5 Strange Symptoms That Could Be Early Signs of Diabetes
Besides the well-known symptoms—like constant thirst and a frequent need to pee—here are a few other subtle signals that something may be wrong.
Many people who develop type 2 diabetes have no idea they’re sick until a blood test shows abnormal blood sugar levels, or until their disease progresses and serious complications start to occur. “For the most part, diabetes is silent and insidious,” says Ronald Tamler, MD, director of the Mount Sinai Clinical Diabetes Institute. “Most of the time people have no symptoms early on.”
In some cases, though, there are sneaky signs. Some early diabetes symptoms are well-known: constant thirst, excessive urination, or sudden weight gain or loss, for example. Others, like the ones below, are more easily missed—by medical professionals and patients alike. If you’re experiencing any of these, be sure to bring them up with your doctor.
Inflamed or infected gums
Periodontitis—also known as gum disease—may be an early sign of type 2 diabetes, according to new research published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care. The study found that people with gum disease, especially those with severe cases, had higher rates of diabetes (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) and pre-diabetes than those without.
The connection between gum disease and diabetes isn’t new, says Dr. Tamler, and it appears to go both ways: Having either condition seems to increase the risk of developing the other. “Inflammation caused by gum disease eggs on the same factors that are responsible for high blood sugar that cause diabetes,” he says. Continue reading