The 7 Main Symptoms of Diabetes

What are the most common symptoms of diabetes?

Symptoms of diabetes type 1 show up very quickly, usually in a matter of weeks, whereas the symptoms of diabetes type 2 can take years to show up, which can lead to some patients taking a long time to recognize them, worsening the situation. The symptoms of both types are quite similar since both types lead to raised glucose levels, a condition known as hyperglycemia. Here are the 7 most common ones:

Urinating frequently

Since the body’s cells don’t have or have lost the ability to absorb glucose coming to their membranes, the kidneys work in overdrive to eliminate as much of it as possible. This results, in the diabetic going to the bathroom a bit more often than a healthy person would, which leads to passing over five liters of urine per day. This doesn’t stop during nighttime, forcing the diabetic to wake up several times to go to the bathroom. This condition is also called nocturia. This will inevitably damage the kidneys.

Itchiness in your genitals and thrush

The high amount of glucose in the urine makes the genitals prone to developing thrush which eventually develops into a swelling and itching.

Increased thirst

Because of the water loss caused by the frequent bathroom visits, diabetics start to feel thirsty a lot more and their bodies need a lot more water in order to compensate for the loss.

Feeling tired and lethargic

Since the cells can’t take any glucose in, they can’t produce energy as well, which makes diabetics feeling a lot more tired faster.

Sudden weight loss

When glucose can’t be used as an energy source, the body begins to burn the fat deposits and muscle tissue, which leads to fat and muscle tissue loss.

Inhibited wound healing

Diabetes decreases the quantity and efficiency of EPCs (endothelial progenitor cells), whose function is to travel to injured areas and help with the formation of blood vessels and heal injuries quickly.

Blurred vision which can lead to total vision loss

The increased blood glucose levels cause the lens to take in more water from the rest of the body and start swelling. This results in a change in the lens’ shape which has an adverse effect on the eye’s ability to focus properly. This effect can be reversed with diabetes meds.

Hyperglycemia can take its toll on the small blood vessels found in the retina over the years and make them thin and weak. They can form micro-aneurisms, small pouches of blood, which release a protein known as exudate. When this protein starts leaking into the retina center, vision is permanently damaged.

Can one control the effects of diabetes?

Diabetes cannot be cured, but its effects can be controlled. The effects of diabetes type 2 can be controlled by having a diet low in fat and glucose and regular exercising, while taking medications and type 1 can be controlled by administering regular injections of insulin.

Patients with type 1 need to be extremely careful and avoid situations where the glucose levels plummet below the normal range, which leads to hypoglycemia, which can become extremely severe and lead to convulsions and loss of consciousness.

Look out for ketoacidosis

If you start experiencing symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis, chances are you are suffering from diabetes type 1. It has been proven that there was a bigger risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis in people who suffer from diabetes type 1 in comparison to those who have type 2. Ketoacidosis occurs when there’s a lack of insulin and the body starts breaking down fat and protein to use as an energy source, which is a process that produces acidic ketone bodies. Once blood and urine ketone levels exceed the normal range, the blood becomes more and more acidic. Ketoacidosis symptoms might be the first indicator that someone might be suffering from diabetes type 1.

If you experience any of the following symptoms showing up and developing within a 24-hour window, immediately see a doctor:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fruity breath odor
  • Nauseating feeling and vomiting
  • Stomachache
  • High temperature
  • Reduced focus and alertness
  • Stiffness in your muscles and cramps

Always remain vigilant when it comes to diabetes symptoms

When it comes to preventing diabetes, you should always closely monitor your health, watch out for possible symptoms and go on regular check-ups. Diagnosing it early on can greatly prolong your life. Stay vigilant, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and you will minimize the risk tremendously.

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