Are your Symptoms Normal Signs of Aging?

As you approach your 50’s, you may definitely notice signs of aging. Maybe your vision is blurry, or your hearing is muffled? Those small cuts you get in the garden or bruises that pop up out of the blue may not heal as quickly as they used to. Before you ignore these and other symptoms as part of the aging process, pay attention as they may be indicators of diabetes.

As you age, your risk for developing type 2 diabetes increases, especially if you are overweight (even if by only 10 pounds). “Family history, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol and being African American, Latino, American Indian, or Asian can also put you at risk,” says the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). You may have type 2 diabetes and not even know it because the signs are subtle. There are 7 million Americans living with type 2 diabetes and don’t even know it according to the AADE. Type 1 diabetes is more common in children and young adults. Type 2 affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose). This is your body’s main source of energy. A healthy body turns glucose into energy. In people with type 2 diabetes the glucose continues to build, leading to high blood sugar, causing various symptoms.

Our friends from the AADE recommend asking your doctor about getting tested for diabetes if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, particularly if you are 45 or older.

Are you noticing any of the following?

Difficulty hearing or seeing – Does it feel like everyone is mumbling around you? Are you finding yourself squinting to clear your blurry vision? When glucose builds up in the blood stream it can damage your eyesight by distorting the shape of the lens in your eye causing the blurriness. Hearing loss is twice as common in diabetic patients. This might be caused by diabetes damaging the blood vessels and nerves in the ears (in addition to the rest of your body).

Tired and grouchy often – As we age, we tend to get tired more frequently. Being tired and grouchy may be an indicator of type 2 diabetes. In this case, your body doesn’t effectively convert glucose to energy and so you feel exhausted all the time. The grouchy part usually falls in line when you are tired all the time.

Noticing odd symptoms like frequent itching – There are other unexpected indications of diabetes that may include:
o Dry skin.
o Itchy skin.
o Development of darkening and velvety patches of skin around the neck or other parts of the body.
o Cuts and bruises that don’t heal.
o Tingling and numbness of the hands and feet.

These symptoms occur because the blood vessels and nerves are damaged by the excessive amounts of glucose in your body.

Hangry all the time – When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t use glucose effectively, therefore it needs more fuel to try to turn it to energy causing that hungry feeling all the time.

Going to the restroom more than usual and always thirsty – These two signs of diabetes are related. If you have diabetes, your body tries to ‘dump’ the glucose that’s building up in your bloodstream which is what causes you to have to urinate frequently. In turn, you are often thirsty because your body is trying to replenish your water supply, so you don’t become dehydrated.

These symptoms and more, may warrant a visit with your NOAH Care Team to discuss whether you should be tested for diabetes. The bright side is that diabetes is manageable and more importantly, at NOAH, we educate our patients on all aspects of diabetes management. Whether it is medicine set up and review, nutrition and diet planning or maybe sitting down with one of our counselors to talk about your new diagnosis and the steps you can take to feel fully confident in managing it at home. Either way, we’ve got you covered!

As we age into our 50’s you can’t help but notice signs of aging – from #vision and #hearing difficulties to #dryitchyskin and feeling #hangry all the time! Could these symptoms be indicators of diabetes? Our Care Team at NOAH will work with you and your #family to choose the best path for overall #health and #wellness. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545! #counseling #behavioralhealth #familypractice #pediatrics #communityresources #prenatalservices #nutrition
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