It is important to know the diabetes symptoms in order to detect the disease at an early stage and prevent it from causing any permanent damage to your body. Studies have shown that early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the risk of developing further problems from the disease.
Diabetes is sometimes called a ‘silent disease’ as the symptoms are often hidden until the patient develops a serious complication of the disease many years later. There are no special warning signs in people with diabetes. Unless someone decides to disclose their condition, friends and even relatives may be unaware of an individual’s diagnosis. However, early diagnosis and treatment reduces the risk of serious complications.
It is vital to see your GP if you suspect you have diabetes or any of the following diabetes symptoms repeatedly occur:
- Increased Thirst and Urination:
Excessive thirst (polydipsia) and frequent urination (polyuria) are common diabetes symptoms. In individuals with diabetes, glucose (excess sugar) builds up in their blood. The kidneys are compelled to work extra hard to absorb the excess glucose. If the kidneys are unable to cope, the excess sugar is removed through the urine along with fluids from the body tissues. Another symptom that is common with both types of diabetes is the increased urge to urinate. The body attempts to get rid of the excess glucose and thus, the person with diabetes feels the urge to urinate more frequently.
- Increased Fatigue:
If the body insulin is not functioning properly, or is completely absent, then glucose does not enter the body cells to supply them with the much-needed energy. Therefore, the person with diabetes tends to feel tired and drowsy.
- Intense Hunger:
Since the body insulin is not functioning properly or is missing, and your body cells are not supplied with energy, the body may try to get more energy by inducing hunger. As a result, you may eat more food than usual.
- Unusual Weight Loss:
This symptom is more prevalent among individuals with Type 1 Diabetes. Since the body is not producing insulin, it often tries to get energy from another source – muscle fat and tissues are often broken down to produce energy. Since Type 1 Diabetes often occurs suddenly while Type 2 occurs more gradually, unusual weight loss is more evident in individuals with Type 1 Diabetes.
- Blurred vision:
Blurred vision can be a result of tissues in your eye lenses being distorted. This affects the ability of your eyes to maintain a sharp focus. This can be properly treated with the right treatment. In severe cases, long-term vision problems or blindness can occur.
- Red, Puffy and Sore Gums:
Both types of diabetes can reduce your body’s ability to fight disease-causing micro-organisms, which increases the likelihood of infection in the gums and other structures that hold the teeth in position. Your gums tend to pull away, making the teeth loose and sores may also develop in the gum, particularly if you have a tooth or gum infection prior to the occurrence of diabetes.
- Tingling Hands, Feet or Both:
Tingling in hands and feet is a common and troublesome symptom of diabetes. Excess sugar in the blood can cause damage to the nerves. You might experience tingling hands, feet or both and even loss of sensation as well as a sharp pain in your hands, arms, feet, and legs.
- Slow Healing Wounds or Regular Infections:
General observations have shown that infections tend to be more common in people with diabetes. However, medical research has not proved whether or not slow healing wounds have a direct link with diabetes. Chances are the excess blood sugar levels hinder the body’s natural healing ability. Vaginal and bladder infections are particularly common in women.
Diabetes is often detected by performing a simple urine test, which is designed to determine whether there is excess sugar in the blood. This is often accompanied by a blood test, which examines the level of blood glucose in the blood and can help confirm the presence of diabetes.
Listen to Your Body’s Clues
If you suspect you have diabetes or notice any potential diabetes symptoms, see your GP. The earlier the disease is detected, the better your chances of treating the condition successfully. Diabetes is a very serious disease. However, with proper medical support and your efforts, you can manage the condition, get active and enjoy a healthy life!