Unless you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes chances are your blood sugar levels aren’t on your radar. Because while your doctor has likely drilled your optimal cholesterol and blood pressure numbers into your head, you’ve likely never had a conversation about blood sugar numbers.
Healthy blood sugar ranges are actually pretty straight-forward…
- Normal when fasting: 100 or below
- Normal before a meal: 70 to 130
- 1 to 2 hours after a meal: 180 or below
If your blood sugar is chronically running too high it’s important to talk with your doctor as soon as possible to avoid serious health consequences. But the problem is if you haven’t been handed a diabetes diagnosis it’s tough to know if you’re even hitting those healthy numbers.
Following are six tell-tale signs that your blood sugar could be running too high. If you recognize any of them make an appointment to see your doc right away.
1. Excessive thirst and urination:
When you have entirely too much glucose surging through your blood stream it forces your kidneys to work overtime to filter some of it out. In their effort to clear your system of the damaging sugar, fluid ends up getting pulled out of your tissues, too. This leads to the dehydration that makes you feel thirsty all the time.
2. Overwhelming fatigue:
Experts aren’t exactly sure what causes this classic high blood sugar symptom, but there are a number of strong theories. Some think it’s linked to the constant blood sugar spikes and crashes. Others believe the unhealthy inflammatory response caused by the excess sugar leads to the fatigue.
The truth is, it’s most likely a combination of factors. But whatever the cause there’s one thing everyone agrees on: high blood sugar can make you feel bone tired.
3. Constant hunger and ballooning weight:
As your kidneys work overtime to filter the sugar out of your blood, it can interfere with your body getting to the fuel it needs to function properly. This causes you to feel hungry all the time, which leads to overeating and higher numbers on the bathroom scale.
Plus, to make matters worse, the high blood sugar also triggers your body to create more insulin. And because one of the insulin’s main jobs is to signal your body to stop burning fat and begin storing even more of it, this can cause you to pack on pound too.
4. Blurred vision:
With your kidney’s working overtime pulling fluids from all over your body the tissues in your eyes can be affected too. Without the proper fluid balance in your eyes it can become hard to focus, leaving you with blurry vision.
5. Tingling, burning, or numbness in your hands or feet:
If left untreated for too long high blood sugar can cause nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy. These neuropathies are especially noticeable in your hands, arms, feet and legs. Eventually, the nerve damage can lead to losing most of the feeling in your hands and feet, so it’s important to never ignore this symptom.
6. Bleeding gums:
Perhaps the most surprising, and least recognized, symptom of high blood sugar is bleeding gums. Elevated glucose levels limit your body’s ability to fight the bacteria that set up shop in your mouth, making you more susceptible to gum disease. If your gums start bleeding when you brush, or you notice they are pulling away from your teeth, it’s time to talk to your doctor, as well as your dentist.
You should ask your doctor to check your blood sugar levels at your annual physical. But then don’t wait for a whole year before you think about them again. Instead keep an eye out for any of these tell-tale signs to help head off blood sugar problems before they progress.