Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes
If you believe that you may have Diabetes Mellitus, consult a medical professional immediately. There are 2 main types of diabetes.
Types of Diabetes
Type 1 (your body does not produce insulin) is sometimes known as juvenile diabetes, which is more commonly diagnosed in children but can present at any age. Type 2 (your body does not absorb insulin correctly) is sometimes known as adult-onset diabetes, which often subtle and may be due to aging or obesity. Type 2 diabetes is growing in children and teens as well.
General signs and symptoms of diabetes that warrant further investigation are listed below.
- If you have: “Unexplained” hand shaking, sweating, weakness, or rapid weight loss, go to the Emergency room NOW for an evaluation (or call 911).
- Seek immediate medical attention if you have a fruity smell on your breath. This can be a symptom of Ketoacidosis (ketones are a byproduct of when your body uses fat for energy), caused by severe hyperglycemia (high blood sugars), and requires urgent medical attention. Diabetics who miss their insulin dose, even without ketoacidosis, can have fruity breath. It’s a warning sign not to be ignored.
Some of the early symptoms of diabetes include:
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive hunger
- Frequent urination (including waking 3 or more times in the night to urinate)
- Unexplained significant weight loss
- Fatigue (particularly after eating)
- Feeling irritable
- Wounds that don’t heal or heal slowly
- Frequent or lingering infections
- Leg cramps (usually occurring as undiagnosed diabetes worsens and mostly during the night)
- Blurred or other changes in vision
If you have some or all of the symptoms above, get tested by a physician as soon as possible. Your primary care physician can perform 2 different tests to check your blood glucose level. Normally, a blood test is used to check for diabetes, but a urine test can also be performed.
Blood Sugar Signs and Symptoms
Normal blood glucose levels are between 90 and 120.
- If you’re borderline diabetic, your levels will be between 121 and 130.
- If your levels are above 130, you’re considered diabetic.
Treat diabetes immediately! To treat diabetes, you may need to take insulin injections or pills daily. Diet and exercise will also be important parts of your treatment.
Info, Tips, and Warnings:
- Sometimes the only thing needed to treat diabetes is diet and exercise.
- You will have to cut back on sugar and carbohydrates, which are not healthy components of diet anyway.
- Type 1 diabetes results from the body’s failure to produce insulin, and presently requires the person to inject insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency.
- The A1c is a test to measure diabetes. Think about when you get sugar on something, such as table sugar – it sticks and when it’s around for a long time, it’s harder to get it off. In the body, sugar sticks too, particularly to proteins. The red blood cells that circulate in the body live for about three months before they die. When sugar sticks to these cells, it gives us an idea of how much sugar has been around for the preceding three months. In most labs, the normal range is 4-5.9%. In poorly controlled diabetes, its 8.0% or above, and in well controlled patients it’s less than 7.0%. The benefits of measuring A1c is that is gives a more reasonable view of what’s happening over the course of time (3 months), and the value does not bounce as much as finger stick blood sugar measurements.
- The onset of hyperglycemia is known when a person’s glucose level goes beyond the ideal level, and although it can occur on its own, it is highly considered as the major symptom of Diabetes Mellitus. In fact, it is known to be the primary cause of several complications associated with diabetes. If left untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to more serious health issues, such as nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage or failure, blindness, and severe circulation problems resulting in difficult-to-treat infections that can progress into gangrene, necessitating amputation (particularly in the lower extremities).
- Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include being overweight or obese, being African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, Native-American, of Pacific-Islander descent, having a family history of diabetes and/or having a history of gestational diabetes. If you have one or more of these risk factors, talk to your doctor about getting a fasting plasma glucose test.
- Gestational diabetes is when a pregnant woman, who have never had diabetes before, has a high blood glucose level during pregnancy. It may precede development of type 2 Diabetes.
It is extremely important to consult with a medical professional immediately if you are exhibiting any of these symptoms. Undiagnosed and untreated Diabetes can be very dangerous.
(Adapted from How to Tell if You Have Diabetes.)