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What symptoms to look for in early diabetes

Updated on October 31, 2013

Important diabetic information

Testing for blood glucose levels are very important if you have Diabetes. If your level is below 70-80 or above 120-130 on a regular basis, or you are having symptoms of low blood sugar, you should call your doctor right away. You may be getting either too much insulin or not enough. You doctor will adjust your insulin dosage accordingly.

Exercise is also important in that it can keep your weight down, which can also keep your blood glucose levels down in the normal range. At first exercise will tend to increase your blood glucose not be alarmed, exercise causes "stress" on your body. Anything that causes stress to you will cause an increase in your blood sugar level.

Testing for glucose amount in blood


Write down blood glucose levels every time you test


What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas either doesn't produce enough insulin or doesn't produce any insulin at all. Glucose, which is used by insulin for energy, builds up in a diabetics bloodstream because they have excess glucose in their blood.The pancreas can't turn the insulin floating around in the bloodstream into energy, causing an excess of sugar in the blood that the body can't use...this is high blood sugar or diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes:

The symptoms of diabetes can go on for a long time before it is noticed. Only about one-third of persons with diabetes are even diagnosed. This is because symptoms in early diabetes are either mild or mimic other disorders. Because of this, some symptoms may cause permanent damage before diabetes is suspected and diagnosed.

For those reasons, it is important to know the early symptoms of diabetes, especially if diabetes runs in your family. The early symptoms of diabetes in the early stages include:

Urinary frequency:

Because of the excess glucose in the bloodstream and the lack of insulin, the kidneys can't filter the required glucose back to the blood. The kidneys become overwhelmed by the amount of glucose trying to get through. They then try to draw the excess water out of the blood to dilute the excess glucose. This causes your bladder to fill up with the excess fluid in your body. Frequent urination is the result.

Severe thirst:

Severe thirst is one of the earliest signs of diabetes. Because of the frequency in which you urinate, you are losing a lot of fluids. This loss of fluids is the cause of excess thirst. The excess urination also causes an increase of thirst due to a feeling of dehydration.

Unintended weight loss:

In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas completely stops working and making insulin. Insulin is required for the body to break down glucose and use for energy. When the body can't find an energy source, it starts to break down muscle and fat tissue for use as energy. This is what causes unintended weight loss.

In Type 2 diabetes the weight loss happens gradually because there is not such an extreme loss of insulin as in Type 1 diabetes. Insulin is resistant in Type 2 diabetes, insulin is non-existent in Type1.


Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) causes numbness and tingling in the extremities, usually starting at the toes and feet and moving up the leg and entire body if left untreated. Neuropathy also causes pain and a burning sensation in the effected extremities. Control of diabetic neuropathy requires tight glucose control and low blood lipids to decrease the chance of permanent nerve damage.

Sweet breath:

Diabetes causes an increase in ketones in the blood stream. The sweet smelling breath is caused from the body trying to get rid of the extra ketones. The excess ketones end up coming out of the mouth when you exhale. This is called ketoacidosis and is a life threatening condition.

Diabetic retinopathy:

In early stages and in cases when your blood glucose is extremely high for a period of time, your vision can become blurred because of diabetic retinopathy. The higher the glucose is in the blood stream, the more blurred your eyes will get. When the glucose goes back to normal, as when insulin is given, your vision will return to normal.

You can have diabetic retinopathy and not know it for quite a long time. In fact, it is unusual to have symptoms with diabetic retinopathy. If you do have symptoms, they may include blurred vision, trouble with night vision, seeing dark areas in your vision and loss of vision. Diabetic neuropathy generally affects both eyes.

Slow wound healing:

People with diabetes often have trouble with poor wound healing. This is because their circulation is poor, nerve damage slows healing and their immune system isn't working correctly. In severe diabetics, even a small wound may take months or years to heal.

If you have a close family member with diabetes or you are having prediabetic symptoms, as in this article, see your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment. Your health care provider can perform a blood glucose test to check you for diabetes.


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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Very important to know of this information, early stages of Diabetes is often ignore and found out in the insulin stage helpful and useful indeed.