The 7 Main Symptoms of Diabetes

Going a little too often to the toilet, itching in your groin, feeling thirsty more often, general fatigue, blurred vision and a sudden loss of weight in a short amount of time are several indicators of diabetes type I. If you’re experiencing nausea, fruity breath odor or stomachache, it’s very likely y are suffering from ketoacidosis, which can be fatal. Diabetes type II has some of the same symptoms, which do not show themselves early on. If you happen to be overweight and aren’t physically active, monitor the blood glucose levels closely.

Tom Hanks himself has confessed on the Late Night Show with David Letterman that he had diabetes type 2 because he had been a total idiot regarding his diet and ignored the symptoms. He said that his drastic gaining and losing weight lead to this condition. That’s a valuable lesson for all of us and that’s why we shouldn’t be ignoring the most vital diabetes symptoms like:

  • Urinating frequently, especially during the night, something known as nocturia.
  • Itchiness in the groin or thrush which is a kind of yeast infection.
  • Feeling thirsty.
  • Feeling tired and lethargic.
  • Sudden weight loss.
  • Blurred vision which might lead to vision loss.
  • Inhibited wound healing.

In this article we go into detail about what diabetes is, its two types and the symptoms.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where the blood glucose levels are at a constant peak as the body’s cells can’t absorb it because of lowered or non-existent insulin production or because insulin is unable to help with the absorption of glucose. Of these two factors that lead to increased blood glucose levels, the former is what causes diabetes type 1 and the latter is what causes diabetes type 2.

First, let’s get into a more detailed description on how the body metabolizes glucose and how the process is disrupted in those suffering from diabetes.

How healthy people metabolize glucose

All the carbs, sugars, milk and all kinds of dairy are broken down into glucose in your stomach. Afterwards, it’s released into the intestines, from where it enters the bloodstream. How much glucose you have in your blood at a certain point in time is what the doctors call your current blood glucose level.

A certain amount of the glucose is absorbed by the liver cells and converted to glycogen, which is your body’s reserve energy source which is activated when you have low glucose levels.

If your body detects that there is an increase of blood glucose levels, the pancreas starts to release insulin. Insulin has the capacity to bind with the receptors on muscle cells and fat cells and the enable the glucose to pass inside the cells where it’s burned and used by the cells as energy source. For healthy people who don’t have diabetes, the insulin is at optimal levels and the metabolizing of glucose and release of energy is functioning properly.

What happens in people who have diabetes?

For diabetes patients, their fasting glucose levels are over 125 mg/dl and over 200 mg/dl approximately 2 hours after a meal.

The blood glucose levels increase naturally after eating a meal. But if the body produces insulin at low amounts or doesn’t produce it all, glucose levels will continue to rise. If blood glucose levels are over 140mg/dl 2 hours post-meal, one could be diagnosed as a pre-diabetic, and if they exceed 200mg/dl, one is definitely considered a diabetic.

Even in times of fasting, the liver releases a certain amount of glucose to compensate for the low glucose levels. If, after 8 hours of fasting, glucose levels exceed 107 mg/dl, that person is a pre-diabetic, and over 125 mg/dl, the person is diabetic.

Diabetes type I

Male teenagers are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes type 1. Around 5-10% of diabetes patients have this type of diabetes, especially those aged fewer than thirty, and it can even affect some people before they turn fifteen, which is also the reason why it’s often called juvenile diabetes.

Diabetes type 2 is a chronic autoimmune disease, and it is very often inherited genetically. In this condition, the immune system destroys the beta cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. Because of this, glucose can’t pass into the cells with the help of insulin and glucose levels start building up, exceeding the normal range.

Diabetes Type II

Type 2 is a lot more common compared to type 1 and accounts for 90% of all diabetics, and the symptoms are mostly prevalent in people aged above 40, which is the reason it’s called adult-onset diabetes.

With diabetes type 2, there are two possible reasons for its development. Number one, the pancreas releases low amounts of insulin or number two, the cells develops insulin resistance, by not allowing the insulin to bind to receptors on the cells’ membrane which would normally allow the entrance of glucose into the cell.

Having large fat deposits, particularly visceral fat, has the capacity to reduce the ability of the cells to bind to the incoming insulin. And since muscles that are active use the bulk of the glucose circulating the body, inactive muscles will gradually become resistant to glucose intake.

Gestational Diabetes

Describing the diabetes types above might give the impression that every condition where blood glucose levels are high is some form of diabetes. But that is not the case. It’s very common for pregnant women to have raised glucose levels during the 3rd trimester, a condition known as gestational diabetes, which has the potential to develop into type II diabetes, although not always. The way pregnant woman can avoid this condition is by maintaining physical activity with exercises that are specially designed for pregnant women.

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