infections, which are fairly common in people with diabetes.

If you have diabetes, learn some basic skin care tips to keep your skin healthy.


7. Slow healing

Cuts and wounds that heal very slowly can often be a symptom of diabetes. High blood sugar not only increases inflammation in cuts and sores but also leads to poor blood circulation, making it hard for blood to reach and repair damaged areas of skin. This especially concerns feet, and it is not uncommon for patients with diabetes to develop foot sores that might lead to more serious problems.

If you’ve noticed that your cuts and wounds take longer to heal than before, be sure to mention it to your physician.

8. Dark patches of skin

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin condition that presents itself in dark patches of skin with a velvety texture. These patches usually appear in areas where skin creases or folds: on the neck, in the armpits, in the groin, inside the elbows, behind the knees, and on the knuckles of fingers.

While this condition can affect otherwise healthy people, it is a common sign of prediabetes or diabetes and should be examined by your physician.

9. Numb or tingling hands or feet

Numbness, tingling, or pain in the hands or feet (or fingers or toes) is another common sign of diabetes. As mentioned above, high blood sugar leads to poor blood circulation, and that, in turn, leads to nerve damage. Hands and feet, being the body parts farthest from the heart, suffer first.

As with many other symptoms on this list, keeping your blood sugar in check will help you greatly, and your circulation should improve.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can lead to many serious complications if left untreated. The earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it will be to manage it and the longer your life will be. If you notice any of these symptoms, especially several of them combined, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

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