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Warning Signs of Diabetes: When to See Your Doctor

Diabetes is a serious and chronic medical condition. Type II diabetes is a form of diabetes where the body is unable to regulate its main source of energy -sugar or glucose. After we digest food, it is broken down into glucose. Insulin then directs glucose into the body’s cells, which is how we get our energy. In type II diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin or the cells respond poorly to insulin. In both cases, the body can’t effectively use the food we eat to get its energy.


Diabetes is a serious and chronic medical condition. Type II diabetes is a form of diabetes where the body is unable to regulate its main source of energy -sugar or glucose. After we digest food, it is broken down into glucose. Insulin then directs glucose into the body’s cells, which is how we get our energy. In type II diabetes, the body either does not produce enough insulin or the cells respond poorly to insulin. In both cases, the body can’t effectively use the food we eat to get its energy.

Symptoms of type II diabetes

  • Increased thirst

  • Frequent urination

  • Increased hunger

  • Unintended weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Blurred vision

  • Frequent infections

  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet

Warning signs of diabetes

Type II diabetes is not inevitable. Additionally, it is much easier to prevent diabetes than it is to manage this long-term, chronic condition once diagnosed. Type II diabetes is very much driven by the lifestyle choices we make. The following are some warning signs of diabetes

1. Your body mass index (BMI) is much higher than normal.

A normal BMI ranges from 18.5 – 24.9. If your BMI is higher than this, a healthier diet and exercise are the best ways you can get back on track.

What you can do: Measure your own BMI today. BMI is a measure of weight and height. BMI does not diagnose how healthy you are but it does provide a rough estimate of where your weight falls: Underweight, normal, overweight or obese

How to measure BMI:

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/index.html#Interpreted

2. You have a high cholesterol level

What you can do: Get your cholesterol level checked at your next doctor’s appointment. Make this a priority. If your cholesterol is high, start monitoring your diet by sticking to healthy food options or adopting the ‘Mediterranean diet’ – a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and olive oil

3. Recognizes when you’re not getting enough exercise

What you can do: Aim for physical activity at least 3 times a week for 20 minutes a day. Start slowly with exercises like walking or swimming then gradually push yourself a little harder.

4. Pay attention to the symptoms mentioned above, in particular: Increased thirst, frequent urination and excess hunger.

What you can do: Make an appointment to see your doctor if these symptoms appear.

Tips to help reduce your risk of diabetes

  • Get plenty of fiber – Fiber may help you reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control

  • Drink water instead of sweetened beverages

  • Be sure to speak to your doctor about getting your cholesterol, BMI and HbA1c checked

All of these steps, while small can lead to positive change. Start easy, set realistic goals for yourself and find something that motivates you.

Between routine checkups, looking out for some of the signs above and staying on top of your health, you’ll be able to spot any early warning signs of diabetes and take steps to make changes immediately.

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