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Signs You Might Be Diabetic: Am I Diabetic?

Updated on May 15, 2014

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Signs you Could be Diabetic

As a person who was diagnosed with late onset type 1 diabetes at the age of 21 (15 years ago) It is hard for me to believe how ignorant I was to the telltale signs that I might be at the beginning stages of this horrible disease. In this article, I want to discuss some of the signs and symptoms of early diabetes that are easily recognizable and warrant an immediate visit to your doctor to be tested for the disease.

For Starters, the two basic types of diabetes are called type 1 and type 2 diabetes. These have been called child onset and adult onset diabetes respectively in the past but are now labels as types 1 and 2 as to not confuse the fact that an individual can develop either type at virtually any age. Type 1, or insulin dependent diabetes, is when an afflicted individuals’ pancreas, for one reason or another, stops producing insulin (a hormone the body produces to break down sugar into fuel for the body) in a consistent way or stops producing it all together. There is no clear cut reason this happens nor is their currently a cure for this condition. Some theorize that a common virus like strep throat attack the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas killing them off thus preventing proper insulin production when carbohydrates and sugars are consumed In turn, high levels of glucose remain in the body and increase what is called blood glucose levels. When this occurs, two of the first and most easily recognizable symptoms begin.

Early Symptoms you May have Diabetes

1) Insatiable Thirst

In the weeks before I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I became quite easily parched and almost no amount of fluid intake could satisfy my need for fluids. I would drink bottle upon bottle of Gatorade, fruit punch, soda pop, whatever I could get my hands on. Since I wasn’t drinking “diet” varieties of these products; it turns out that drinking these high sugar items were only making matters worse.

2) Frequent Urination

That’s right folks, with excessive fluid consumption comes excessive urination. But there is a catch. Are you frequently urinating because you drink so much or do you drink so much because you are frequently urinating? The answer to this question is yes! It actually is a pretty viscous cycle. When the body’s blood sugar levels reach high levels, the red blood cells become satiated and are unable to handle much water so instead of the water being used to nourish the bodies requirements it is simply being flushed out. This is why thirst is difficult to quench and the bathroom is difficult not to visit when blood glucose levels are high.

3) Rapid Unexpected Weight Loss

Mostly due to symptoms 1 and 2, you may experience rapid and pretty drastic weight loss when your blood sugar is out of control in untreated diabetic conditions. You body is unable to retain much water because of the red blood cell oversaturation with glucose and you therefore lose a great deal of water weight from the body. In my personal experience, I lost approximately 30 pounds in a two week period.

4) Oral Thrush

Constant high blood sugar levels leave the body in a pretty vulnerable position in regard to fighting off infection because immune response is weakened. When this happens, oral thrush is essentially a yeast infection in the mouth’s mucus membrane that appears “cottony” are full of sores on the tongue and mouth and can be very uncomfortable. Again, high blood glucose levels as a result of diabetes helps feed this yeast infection.

5) Balanitis

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to this condition which is an inflamed foreskin and head of the male genitalia. It is quite painful, can be foul in odor, and leaves a rash and often scummy appearing substance in the area affected. Often people mistake the condition for some sore of STD. This is the condition that ultimately got me to go see the doctor with this fear (albeit unfounded).

If you have one or more of these symptoms and are concerned you could be developing or have diabetes. Se your family doctor immediately and ask for a Hemoglobin A1C test which will reveal what your blood glucose levels have been running at over the past 3 months or so. Once these results are in and indicate a diabetic condition, you will be referred to an endocrinologist that can help you lead a normal healthy life while keeping the disease in check.

Great Resource on Hubpages on this Topic

Check out D.Virtual.Doctor's page on Diabetes Complications. I don't thinkI have ever seen a more inclusive write up on the subject in an online article!


© 2011 Peter Leeper


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    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      This is a very useful hub. Many people are undiagnosed diabetics and sharing your experience can help others to heed the signs before permanent damage sets in.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I've been treated for Type 2 diabetes for a number of years. Poor blood circulation leading to an intolerance for cold temps and frequent urination are things I've had since very young Not sure of the connection, if any.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Great to read this article - I too was diagnosed with late onset Type 1 diabetes at age 34. It was very surprising, but I overlooked my symptoms, chalking them up to the effects of having had twins.

    • Anjili profile image

      Anjili 5 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

      Thanks. Voted up and shared to alert the likes of me over this dreadful ailment. Many pals are catching it. Lol

    • thesingernurse profile image

      thesingernurse 5 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      Balanitis was a new term for me. Thank you for this informative hub. Voted up!