The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that in 2015 over 12% of American adults had diabetes. Other sources estimate that 40% of US adults have prediabetes. Chances are if you’re reading this blog it’s because you or someone you love might be one of them. You may be overweight or obese, which are both risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Maybe your doctor told you that you are at risk, or that you need to take a fasting glucose tolerance test.
If you think you are at risk or that you might have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, you need to know the symptoms. This is what high blood sugar feels like:
- You might have a headache
- You might find it hard to concentrate, or feel mentally “fuzzy”
- You might be thirsty or hungry
- You might feel very tired
- Your vision may be blurry
- Your mouth might feel very dry
- You might be bloated
- You might have to urinate a lot
- You might feel sick to your stomach or want to throw up
Each symptom seems small enough that you might not think about them as being indicative of something larger. And you might not have all of the symptoms all at the same time. You might only have one or two, or a few. It wouldn’t be that abnormal to have a headache and feel tired one day. But, when you think about these symptoms as a collection of symptoms, you might be able to see that they are indicating something larger.
If you have been having high blood sugar for a while and haven’t diagnosed or treated it, you may be displaying the 3 hallmark symptoms of diabetes:
- Weight loss (despite being hungry and eating enough)
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
In addition, people with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes may also have numbness or tingling in their extremities, blurred vision or blindness, wounds that won’t heal, and infections. These are all results of having high blood sugar for a significant period of time.
Weight loss surgery patients, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients, are a high risk of having high blood sugar due to their obesity or overweight status. One benefit to weight loss following bariatric surgery is a reduced risk of developing high blood sugar, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes. But, Dr. Shillilngford would like his gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, lap band, and prospective bariatric patients to know what symptoms to look for to indicate high blood sugar so that it can be detected and treated before it becomes type 2 diabetes and before damage can be done to their bodies. Type 2 diabetes can lead to blindness, amputations, and kidney disease requiring dialysis. It’s better to know the symptoms and get treatment before the damage is done.
Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA, is a board certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgery. His gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients come from nearby Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Coral Springs and also from farther away like Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Naples. As his bariatric surgery patients begin their journeys, they are usually diagnosed as overweight or obese. But as they progress many are often able to lose enough weight to be considered within a normal BMI range, which greatly reduces their risk of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.