Diabetes is a common disease that affects many American’s every year, but the general public still lacks basic and knowledge and understanding of the condition. Being aware of diabetes signs and symptoms can help you recognize the possibility of diabetes in yourself or a loved one. Even if none of the symptoms apply to you personally, having an understanding of the disease will help you as you come in contact with other diabetes sufferers throughout your life.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that affects how the body uses and responds to sugar or glucose. Glucose is a vital part of our bodies functions daily. From providing energy to our muscles to fueling our brain activity, we can’t survive without glucose. Diabetes causes too much glucose to enter the bloodstream at a time, which can have hazardous side effects. Diabetes can occur in type 1 or type 2, as well as prediabetes and gestational diabetes. Prediabetes and gestational diabetes can typically be resolved with healthy lifestyle changes and consistent monitoring.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes both present with the same symptoms. The critical difference, however, is that type 1 diabetics typically notice the onset of symptoms much more quickly than type 2 diabetics. This leads to type 2 diabetics going undiagnosed and untreated for an extended period of time. Warning signs and potential symptoms of diabetes include:
• Excessive thirst
• Frequent urination
• Unexplained rapid weight loss
• Recurrent infections
• Slow healing times on wounds and abrasions
• Blurred vision
• Ketones in urine samples
All of these symptoms are caused by the excess glucose in the blood combined with a lack of insulin to control the glucose. Type 1 diabetics often begin to show signs in early childhood. Their parents will likely notice signs before the children themselves do. Type 2 diabetes appears in adults over the age of 40 the most, but it can technically begin at any age. Prediabetes looks in someone at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If prediabetes is diagnosed, your doctor will prescribe lifestyle changes involving your diet and exercise to reverse the effects before you become a type 2 diabetic. Gestational diabetes appears in women during pregnancy and typically goes away after the pregnancy ends. Lifestyle changes and monitoring can often control gestational diabetes without the need for supplemental insulin injections in the expectant mother.
If you think you or a loved one may be suffering from diabetes, contact a doctor right away to begin the testing process.