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How To Know if you are Diabetic

How To Know if you are Diabetic

  By: Editors at DiabetesIQ  |  Published: January 04, 2021   
Published: January 04, 2021   

© Piotr Adamowicz | Dreamstime.com

Alarmingly often, people get admitted to the hospital with a serious or even life-threatening condition and find out that the illness that brought them there was caused by high blood sugar resulted from undetected diabetes. In many cases, if people were aware of having diabetes, they would take action and try to prevent, reverse, or slow down the disease. Unfortunately, far too often, people experience the symptoms of diabetes, but do not attribute them with the disease, which at times leads to some very unpleasant outcomes.

Diabetes is a complex chronic condition that can affect a person’s entire body. If left untreated, it can cause dangerous complications and sometimes death. There are multiple types of the disease, but type 1 and type 2 diabetes account for over 95% of all diagnosed cases. These two types of diabetes are quite different in causes.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone responsible for maintaining the blood level of glucose, which is a sugar that the body uses as a source of energy. The beta cells are not getting destroyed overnight, so it may take from a few months to several years for a person to start noticing type 1 diabetes symptoms. In type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type of the disease, pancreas produces insulin, but the cells cannot process it properly, which requires more insulin to be produced than pancreas is capable of making or the body becomes insulin resistant. The symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are similar, but in case of type 2 diabetes, they are usually milder and develop slower, which makes it more difficult to recognize the disease. Here are the diabetes symptoms that people should be on the lookout for:

Extreme thirst and frequent urination. When glucose cannot be properly processed by your body cells, it gets accumulated in the blood. The body tries to get rid of excess sugar through urine excretion, for which it requires extra water. Consequently, signals get sent to the brain to make you drink more by telling you that you are thirsty.

Itchy skin and dry mouth. Because your body pulls all the resources to get more water, you may experience severe dehydration. That can lead to itchy skin and dry mouth.

Blurry vision. This is another problem caused by the body’s serious effort to get as much water as possible. It may even get fluid from the lenses in your eyes, making it difficult for them to focus. Besides, high blood glucose level often causes damage to blood vessels, which can lead to blindness.

Unexplained weight loss, nausea and vomiting. When sugar cannot enter the body cells, the body is unable to produce enough energy and tries to break down fats and muscle tissues to get an alternative source of energy. That leads to a substantial weight loss. Besides, when the body burns fat, it produces ketones. These chemicals can build up in your blood to high level, making it too acidic and causing diabetic ketoacidosis – a life-threating condition which can cause stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and even loss of consciousness and coma.

Fatigue and hunger. For the same reason as unexplained weight loss, you might feel very hungry, as well as weak and tired due to inability of the body cells to get proper amount of energy from sugar that your body gets from food. When your brain doesn’t get enough glucose, you might experience headaches and dizziness as well.

Catching diabetes early may significantly alter progression of the disease. To succeed in doing so, you need to know how diabetes can manifest itself and you have to pay close attention to your body. The fact that the symptoms can be very mild, only makes it more difficult to identify the problem. But the best thing for you to do is to learn all the symptoms of the disease and if you start suspecting that you might be showing any of those symptoms, don’t hesitate to pay your doctor a visit.


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