Diabetes is a chronic disease affecting people throughout the world. It is not curable, but if you start with treatment in the early stages you can keep it in control. Simply put, diabetes is a condition where the body has an increased level of blood glucose. There are some outward signs of diabetes that may help you to be warned to the risks and prompt you to have tests done at the earliest.
Diabetes is categorized as Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 1 is juvenile onset diabetes which causes much anxiety as it affects children, even toddlers. Type 2 is among people of any age, even teenagers. Gestational diabetes is caused during pregnancy. Diabetes is caused as the insulin hormone in the body is not enough to break down the glucose that is built up. Usually when we eat food it gets converted into glucose which is needed by the body as energy. Insulin hormone helps pancreas regulate use of sugar in body when it converts it into energy. However, with diabetes the pancreas fails to produce insulin in sufficient quantity. If left untreated, diabetes causes damage to both small and large blood vessels in the body and risk of heart disease increases. It may also cause serious damage to the kidneys.
The initial signs of diabetes may be different for each patient. However, the common signs that you should be aware of are frequent urination, extreme thirst, extreme hunger, itchy skin etc. Frequent urination is commonly seen among diabetics as the body tries to regulate the sugar in the body by taking the water from the cells to balance the electrolytes in the body. This gives the feeling of a full bladder and diabetics visit the bathroom more often. As the water from the cells flows out the cells get dehydrated, triggering the brain to feel thirsty. With this the intake of fluids increases which in turn increases urination.
Another outward sign is polyphagia or extreme hunger. It is caused as body is trying to balance electrolytes and fluids which trigger the hunger centers and give you a feeling of needing to eat. However, the more you eat the more this condition progresses. At the same time the body is not absorbing enough glucose in its cells. With the impaired glucose transport in the cell, the energy level of diabetics is low and they have a constant feeling of fatigue and weakness. Though there is more intake of food diabetics still lose weight. People eat more to fill up and thus gain more body mass. However, as the glucose gets flushed out and is not utilized, no nutrients reach cells for growth and there is substantial weight loss. It is more common in juvenile diabetics.
Diabetics also suffer from vision impairment like blurred vision as high glucose levels cause the water to move outwards from cells even in the eyes which causes the shape of the cells to be affected. This leads to blurring of vision. Other common signs of diabetes include delayed healing of wounds. This is because the high glucose levels also affect the cell’s ability to repair, leaving the wounds open to infection. The same experience can be seen with the gums when any infection takes place causing them to become red and swollen.
The symptoms of diabetes are common and can go undiagnosed as some other infection. You should be aware of the outward signs of diabetes which can lower the risk of complications due to diabetes.