Despite increasing awareness about the growing danger of high blood sugar, the type 2 diabetes epidemic shows no real signs of slowing down.
Over 30 million Americans have already been diagnosed, with another 1.5 million folks added to the rolls every year. And over 35 percent of American seniors 65 or older have the disease.
The trouble is the fact that you have high blood sugar isn’t always obvious. In fact, experts estimate there are over seven million Americans with diabetes who are still undiagnosed.
Unexpected signs of high blood sugar
Most of us are aware of a couple of the more obvious signs of high blood sugar such as being thirsty all the time or having to pee a lot.
But it turns out there are a number of other surprising symptoms that your numbers are too high. And knowing what to look for can help you get your sugar back under control before it’s too late.
Following are five surprising symptoms of high blood sugar to watch for.
1. Memory loss or lack of focus:
High blood sugar can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. The elevated glucose can damage your blood vessels.
But what does an increased risk of heart attack have to do with brain health? Well those same blood vessels that move the blood to your heart also shuttle it to your brain.
Experts say the reduced circulation caused by damaged blood vessels can show up as memory loss, confusion, brain fog and possibly even Alzheimer’s disease. When German researchers scanned the brains of folks with high blood sugar, they found that lack of blood flow had caused notable shrinkage in all areas of the volunteer’s brains. This included the hippocampus, which controls memory.
2. Ringing in the ears:
If you’ve been experiencing unexplained ringing in your ears, you might want to check your blood sugar. It turns out that the same circulation issues that can trigger brain fog could also be behind tinnitus.
Impaired circulation caused by high blood sugar can lead to nerve damage in your ears. If you’re hearing phantom noises, from a dull roar to a humming or ringing, it’s worth asking your doc to check your blood sugar levels.
3. Blurry eyesight:
As we age, our vision can start to decline which is why this sign of high blood sugar often goes unnoticed. If you assumed your suddenly blurry vision was simply because of aging eyes it’s a good idea to get a second opinion from a guy with some letters behind his name.
High blood sugar can cause the lenses of your eyes to swell and change shape. This can make it hard to focus, leaving the world looking fuzzy.
Left unchecked long term damage such as cataracts, glaucoma and permanent vision loss can occur. But catch the issue early and the blurriness can be reserved and long-term damage prevented.
If you’re experiencing fuzzy vision, have your blood sugar checked and schedule an eye exam to cover your bases.
4. Tummy troubles:
If you’ve been battling tummy troubles but have been unable to find a cause, high blood sugar could be the culprit. It turns out elevated blood sugars can wreak havoc with your vagus nerve, which helps control how fast you digest foods.
The nerve damage slows down the digestion process. This can lead to all sorts of stomach problems including cramps, gas, bloating, heartburn and constipation. To make matters worse the slowed digestion can cause your blood sugar to climb even further, and make it difficult to control, triggering a cycle that’s hard to break.
If you’re fighting unexplained digestion problems, check for high blood sugar. If your numbers are elevated, bringing them back down could help put those stomach complaints to rest.
5. Gum disease:
You may already be aware that elevated blood sugar can cause you to feel thirsty. It turns out, over the long term, that constantly dry mouth makes you more susceptible to cavities and gum disease.
But the attack on your teeth doesn’t end there. The increased glucose in your bloodstream shows up in your saliva too, and that can lead to increased plaque buildup, cavities and gum disease. You can avoid this a one-two punch to the kisser by getting your blood sugar back under control.
Don’t let soaring sugars catch you off guard. Keep your eyes peeled for these five surprising symptoms of high blood sugar.