Living With Diabetes - How to Know If You Have Diabetes

If you have diabetes, then you need a thorough understanding of the disease to be able to live with it. For most of the people, Diabetes goes unrecognized as its early symptoms seem harmless. By the time your Type I Diabetes is diagnosed, you may have been living with insulin deficiency for some time and it may have already done a certain level of harm to you. People diagnosed with Type II Diabetes may not observe any symptoms at all!

If your Diabetes can be diagnosed in time, then there is no reason why (even the research asserts that) why the risks of developing diabetic complications cannot be minimized.

Basically, Type I Diabetes is an insulin deficiency which gives rise to high blood glucose levels in the body. Similarly, Type II Diabetes is due to low levels of insulin or a resistance of body cells to insulin which causes an increase in blood sugar. 

This increased level of blood sugar gives rise to various signs and symptoms of Diabetes. The symptoms of Type I Diabetes and Type II Diabetes are more or less similar in nature.

How to identify Type I Diabetes?

1. Polyuria (Frequent urination): You will notice an increased frequency in your trips to the bathroom and even the volume of urination increases.

When there is an increased level of blood glucose, and absence or ineffectiveness of insulin, then the kidneys are unable to filter the glucose back to the blood. The kidneys then in order to dilute the glucose, reabsorb more water from the blood and hence a full bladder results. This keeps you running to the bathroom.

2. Polydipsia (Unusual thirst): Since the kidneys are reabsorbing a greater amount of water from the blood, your body seems to lose more water than usual. This makes the body dehydrated. In order to compensate for this loss, you seem to drink more water than normal.

3. Polyphagia (Extreme hunger): As a symptom of diabetes you experience extreme hunger. In absence of insulin, or resistance of cells to insulin, glucose cannot enter the cells. The cells cannot manufacture energy and this sends a signal to the brain. The brain perceives it as starvation and an urge to eat results.

4. Unusual weight loss: When glucose cannot enter the cells, in absence of insulin or ineffective insulin, the cells cannot make energy. In response to this other hormones like glucagon, adrenaline, cortisol and growth hormones are released which sends a signal to fat cells and muscles to form glucose from other cells. The breakdown of fats and proteins causes an unusual weight loss.

5. Extreme fatigue and irritability: Since the glucose does not enter the cells, the cells are starved from energy, and fatigue and weakness results.

6. Fruity odor in breath: The breath of a diabetic smells of acetone or a fruity odor. The absence of glucose in the cells causes the conversion of fat cells to fatty acids and glycerol which are further broken down to ketones and glucose respectively. This ketone is eliminated from the body via urine and by conversion into acetone which is eliminated through breath.

How to identify Type II Diabetes?

1. Any of the Type I symptoms of Polyuria, Polydipsia, Polyphagia, tiredness, or weight loss

2. Frequent infections: Frequent infections are a result of

3. Blurred vision: Retina can take up glucose without the intervention of insulin cells. When the quantity of glucose increases in the retina, than the surrounding cells, retina cells take up more water. This results in blurred vision.

4. Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal: Due to increased dehydration, the lesions and cuts do not heal easily.

5. Tingling sensation or numbness in hands and feet: Since Type II diabetes is not recognized for long time; prolonged exposure to high glucose has already caused damage to the peripheral sensory nerves of toes, feet, legs, hands and arms. This neuropathy causes tingling sensation or numbness in the hands and feet.

6. Recurring skin, gum, bladder infections: White blood cells that are the body's defense mechanism against infections work less effectively at a high glucose concentration increases the likelihood of infections. Skin and urinary tract infections are most common.

Sometimes Type II Diabetics do not notice any of these symptoms. As a result of prolonged high blood glucose, diabetes has already given way to other complications associated with Diabetes Mellitus.

Article Source: Pooja S Banerjee

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