We all tend to sweep certain nagging symptoms under the rug in an effort to just get through the day. After all, aches and pains are part of life. But when the minor issues stack up in a certain way, they point to a greater problem that presents a major risk to your life! Have your friends or even you complained lately of being too tired to hang out, or too spaced out to really engage? Chronic high blood glucose could be a problem.
When fatigue is triggered by high blood glucose, it’s because your body is not storing or using glucose properly. Cells don’t get the fuel they need and so you may feel totally sapped of energy. But if you follow your instinct to grab a high-carb snack for that quick energy boost, your blood glucose will rise even more and only add to the problem.
Chronic high blood glucose tends to damage nerves all over the body. When that damage occurs to the optic, cranial, or peripheral nerves or nerve roots, frequent headaches can result. It’s true that there are many other causes for headaches, but any recurring, intense headaches that are out of the ordinary for you should be checked out by a doctor.
3. Dry And Itchy Skin
Chronic high blood glucose causes dehydration, which in turn affects all parts of the body, including the skin. Poor blood circulation is another side effect of high blood sugar that can contribute to dry, itchy skin, especially on the feet and lower legs. Finally, associated nerve damage has the potential to interfere with your sweat glands and contribute to overall dry skin.
4. Diarrhea Or Constipation
It may seem strange that one condition can cause both diarrhea and constipation, but it’s because the large and small intestine actually functions quite differently. The small intestine absorbs nutrients from digested food, while the large intestine absorbs water from indigestible waste. So when nerve damage from high blood glucose affects the small intestine, the material is delayed there, leading to yucky gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
5. Slow Healing Cuts Or Sores
When you have chronic high blood glucose, the body’s chemical control system that directs healing is disrupted. Plus, nerve damage affects the amount of oxygen the area can get and oxygen is critical to healing. If you have any cuts or sores that just aren’t healing even though you’ve resisted the urge to pick or scratch at them, get to a doctor ASAP.
6. Cold Or Numb Feet
Your body has a bunch of different defense mechanisms to combat high blood glucose, but they can cause collateral damage. One typical issue is poor circulation due to blood vessels that have narrowed and hardened. You’ll typically feel coldness due to poor circulation in the extremities more than other places. Numbness in the extremities is caused by nerve damage, also due to insufficient blood supply over time.
7. Excessive Urination
If you suddenly find yourself running to the bathroom all day long, you may have a condition called polyuria. This happens when cells pump water into the bloodstream in an effort to flush out excess sugar. Meanwhile, the kidneys become overwhelmed and unable to filter the water back into cells.
8. Weight Loss
High blood glucose can cause weight loss even as appetite and food consumption spikes. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, it’s actually quite dangerous. There are a couple of reasons for this phenomenon. First is simply that frequent urination (caused by the polyuria) reduces water weight. This high volume of urine is also loaded with wasted calories. Second, if your insulin levels are too low to metabolize the glucose in your system, the body burns fat instead of available fuel. You will starve no matter how much you eat.
9. Blurred Vision
Blurred vision is another symptom of the overall dehydration that occurs with high blood glucose, because the body pulls fluid out of all cells, including the eyes. When the lens becomes dehydrated, it temporarily warps, causing blurriness. Chronic high blood glucose can also lead to a condition called retinopathy, or damage to the back of the eye. Retinopathy, left unchecked, can result in blindness.