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Early Symptoms of Diabetes & The Risk Factors

By Sarah S – Jenny Craig

It can catch you by surprise. Type 2 diabetes may develop gradually, and early symptoms, which can be subtle or seemingly insignificant, may easily go unnoticed or overlooked. Since early symptoms of diabetes may be difficult to spot, it is crucial that you go to your doctor for regular check ups, especially if you are overweight. As with any health issue, the earlier you catch and treat diabetes, the better. Learn about the signs and symptoms to help answer the question, “Are you at risk?”.

Listen to Your Body

How we’re feeling can be a good indicator for everything from stress to the early warning signs of diabetes. Several of the signs of diabetes are common experiences like thirst, hunger, dry skin, or fatigue. What’s different is the intensity or frequency of these diabetes symptoms.1 You need to consider whether what you’re feeling is normal for you and remember we’re all different. Ask yourself the following questions to help pinpoint if these everyday experiences are in fact early warning signs:  


  • Have you noticed an increased thirst and find yourself drinking several more glasses of water than you usually do on a daily basis?
  • Has your hunger increased even though eating and exercise have stayed the same?
  • Are you tired all the time?
  • Do you make frequent bathroom trips to urinate, especially at night?
  • Is your skin unusually dry and itchy? When you get a sore, does it take a long time to heal?
  • Have you noticed that feeling of pins and needles or numbness in your feet and not because they’ve “fallen asleep”?
  • Do you have blurred vision?  


Spotting the early signs of diabetes can sometimes be difficult. Not everyone experiences the same warning signs of diabetes. You may have one of these symptoms, a few, or several. If you have any of them, make an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss getting your blood sugar tested.  


Evaluate Your Risk Factors for Diabetes

Some people don’t experience any signs of diabetes until complications like high blood pressure or heart disease arise. Ask yourself if you have any of the following risk factors, which according to the American Diabetes Association, increase your odds of a diagnosis for Type 2 diabetes:  


  • A family history of diabetes
  • A history of gestational diabetes,
  • if you are a woman
  • Are overweight or obese
  • High blood pressure
  • A low HDL (good) cholesterol and a high triglyceride level
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Are African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, Asian American, or a Pacific Islander.  


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone age 45 or older consider getting tested for diabetes, especially if they are overweight.2 If you are younger than 45, are overweight, and have one or more additional risk factors from the list above, it’s recommended that you see your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested.


The more proactive you are with your health, the more likely you are to slow or reverse the impacts. By educating yourself on the signs and symptoms of diabetes, you may be able to spot any changes in your body as soon as they arise.  


If you are diagnosed with diabetes, a healthy lifestyle (including balanced eating, physical activity and a 5-10% weight loss) can help you better manage your diabetes, prevent its complications, and live a long, healthy life. Learn how Jenny Craig’s diabetic weight loss plan is tailored specifically to people with Type 2 Diabetes. Contact us to book an appointment and learn how you can help manage your diabetes with Jenny Craig!  






[1] http://www.diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/type1and2/index.aspx

[2] http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/prevention.html 


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