Sunday, June 7, 2009

Diabetes | Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Many times there are no signs that you have diabetes.  This is especially true with type 2 diabetes.  This is how diabetes can go undetected for years.  The disease can emerge very slowly.  There will be a lack of symptoms.  And when symptoms do show up they vary quite a bit.  The signs and symptoms of diabetes can be anything and will occur from persistently high blood glucose.

There are two signs and symptoms that are classic red flags when it comes to diabetes:  An increased thirst and a frequent need to urinate.

Increased Thirst | Frequent Urination

High levels of glucose in your blood overwhelms your kidney’s filtering system.  Your kidneys can’t reabsorb all of the excess sugar, and it’s secreted into your urine with fluids drawn from your tissues.  This leads to more urination.  Because of all this urination you start to feel dehydrated.  To replace the fluids that your body is getting rid of, you will start to drink a lot of water or other beverages.

Diabetes Feels Like The Flu

Symptoms of diabetes, like always feeling tired, weakness and loss of appetite, can mimic a viral illness.  The reason being is because when you have diabetes and it’s not under control, the process of using glucose for energy is impaired, affecting the functions of your body.

Diabetes | Weight Loss or Gain

Some people with type 1 diabetes lose weight before diagnosis.  This is because of glucose lost through urination leads to calorie loss. 

More stored fat is used for energy, and muscle tissues may not get enough glucose to generate growth.  The weight loss might not be noticeable in people with type 2 diabetes because they tend to be overweight.  But in most people with type 2, and some people with type 1, diabetes develops after a period of weight gain.  Excess weight worsens insulin resistance, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels.

Diabetes | Blurred Vision

An over abundance of glucose  in your blood will draw out the fluid from the lenses in your eyes, causing them to thin and affecting their ability to focus.  If you lower your blood sugar it will help restore fluid to the lenses.  Your vision will probably remain blurry as the lenses adjust  to the restoration of the fluid.  But ultimately your vision more than likely will improve.  High blood glucose also can cause the formation of very small blood vessels in your eyes to bleed.  The blood vessels are not the cause of the symptoms, but bleeding from the vessels can be the cause of dark spots, flashing lights, rings around lights and blindness.

It is because diabetes related eye changes often don’t produce symptoms , it’s important that you see an eye doctor on a regular basis.  By dilating your pupils, an eye specialist is able to examine the blood vessels in each retina.

Slow-Healing Sores or Frequent Infections

High levels of blood glucose block your body’s natural healing process and its ability to ward off infections.  For females, bladder and vaginal infections are especially common.

Tingling Feet and Hands

If there is too much glucose in the blood it can damage the nerves, which are normally nourished by the blood.  Nerve damage can produce quite a few symptoms.  The most common are a tingling feeling and a loss of sensation that occurs mainly in your feet and hands.  This results from damage to the sensory nerves.  A person can also experience pain in the extremities:  legs, feet, arms and hands, this can also include burning pain.

Tender Gums that are Red and Swollen

One of the things that diabetes can do is weaken your mouths ability to ward off germs.  This will increase the risk factor of infection in the gums and the bones that hold the teeth in place.

Diabetes Warning Signs for Type 1 and Type 2

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent Urination
  • Constant Hunger
  • Unexplained Weight Loss
  • (In Type 2) Unexplained Weight Gain
  • Flu-Like Symptoms..Weakness and Fatigue
  • Blurred Vision
  • Slow-Healing Cuts or Bruises
  • Tingling or Loss of Felling in hands and feet
  • Infections of Gums or Skin
  • Recurring Vaginal or Bladder Infections

If you exhibit and of the signs or symptoms of diabetes you should consult with a medical doctor.

2 comments:

  1. So happy to see someone posting this information in such a clear, concise manner!

    I am a PR Specialist in new Jersey and a client of ours is working in the early stages of a new treatment development for diabetes. We are currently asking diabetes patients to take this brief survey to assist us with the research. Please take our survey and pass along to as many diabetes patients as possible!

    The link to the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=TZ5nRW6cYPpkuSDKX1J1FQ_3d_3d

    We will repost the link to your blog on twitter for helping us!

    ReplyDelete