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5 Lesser Known & Unusual Symptoms of Diabetes

Know about unknown or unusual symptoms of diabetes that are often ignored.

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Diabetes is a condition in which the body either cannot produce enough insulin or cannot use the produced insulin properly. The first case lack of insulin production is type 1 diabetes and improper use of insulin is type 2 diabetes. Both types result in too much glucose in the blood.

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that helps regulate the amount of glucose in the blood and allows the body to use sugar from carbohydrates for energy. Lack of insulin prevents the use of sugar in the cells and results in accumulation in the bloodstream.

Diabetes is a chronic, progressive illness but many people fail to understand the symptoms and let the condition worsen overtime. Diabetes symptoms differ from person to person. Here are a few signs and symptoms that are often ignored.

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1. Nausea

Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of diabetes since the condition causes issues related to digestion and blood sugar levels. The causes of nausea due to diabetes may be because of:

  • Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar

  • Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis is a case when ketones in your blood increase to dangerous levels

  • Pancreatitis is swelling of the pancreas

  • Gastroparesis or partial paralysis of the stomach

  • At times, even the prescription medications cause nausea or vomiting due to a delay in gastric emptying. This usually occurs when you first begin the drug but symptoms reduce as the body gets used to it.

2. Dry Mouth

High blood sugar levels may also cause dry mouth in people with diabetes. Everyone develops dry mouth occasionally thus we tend to ignore it at times thinking it may go away on its own but if you have dry mouth for a long time, it may result in:

  • Bad breath

  • Cracked or chapped lips.

  • Loose teeth

  • Mouth sores.

  • Wider spaces in the teeth.

  • Burning sensation in your mouth or throat.

  • Rough tongue.

  • Sticky, thick or stringy spit.

  • Trouble chewing, swallowing or talking.

3. Itching

Itching is a common issue in diabetic patients but it gets ignored thinking that it may be a seasonal allergy or skin rash. It is a condition of diabetic polyneuropathy that develops when diabetes leads to nerve damage resulting in certain skin conditions that develop because of diabetes and cause itchy skin.

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Itching can occur due to damaged nerve fibers in the outer layers of skin. Other cause of diabetes-related itching may be diabetic polyneuropathy or peripheral neuropathy that develop when high blood glucose levels cause damage to nerve fibers, especially in the feet and hands.

Before nerve damage begins to occur in people with diabetes, high levels of cytokines circulate the body, inflammatory substances that cause itching.

4. Irritability

There might be chances of you feeling frequently irritated or being moody for no reason and this may be a hidden sign of undiagnosed diabetes.

Diabetes can result in rapid shifts in blood sugar sugar levels and blood sugar levels can contribute to rapid shifts in mood thus changes in blood sugar levels can cause changes in mood. But as the blood sugar levels become normal, the mood swings also subside.

5. Dizziness 

Undiagnosed diabetes can also cause dizziness and it may be in patients with either type of diabetes- type 1 or type 2. It can be a sign of either high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and that is why it becomes difficult to respond to the symptom depending on high or low blood sugar level.

Dizziness can be caused by excessive urination when your glucose levels are too high and the body rids itself of extra glucose in the bloodstream causing dehydration and dizziness.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Diabetes 

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