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Diabetes is a severe and long-lasting health problem that affects how your body converts food into energy. The body breaks down food into sugar released into the bloodstream. If the sugar in your blood increases, the pancreas gets signaled to release insulin to curtail it. However, with diabetes, your insulin is not enough. If diabetes is left untreated, it can cause severe health complications and even death. Understanding the signs and symptoms of diabetes can help you manage this, but the symptoms will vary depending on the type. Here is your complete guide on Diabetes symptoms.
Common Diabetes Symptoms
Whatever the type of diabetes, these are the most prominent diabetes symptoms:
- Excessive thirst
- Urinating often
- Weight loss
- Blurry vision
- Slow-healing wounds
- Susceptibility to infections such as skin and gum infections
- Often feeling tired and weak
- Constantly feeling irritable or having other mood changes
- Having ketones in your urine. Ketones are products released from the breakdown of muscle and fat when there is insufficient insulin.
The 3 Ps of Diabetes
3 Ps are used to categorize the signs and symptoms of diabetes. They stand for Polydipsia, Polyuria, and Polyphagia.
Polydipsia: This describes excessive thirst. When blood glucose levels increase, the kidney produces more urine to remove the extra glucose, and because of this loss of fluid, the brain signals that you need more water.
Polyuria: When your body passes out more urine than expected, this could be a diabetes symptom. An individual should averagely produce about 1 – 2 liters of urine daily. One-liter equals about four medium-sized cups. With diabetes, a person releases more than 3 liters of urine daily. Because of the body’s high blood glucose level, the body tries to protect you by removing excess glucose through urination.
Polyphagia: This describes excessive hunger. Undoubtedly, excess hunger could be due to increased appetite after vigorous exercise. However, when it becomes constant, it could be a diabetes symptom. Because there is insufficient insulin, glucose cannot enter the cell to provide energy, there is increased hunger.
Symptoms of Diabetes by Type
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease that is usually genetic, but it can be caused by some viruses. With type 1, the pancreas is making little to no insulin, which is what the body needs in order to allow glucose into cells for energy. Most cases of type 1 diabetes begin in childhood or adolescence, but it is possible for adults to develop type 1.
Unfortunately, type 1 diabetes does not have a cure. Treatments help manage the amount of blood sugar using insulin, diet, and lifestyle changes to prevent any health complications.
Symptoms that usually come along with type 1 diabetes include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Vaginal yeast infections
- Blurred vision
- Excessive thirst
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is also considered a chronic condition. With type 2, the body is unable to regulate and use glucose properly as fuel, leading to too much sugar in the bloodstream. These high blood sugar levels can cause circulatory, nervous, and immune system disorders. In the body, the pancreas is not producing enough insulin to regulate blood sugar and the cells don’t respond well to the insulin they do receive and end up taking in less sugar than necessary.
Although there is no immediate cure for type 2 diabetes, it is possible to manage it by losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising. However, if diet and exercise are not enough to help manage your blood sugar, diabetes medications or insulin therapy may be necessary.
Specific symptoms include:
- Slow healing of cuts or sores
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
- Unexplained weight loss
- Excessive hunger and thirst
Gestational diabetes occurs only during pregnancy. Much like type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar due to the effect on cells being unable to properly use glucose. It’s important to effectively manage gestational diabetes as high blood sugar can affect not only your pregnancy but your baby’s health, as well. Anytime there are pregnancy complications it is concerning, but gestational diabetes can be managed by eating healthy and exercising. If necessary, diabetic medications can be taken to help, as well.
In most cases, gestational diabetes will subside soon after the birth of the baby. However, if you have had gestational diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on in life. Your doctor will want to check your blood sugar at routine check-ups to monitor for the condition.
Specific gestational diabetes symptoms include:
- Frequent urination
What Does Early Diabetes Feel Like?
Prediabetes describes the stage when the sugar is higher than expected but cannot be flagged as type 2 diabetes just yet. Unfortunately, during prediabetes, the body may begin experiencing damage to the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys. It has no or minimal symptoms, which would closely resemble those that come with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. If you are at risk of developing type 1 or 2 due to prediabetes, constantly getting tested is necessary. Thankfully, with lifestyle changes, it’s possible to prevent this stage from developing into type 2 diabetes.
Eating healthy, being physically active, and staying at a healthy weight can help bring blood sugar levels back from prediabetic to normal.
Is It Possible To Have Diabetes Without Symptoms?
It is possible to have diabetes without experiencing any of the above symptoms. However, you can be sure that not getting frequent medical tests can put your health at risk. You should have regular diabetes testing performed if you are at risk due to genetics, history, or lifestyle.
Don’t Delay a Diagnosis: Get Tested for Diabetes Today
While some diabetes symptoms are obvious, it is possible to have the condition and not even know it, allowing it to progressively damage the body over time until irreversible damage is done. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of diabetes, or are at increased risk, diabetes testing will enable you to confirm the presence of the condition. Make testing easy by ordering a diabetic test panel from Priority Lab Testing today and get the answers you need.