Both type-1 and type-2 diabetes have the same early signs. Whether your body is unable to produce insulin (Type-1) or your body is unable to process the insulin your body does make (Type-2), increased blood glucose levels from both types of diabetes will present the same signs early on.
Hunger & Fatigue
Insulin is what your body uses to convert the glucose you eat into usable energy or to store it for later. When your body does not make insulin or is unable to use insulin, you will feel more tired than usual. You will feel hungrier more often because your body thinks you need to consume more glucose to generate more energy. This will only continue to increase blood glucose levels. This is one of the reasons diabetics are more prone to being overweight.
Unused glucose eventually is converted into fatty acids to be stored as fat in adipose tissue. Or, worse, the glucose is stored as fat within the liver and remains there. This is so-called ‘fatty liver’ and is probably at the heart of a lot of our metabolic troubles. Too much energy at once (too much sugar) overwhelms the capacity of the mitochondria to efficiently use glucose and this results in stored energy in places where it should not be.
Being Thirstier & Peeing More Often
Elevated glucose levels prompt your kidneys to produce more urine. The body dehydrates quicker making you need to drink more water to keep up with water lost during urination. Why does this happen? Well, the kidneys process glucose, and when they cannot keep up glucose can leave the body through urine.
Most humans should urinate about 1 or 2 liters a day. Those with polyuria might urinate over 3 liters daily. The kidneys usually will resorb glucose from blood and take it out of urine. However, if the blood is already full of sugar, the sugar cannot be displaced from urine to blood in the kidney. Therefore, there is more sugar (glucose) in the urine. This osmotically pulls more water into the tubules carrying urine. Therefore, there is more urine.
Fun fact: Back before blood glucose testing was a thing, doctors or their assistants would taste patients’ urine for sweetness to diagnose diabetes. Gross, right!?
Dry Mouth, Itchy Skin, & Blurred Vision
In line with the dehydration from the body trying to expel excess glucose, you may experience dry mouth and dry itchy skin.
Dehydration can also affect your vision. As fluid levels change in the body, the lenses in your eyes can swell, change shape, and lose the ability to focus.
Dr. Warner’s Supplement Recommendations For Diabetes
Increased blood glucose levels can affect a range of different areas of the body including peripheral neuropathy in the hands and feet. Peripheral neuropathy is especially harmful to diabetics as wounds heal slower. Neuropathy can also be quite painful. Peripheral neuropathy and slow wound healing are a serious combination that can lead to very serious health problems if left unnoticed and untreated. ALA promotes healthy nerve function as well as increases insulin sensitivity.
Berberine mimics the basic actions of the diabetic drug Metformin in its ability to increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood glucose levels in individuals with type-2 diabetics. One study compared the effectiveness of Metformin and berberine. They found the berberine was as good as if not better than Metformin in type-2 diabetics. Metformin is known in some circles today as a ‘longevity’ drug and we have included berberine in our longevity series.