If one is looking to identify the early signs of diabetes, it is important to note that diabetes is a metabolic disorder. When the food digested by the body is not properly converted to be used for growth as well as energy, this phenomenon is what triggers diabetes.
What are the early signs of diabetes?
The early signs of diabetes are generally mild and mostly ignored by most people. A higher than average level of glucose is found in the blood. With type 2 diabetes, there are no significant manifestations until the effects of long-term damage are felt.
As far as type 1 diabetes is concerned, there are early manifestations that occur within a couple of days or weeks. The severity is more complicated as well.
Early signs that are common to both types of diabetes
Hungry or fatigued
The glucose needed by the cells come from the food that we eat. The body converts food that we eat into glucose. However, to ensure that the glucose reaches the cells, insulin is required by the body.
When the body cannot manufacture enough or any insulin at all, or if the insulin present is resisted by the cells, they don’t get the glucose they need. Thus, leaving one with no energy. This could lead to one to feel more hungry and fatigued.
Thirst and frequent urination
The frequency of urination for normal people is between 4 and 7 times a day. This frequency goes up much higher in patients who have diabetes. The reason this happens is that there is complete glucose reabsorption by the body when passing through the kidneys in normal cases.
The blood sugar levels rise due to diabetes. There is greater urine production by the body, and hence, more fluids are needed by the system. It is a vicious cycle, as one can feel more thirsty and so they drink more water resulting in frequent urination.
Mouth dryness and itchiness of the skin
The outflow of fluids from the system results in reduced moisture in the skin. This can lead to dehydration as well as a feeling of dryness in the mouth. One can also experience itchiness that is often accompanied by dry skin.
There is a swelling noticed in the optic lens due to a change in fluid levels in the body. With the change in shape of the lens, there could be a loss of ability to focus.
With persistently high levels of glucose, yeast infections occur in both men and women. The reason for this is that glucose is a staple for yeast and with an abundance of glucose, yeast infection could start to manifest.
The area where this infection is found could include parts of the skin that is moist and warm—for example, between the fingers and toes, under the breasts, as well as in and around the genitals.
Slow healing of wounds
With frequent high blood sugar levels, there is a high possibility of damage to the nerves. This could delay the process of healing the wounds, thereby proving it to be a major challenge.
One is likely to face a numb sensation in their feet or legs. The reason for this is often attributed to nerve damage.
Specific early signs of type 1 diabetes
Sudden weight loss
One of the major signs of type 1 diabetes is a sudden and unexplained loss of weight. The reason for this is when the body does not get the required amount of energy from the food one consumes, as a result of which muscle and fat are burnt to replace this. One could be following the same diet, but could still lose weight.
Nausea or vomiting
As the body burns fat to compensate for insufficient energy from food, ketones are formed in the body. When the levels of ketones reach alarming levels, one could be at risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, which could be fatal. The feeling of nausea arises from the ketones.
Situations that demand seeking medical intervention
If one is over the age of 45, they should get themselves tested for diabetes regularly. One should also get themselves examined if they have other risk factors for diabetes.
To be on the safe side, one should visit a doctor if:
- There is a feeling of weakness, excessive thirst, and sickness in the stomach.
- There is excessive urination.
- There is an unbearable pain in the belly.
- The breathing is deeper and faster than the average rate.
- The breath smells sweet, almost like a nail polish remover. This is indicative of ketones.
Controlling diabetes with lifestyle changes
Though a cure for diabetes has not been found yet, one can make certain changes in their lifestyle to control the condition.
Checking blood sugar levels: It is important to keep an eye on the blood sugar levels regularly and keep the remedies handy in case there is any abnormality. Ensure that one doesn’t miss their medications. Diabetes can be managed through medication, exercise, proper sleep, and managing stress.
Don’t miss medical appointments: One should make sure they don’t miss their medical appointments with all the concerned medical professionals.