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The Diabetes Doctor Series - Part 2 - Symptoms of Diabetes
It is important to know what the symptoms of diabetes are because this illness over a period of time can lead to some devastating complications such as blindness, amputations, heart disease and kidney damage. The sad fact about diabetes in the US is, as we mentioned in the first series 'What Is Diabetes?', there are some 7 million people walking around the streets of America who do not know they have this debilitating disease. We hope to address this issue in this guideline, and would urge you to read this hub so that you become familiar with what constitutes diabetes symptoms.
Symptoms for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Why so many people do not know they have diabetes is because many of the symptoms have an alternative explanation. For example, an unusual thirst could be explained away by hot weather, or that one is exercising more. Also because the symptoms of diabetes appear quite harmless many people simply ignore them.
In recent studies it has been shown that the earlier diabetes symptoms are recognised and treated the better the prognosis for developing complications.
The symptoms may vary dependent on whether you are diagnosed as having Type I or Type II diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms
- Unusual thirst
- Extreme Tiredness
- Extreme hunger
- Unexplained weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Mood swings and irritability
Prediabetes symptoms may appear before people go on to develop type 2 diabetes. The main clue that they are in a state of pre-diabetes is a:
- Higher than normal blood glucose levels but which are not quite high enough to give a diagnosis of diabetes.
In the US there are approximately 79 million people who have prediabetes and are unaware of the long-term damage it can cause to their heart and circulatory system.
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
Type 2 diabetes symptoms include any of the type 1 symptoms plus
- Blurred vision
- Itchy skin
- Frequent infections
- Blader infetions
- Wounds slow to heal
- Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
- Recurrent gum and skin problems
Do You Have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes?
There are three types of diabetes, Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy). We are going to discuss the two major types 1 and 2 in this guideline and will give an entire guideline to gestational diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune disease where the immune system by mistake manufactures antibodies and inflammatory cells that attack the pancreas which is responsible for producing insulin. This results in the patient being immediately placed on an insulin injection regime because their pancreas is not making any insulin.
Type 1 diabetes is usually found in young people as young as a year old.
Type 2 Diabetes
Patients with Type 2 diabetes or adult onset diabetes mellitus are still able to produce insulin but it is usually not enough to allow glucose to be used by the body's cells (also known as insulin resistance).
Type 2 diabetes is often seen in people over the age of 40, although in African Americans and South Asian people appear to be at greater risk and may experience diabetes symptoms as early as the age of 25. Once again because of the epidemic numbers are increasing and we are seeing more and more children, and young people from all backgrounds developing type 2 diabetes.
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above please make an appointment to see your physician and obtain the required treatment as soon as possible.