Common Signs and Symptoms of High Blood Sugar: How to Catch It Early

In this video, Dr. Ekberg discusses common signs and symptoms of high blood sugar and emphasizes the importance of catching it early to prevent further complications. He mentions that many people with high blood sugar or diabetes are unaware of their condition as it can be asymptomatic until it progresses. The signs and symptoms mentioned include weight gain, increased or frequent urination, blurry vision, hunger, nausea/vomiting/confusion, recurrent infections, fatigue/poor focus, slow healing, teeth and gum problems, skin changes, and neuropathy. Dr. Ekberg advises measuring blood sugar levels regularly to monitor and address any potential issues. He also emphasizes the role of reducing sugar and carbohydrate intake as a proactive measure in maintaining good health.

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Key Insights:

  • High blood sugar, insulin resistance, and diabetes are becoming epidemics worldwide.
  • Many people with high blood sugar or diabetes are unaware of their condition.
  • Weight gain is a common early sign of high blood sugar.
  • Increased urination and thirst are indicators of high blood sugar levels.
  • Extreme hunger, combined with weight loss, can indicate untreated type 1 diabetes.
  • Blurry vision is a short-term sign of high blood sugar due to swelling of the lens.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and confusion can be associated with diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • Recurring infections are common with high blood sugar, which depresses the immune system and feeds pathogens.
  • Fatigue and poor focus are strongly correlated with high blood sugar.
  • Slow healing, dental problems, skin changes, and neuropathy are all signs of high blood sugar.
  • Controlling high blood sugar through a low sugar and carbohydrate diet is more effective than relying on medication to lower blood sugar.
  • Regularly measuring blood sugar and taking preventive measures can help avoid the development of high blood sugar and related symptoms.


Hello health champions! Today, we’re going to talk about some common signs and symptoms of high blood sugar. We also want to understand how this works and how to catch it early because you don’t ever want to develop any of these signs and symptoms.

Hey, I’m Dr. Ekberg. I’m a holistic doctor and a former Olympic decathlete. If you want to truly master health by understanding how the body really works, make sure you subscribe and hit that notification bell so you don’t miss anything.

The reason this stuff is so important is that first of all, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and diabetes are sweeping the world. It’s an epidemic. But a lot of people don’t even know that they have this stuff because you can’t feel it until it’s gone too far. So even though we have millions and millions of diabetics, 25% of the diabetics are undiagnosed. They don’t know they have it. And as much as 90% of the people who are pre-diabetic don’t know it. So that’s a ticking time bomb.

Pre-diabetes means that if you don’t change the way you’re eating, if you don’t change your lifestyle, then you’ll probably have diabetes within 5 years. So we’re talking hundreds of millions of people. And you never ever want to let it get to where you have these signs and symptoms. But you still want to know about it so that you can keep an eye out and maybe help some other people as well.

So, number one, weight gain. Now, that’s an early sign. It’s very very common. Even though it takes a while to develop, it’s not something that’s a really severe pathology and you have plenty of time to do something about it. But weight gain is primarily caused by high blood sugar because high blood sugar drives insulin and insulin resistance drives weight gain, especially central obesity – the belly fat.

Number two, increased or frequent urination. If you go to the bathroom all the time, if you’re losing a lot of fluid that way, then that could be an indication of high blood sugar. Because if you can’t control your blood sugar, if it just gets through this roof, then the only way the body has left to get rid of it is to get it out through the kidneys, to pass it out through the urine. And now that sugar takes a lot of fluid with it. The sugar and the fluid, that’s kind of an osmotic pressure there. So you lose them together. You get rid of some sugar but you also lose a lot of fluids. So now you get dehydrated, you get thirsty. And another part of dehydration, a very common symptom of dehydration, is headaches. So increased urination, increased thirst, and headaches, they all go together because you’re losing a lot of fluid.

If we add a fourth thing to this, if we add hunger, this is a more severe case of untreated, undetected type 1 diabetes. So if you’re super super hungry, you’re eating, your body is absorbing it, your blood sugar goes up, but there is no insulin there to take the sugar from the blood into the cells. Now your cells are still starving. They don’t have any energy. There’s plenty of blood sugar, but it can’t go to where it needs to be. That’s called starvation in the midst of plenty. So with that, you’re going to have hunger, you’re going to have increased urination, but at the same time, you’re going to have weight loss because none of that food you’re eating can make it into the cells and build new tissue.

Number three, a sign of high blood sugar is blurry vision. So there’s a tendency, where there is a lot of high blood sugar we talked about here, that the blood and the water go together. So the sugar is going to hold liquid to it. And you can have a swelling of the lens in the eye. So when you change the shape of the lens, you can get blurry vision. This is different from the long-term problem of retinopathy, that’s when the retina, the fine blood vessels in the retina, get destroyed by neuropathy and is the leading cause of blindness. But that’s further down the road. The short term is blurry vision because of the swollen lens.

Number four, a sign is nausea, vomiting, confusion. And these are pretty serious things. This is associated with something called diabetic ketoacidosis. A lot of people are scared and a lot of people are trying to scare people doing keto. And saying that ketoacidosis is a bad thing. So you shouldn’t do the keto diet. Well, these are totally different things. The diabetic ketoacidosis happens because the blood sugar runs into the hundreds, but there’s no insulin to take the sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells. So the only thing the body can do is to burn the fat. And this is why you’re also losing weight in the middle of all of this. And when you’re burning fat, you’re making ketones. And in the absence of any insulin, when the body is only burning fat, then that creates a pathologically high level of keto acids. And these can cause swelling of the brain and it can cause all of these nasty things. And untreated, it can lead to death. But that’s very, very different from a nutritional ketosis because when there is some insulin present, then you will never get the levels as high as those pathological levels. Nutritional ketosis is actually a very, very stable and very healthy level of ketones. That’s how humans have existed for hundreds of thousands of years. Anytime that there is less food, we make ketones and we do just fine.

Number five, a common sign would be recurring and frequent infections. High blood sugar depresses your immune system, but it also feeds all of the pathogens, all the opportunistic pathogens in your body. So if you have yeast infections, for example, the most common reason for that is excess sugar because the yeast thrives on that sugar.

Sign and symptom number six is fatigue and poor focus. And this is one of the strongest correlations, one of the most commonly found things with high blood sugar and with diabetes. They even call it „diabetes fatigue syndrome“. But even with that being that common, they still don’t know exactly why it happens. They don’t understand the mechanism. They just know that it happens. And if it happens after you eat, it’s especially common right after you eat. And then it can be because your body is busy converting that glucose into triglycerides. Because if you’re insulin-resistant and you have high blood glucose, then the cells don’t want the glucose. So, the body has to do something else with it. And that’s where the glucose turns into triglycerides. And that’s a costly, it’s an energy-demanding process.

Sign number seven is slow healing. A lot of diabetics, a lot of people with high blood sugar, they notice that they get a cut and it takes forever and it just won’t heal. Very, very common.

Number eight, teeth and gums, same thing. There’s slow healing. They get inflamed, they get swollen and bleeding. You get cavities. And this is thanks to something called the bacterium called streptococcus mutans. And guess what? That little bugger likes it. It loves sugar, it loves carbohydrates. And even if you don’t eat sugar, if you eat carbohydrates, those start breaking down already in the mouth. So it doesn’t have to be even though sugar is worse because it’s concentrated, any kind of carb will feed that streptococcus. So that causes the cavities and it also causes the plaquing on the teeth. So if you go on a keto or low-carb diet, you will notice that the plaquing on your teeth is reduced dramatically.

Number nine is any form of skin changes. Alright, so if you have dry, itchy skin, then that could be high blood sugar. If you get blisters, they look like burned blisters. But they don’t hurt like burn blisters. They could be itchy, but they’re different. They’re associated with diabetes as well. Skin tags, especially in the folds of the neck, elbow, armpit, and so forth, very, very common with high blood sugar and diabetes. And also something called acanthosis nigricans, which is a darkening of the skin. It looks kind of like a dark, soft, leathery appearance of the skin, again, particularly in skin that folds.

Number ten is neuropathy. And this is very strongly associated with diabetes and high blood sugar. So if you have things like tingling and numbness, especially in the feet and the hands because it’s the furthest away, it’s a distal body part, so the circulation is poorer. And then when circulation is decreased because of diabetes and high blood sugar, then it is more likely to happen there first. And you want to watch this, especially if it is bilateral, meaning if you have it on both sides. So you could, for example, have a little bit of a musculoskeletal structural imbalance. But then it’s more likely that you just have a problem in one hand. If it’s in both, then you want to start thinking that it’s more of a metabolic issue, and you want to start thinking blood sugar. And neuropathy can happen in many places. So it can happen in distal body parts, you get numbness and tingling. But you can also have more severe neuropathy where you lose sensory and motor control. So you can have something called Charcot’s joints, which is where the whole joint breaks down and degenerates because you don’t have the proper sensory feedback. Another form of neuropathy is what we talked about with the retinopathy. It’s the most common cause of blindness because the nerve swells from all that blood sugar and it just doesn’t work as well. But one more thing people don’t think about often is gastroparesis, that means paralysis of your stomach and intestinal tract. So this is because the vagus nerve, cranial nerve number 10, walks all the way from the brainstem down into your gut, into your intestinal tract. And it supplies the innervation, it sends all the signals that coordinate and regulate your digestion and your motility, the movement of your intestines and of the food through your body. So if the vagus gets neuropathy, if it gets compromised and inflamed and swollen, now the intestinal contents don’t move the way they’re supposed to. You can get things like constipation, you can have if it really gets stuck, then anything you eat comes right back up, you vomit it back up. So this can have many, many different expressions. You can have pain, it could have irregular bowel habits, etc.

Virtually all of these different signs and symptoms are expressions of a few common mechanisms. And those mechanisms are that blood sugar and insulin increase inflammation in the body. It decreases circulation, that’s where you have the slow healing and so forth. It increases swelling, which is with the blurry vision and the neuropathy. It decreases the immune system, it reduces the immune function, at the same time that it feeds the pathogens. So high blood sugar is a really nasty thing because all of these things can happen and will happen if you don’t control it.

But now there are two different thoughts of controlling it. On the one hand, you can take a drug to try to push the blood sugar down, something like metformin or insulin, etc. Or you can reduce the cause. You can undo the cause, which means you start eating less sugar and carbohydrates. And which one would be the better way? Well, let’s think about this. If you have a high carb diet, you get high blood sugar, you get insulin resistance. And then you treat the blood sugar, you reduce the blood sugar, then you’re helping the body get the blood sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells, which means you’re promoting the storing mechanism, you’re promoting the clogging mechanism. And now we’re pushing the body into metabolic syndrome. And what is metabolic syndrome? It is a cluster of conditions including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, diabetes, stroke, etc. So if you maintain the high carb diet and you treat to lower the blood sugar, you’re moving the body toward metabolic syndrome. So it’s like you’re out of the ashes and into the fire.

The other way of dealing with it is to reduce the sugar and the carbohydrates, to take away the thing that caused the problem in the first place. I know that’s a novel thought, but believe me, it works.

Now, if you take a low sugar, low carb diet, now you’re going to lower the blood glucose, you’re going to lower the insulin, and the body will be restored to health. So, I’ll let you pick which model you prefer. But I don’t think it takes rocket scientists to figure that one out.

But what if we do something even smarter? What if we don’t wait for any of these to happen? What if we decide that I’m not going to wait 20 years for these problems to develop? I want to do something today to make sure that they never happen, alright? And that is so simple. It is so simple. You measure your blood sugar. How about that? And it’s amazing to me that we have millions of people with diabetes and pre-diabetes who have no idea. And all it takes is a little prick in the finger, a little blood drop, and you can measure and you can find out exactly where you’re at. And if you measure it now, you can save decades. You don’t have to go through this. You don’t have to watch any of these steps develop. You measure your blood sugar. That you can do for yourself.

You go to the lab, you measure your A1C and your fasting insulin. And now you have a picture. Now, you know exactly where you stand in relation to this. And if you don’t have a problem, then make sure you don’t develop one. If you’re starting to get a problem, then learn how to develop a low carb diet lifestyle so that you can reverse these changes before they turn into these terrible signs.

If you enjoyed this video, make sure that you take a look at that one also. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you in the next video.