Ants like sugar. If you’ve ever seen them marching on watermelon at a picnic or hanging around spilled BBQ sauce at an outdoor backyard party, you’ve seen this fact in action. Education.com states that ants like sugar because it is rich in carbohydrates, which ants use an energy source.
When you see ants creating a marching line toward your toilet bowl or urine spilled on the floor where you’ve missed the mark, it can be more than a little disconcerting. More than that, though, it can be a sign of a serious medical condition, called diabetes.
Diabetes is a condition in which your body is unable to process carbohydrates efficiently, due to an impaired ability to produce insulin. When this occurs, your blood and urine have high blood sugar levels.
There are three types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the body produces very little, if any, insulin. While it can appear in anyone regardless of age, type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed most often in young adults or in children, reports the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Type 2 diabetes.
This is the most common form of diabetes. People who have type 2 diabetes have bodies that no longer make insulin well. It can occur at any age but most diagnosis occur with middle-aged adults.
Some women develop symptoms of diabetes while pregnant. This almost always goes away once the baby is born. However, women who experience gestational diabetes are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in their lives. Some women who are diagnosed as having gestational diabetes actually have previously undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. For this reason, it is important to follow up with your physician after your baby is born to make sure your glucose levels return to normal.
Unfortunately, diabetes is a condition that can be present many years before you begin to experience symptoms. And, many people do not recognize the symptoms of diabetes for what they are or they ignore them, putting off valuable treatment even longer.
Symptoms of Diabetes
In addition to sugar in blood and urine, there are a few other symptoms you may experience associated with diabetes. If you experience the following symptoms of diabetes, along with noticing ants attracted to your toilets or urine, it is definitely time to consider talking with your physician:
Skin darkening in armpits, folds or your neck, and other areas
Numbness in hands or feet
Slow healing cuts, sores, and infections
You don’t need to experience all these symptoms to have diabetes. Some people never experience symptoms until the disease has progressed substantially, which is why contacting your physician is extremely important if you notice ants that seem quite interested in your toilet or urine.
Potential Complications of Diabetes
Left untreated, diabetes can do a lot of damage to your body. This begins with a dramatic increase in your risk of developing heart and blood vessel disease. It also extends to causing nerve damage, or neuropathy, that manifests as numbness, tingling, or burning in toes and fingers before spreading upward.
Other complications related to diabetes include the following:
When patients have uncontrolled blood sugar levels over extended periods of time, diabetes can result in the need for dialysis and the removal of limbs to prevent infections from spreading. It can even cause blindness.
Diabetes is a serious health condition. However, it is one that is manageable with a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes and medical intervention. The sooner you begin treating your diabetes, the better your health outlook becomes. If you have diabetes, work with your physician, dietician, fitness coach, and/or endocrinologist to develop the best overall treatment plan to manage your disease.
While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, there are many in the health community who feel that type 2 diabetes can sometimes be mitigated or prevented by making a commitment to eat healthier foods, exercise, and lose weight.
Diabetes is not the only condition that can cause sugar in urine, which will attract ants, as having renal glycosuria can as well. But once ants find evidence of sugar, they take that news back to their colony, leading to a parade of these insects hoping for a sweet meal
Diabetes is a serious health condition. If you see ants congregating around your toilet or even in your hamper of dirty clothes, it’s best to rule that out as a possibility of having diabetes, rather than taking the risk of allowing it to continue undiagnosed. See your medical practitioner right away.