There are several well known and easily recognized symptoms of diabetes. Unfortunately, many can also be symptoms of other diseases or condition, and, in some cases, may be so mild as to not really be noticed.
Considering its life-threatening nature, it can seem amazing to the non-medical person that the symptoms of diabetes can be puzzling.
Even those considered to be the common symptoms of diabetes may not be present in all cases. Even an individual's symptoms may come and go. To make diagnosis of diabetes even more difficult, the same symptoms can be produced by other conditions not related to the condition.
Despite this problem with identifying the disease, however, there is a group of common clues that tend to indicate the presence of diabetes.
Frequent, urination without any apparent reason is considered to be one of the classic symptoms that, at least, suggests the possibility of diabetes. One defining attribute of the disease is excessive glucose levels in the blood, which can be shown in standard blood tests. When someone has diabetes, either the body produces too little insulin to deal with this blood sugar (Type 1 diabetes), or the insulin isn't used correctly (Type 2 diabetes)...usually as a result of insulin resistance.
When you have diabetes, your body attempts to compensate for this excess glucose by eliminating the excess in the urine. This requires the kidneys to work at higher than normal levels to filter out the excess sugar. When the kidneys fail and cannot remove enough, the remaining sugar is passed along when other fluids are eliminated as waste products of the various metabolic processes.
One result of this process, and also another symptom of diabetes, is excessive thirst. The diabetic person feels as if he or she is always thirsty. No matter how much fluid is taken in it never seems to be enough. The increased consumption of liquids in an attempt to slake this thirst in turn prompts still more urination.
Another common symptom of diabetes is a constant, unexplained fatigue.
In a diabetic person insulin isn't performing its role properly by aiding the cells to take in glucose from the bloodstream. This lack of fuel produces an accompanying lack of energy. The diabetic may feel tired since glucose is the major source of energy for powering an enormous range of bodily functions from miniscule cell repair to major muscle movement.
These are the main symptoms of diabetes, but other systems of the body can be affected by diabetes and produce other clues that the condition may be present.
As mentioned earlier, many symptoms of diabetes can be common to other conditions as well, making it harder to diagonse without specific blood tests. One such symptom, blurry vision, can be the indicator of any number of conditions. Heck, as we age, our vision become more blurry...often without our notice until it reaches a point that it becomes a real symptom of something! Often, it is just presbyopia. Presbyopia results from reduced elasticity of the lenses as we age, leading to a lessened ability to focus.
However, in the case of diabetes, the blurred images have nothing to do with presbyopia...although that may be present as well, complicating the attempt to diagnose the disease.
In the diabetic, high blood sugar levels reduce fluid in the tissues, including those of the eye and in particular the lenses. Just like the hardening of the lenses in age-related presbyopia, this affects your ability to focus. In advanced stages of the disease new blood vessels may form in the retina. That obviously affects your vision even more. In this situation, however, the result is more often is the appearance of dark spots or flashing lights, or rings around room lights.
SLOW HEALING CUTS
In some instances of Type 2 diabetes, cuts (particularly on the feet) may be slower to heal. The reasons for this are not yet fully understood, but still, it is one more of the many symptoms of diabetes. At the same time this is happening, the immune system becomes compromised, leading to a lowered ability to fight off infection.
In as much as so many of these symptoms can be (and commonly are) produced by a number of other health conditions, many of which are age related, the best course of action if you suspect you have diabetes is to seek a professional diagnosis. Why guess and gamble with such a deadly disease? If you note the existence of these common symptoms of diabetes, get to the doctor and find out for sure so treatment can begin as soon as possible if you are diagnosed with diabetes. Simple blood tests can determine with a high degree of confidence whether or not you do in fact have the disease. They're relatively painless and most are covered by ordinary health insurance.
Symptoms of Diabetes
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Page Updated 10:49 AM Saturday 9/26/2015