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Sure Signs You Have Diabetes Like Drew Carey

Here's what to watch for.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

Actor Drew Carey put his type 2 diabetes into remission after losing 80 lbs, hitting the gym and cutting down on carbohydrates. "It sucks being fat, you know," Carey said. "I was diabetic with Type-2 diabetes…I'm not diabetic anymore. No medication needed." Here are five sure signs you have diabetes, like Carey. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Diabetic Retinopathy

Doctor doing an eye exam on his patient.
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Type 2 diabetes can lead to a condition called diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness in U.S. adults. "In diabetes, elevated blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels of the retina," says Leo Kim, MD, Ph.D. "These damaged blood vessels leak fluid, bleed, and do not provide adequate oxygen to the retina, leading to retinal ischemia. As a result, retinal cells begin to die and the retina is unable to function properly. In addition, diabetes also damages the neurons of the retina directly. Together, these effects cause diabetic retinopathy."

2

Excessive Thirst

thirsty woman drinking water
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Feeling constant thirst is a common symptom of type 2 diabetes, doctors say. "No matter how much you drink, it feels like you're still dehydrated," say Amy Hess-Fischl, MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDCES, and Lisa M. Leontis RN, ANP-C. "Your tissues (such as your muscles) are, in fact, dehydrated when there's too much glucose (sugar) in your blood. Your body pulls fluid from the tissues to try to dilute the blood and counteract the high glucose, so your tissues will be dehydrated and send the message that you need to drink more. This is also associated with increased urination."

3

Sexual Dysfunction

worried senior man in tension at bed.
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Diabetes-related sexual dysfunction can happen to both men and women, experts say. "Sexual dysfunction includes any problems that happen within the sexual response cycle," says endocrinologist Shirisha Avadhanula, MD. "Everything from attaining an erection to reduced libido can be an issue for people living with diabetes. Obesity, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and depression are common conditions that occur alongside diabetes. Obesity can indirectly lead to erectile dysfunction (ED). Sleep apnea can cause ED for men or put women at a higher risk for sexual difficulties. Depression and anxiety can also negatively impact the libido or lead to the use of medication that affects sexual interest or function."

4

Frequent Urination

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Constant urination (and sweet-smelling urine) is a common early sign of diabetes. "When diabetes raises your blood sugar, your body may not be able to bring all of the glucose back in when it passes through your kidneys. Instead, your body will try to get rid of the excess by making more urine," says Mary Johnson, director of Diabetes Quality and Education at Geisinger.

5

Feeling Tired All the Time

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Constant fatigue should never be ignored, doctors say. "If your body isn't making enough insulin—or any at all—or your cells resist your insulin, glucose can't get into the cells," says Mary Johnson, director of Diabetes Quality and Education at Geisinger. "That means you won't have energy and you can feel more tired and more hungry than usual… Identifying you have diabetes early is key to avoiding nerve damage, heart issues and other complications that untreated diabetes can lead to."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more about Ferozan
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