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Common symptoms of diabetes.
Do you have diabetes? We share some of the common symptoms, myths about diabetes and how management it whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Managing your day-to-day living can be extremely demanding.
With so much to keep track of daily, you may neglect your health and body causing you to miss out on some obvious signs and symptoms of diabetes, eventually taking its toll on your overall health. Sometimes, these symptoms may catch you unaware or else be undetected. If you show any signs of the following then visit your doctor to check your blood sugar levels.
Blurry vision/blindness – Diabetic Retinopathy
In someone with diabetes, sugar is unable to enter the cells and starts to build up in the blood. After some time, this build up can cause problems in several places throughout the body. For example, high levels of sugar can make the blood vessels in your eyes begin to swell and eventually bleed. When bleeding reaches the back of your eye (the retina), it can cause blurry vision and, in some cases, lead to blindness.
Frequent urination – Kidney problems
High levels of blood sugar may also damage blood vessels that help bring oxygen and nutrients to your kidneys and may even harm the kidney cells. One of the kidneys main functions is to extract waste from the blood, balance your body fluids and produce urine to help remove waste. When there is no oxygen or nutrients going to your kidneys then they have to work overtime to make up for the lack thereof. When this happens, the waste products that your kidneys should be filtering out, start to build up in the blood. If your sugar level continues to increase, your kidneys may stop working altogether. This process is known as kidney failure. Symptoms may include, swelling of the feet, frequent urination, puffiness around the eyes or weakness in certain parts or all over the body, to name a few.
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Numbness/tingling – Nerve damage (Diabetic Neuropathy)
Nerve neuropathy is when you have nerve disorders caused by diabetes. After some time, the high blood sugar levels can harm the small blood vessels that supply your nerves with blood, nutrients and oxygen. Less blood may reach your nerves, as a result, damaging them in the process. If you have experienced or are experiencing ‘burning’, pain, numbness (loss of feeling) or tingling in your arms, hands, legs or feet, vomiting or diarrhoea, those may be symptoms of nerve damage. However, some people may not show any symptoms. If you experience sharp pains or body cramps, please contact your doctor.
Exhaustion can disrupt every aspect of your day, and if it persists, interfere with your daily life. Do you feel tired on most days, even after a good night’s sleep? Or just performing a simple task/s? This may be caused by an imbalance of glucose and amount or effectiveness of insulin. Insulin resistance keeps glucose out of your cells, causing a lack of fuel/energy and excessive thirst, thus resulting in fatigue. Fatigue can also be a result of high levels of glucose, which thicken the blood causing lower circulation, thereby lessening the number of nutrients and oxygen sent to the cells. Low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia can also cause fatigue. Blood sugar, known as glucose, comes from food and is an important energy source that enables your body to complete daily tasks. Avoid fatigue by consuming meals regularly.
Experiencing some symptoms of diabetes may not necessarily mean you have this condition. Contact your doctor to be sure. Early detection and appropriate follow-ups can reduce the risk and severity of these symptoms if you are diagnosed.
We all have questions.
Below are some of the answers to the most common questions that you need to know.
Which is worse – Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes?
“Worse” is a harsh comparison. The difference between these two types of Diabetes is that Type 1 requires insulin, and it never goes away. Type 2 requires consistent effort and can be managed over your lifetime.
What is the normal HbA1C level?
It is generally accepted that you should maintain HbA1C below 8%. The following guidelines are suggested by the South African Diabetes Association:
- 4 – 6% Non-diabetic range.
- < 7% Well-controlled diabetic 7% – 8% Acceptable diabetic control > 8%
- Poor diabetic control needs attention.
What is the main cause of Diabetes?
Diabetes (Type 1) is usually a predisposed or genetically inherited condition. Diabetes (Type 2) is caused by lifestyle choices. Gestational Diabetes can be caused by either genetics or lifestyle choices.
What are the first signs of diabetes?
- Excessive thirst over a prolonged period.
- Increased frequency in the need to urinate.
- Significant weight loss or gain.
- You find yourself fatigued, tired, and irritable, on a regular basis.
- Open or ruptured wounds take a long time to heal.
- Blurred vision.
- Tingling sensations in your hands and feet.
Can you get life insurance if you have Diabetes?
Yes. AllLife can help you get up to R10million life insurance, as either a Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetic.
Can I test myself for Diabetes?
Although you can easily test your own blood glucose levels at any time, only your doctor, nurse, or clinic team can confirm a Diabetes diagnosis. This is because a series of specific tests are required for diagnosis.
Up to R10 million Life Cover for people living with Diabetes.
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What will I be covered for?
With just one phone call, you could be offered comprehensive Diabetic Life Cover and Diabetic Disability Cover (optional). A simple underwriting process is completed once you’ve signed up, usually consisting of common blood tests, to determine if full cover can be continued.
What happens after I‘m covered?
After you’re covered you can enjoy the benefit of our Health Control Programme where we remind and assist you when it comes to regular tests and checkups, ensuring that you live a healthy and happy life.
Remember, life cover gets more expensive as you get older, so your premium will never be lower than it is today.