What Are Symptoms of Diabetes

When you ask 'What are symptoms of diabetes?' it is important to understand exactly what diabetes IS in order to understand your diabetes treatment.

Most people know that diabetes has something to do with sugar in the blood stream - that's why you need a diabetes testing kit - and maybe that it's caused by not enough insulin in the body.

Here's MY straightforward way of looking at the problem of diabetes:

When you have diabetes, your body is not making enough (or any) of a substance called "Insulin".

That's it.

It all boils down to not having enough insulin in your system. Normally insulin is manufactured in your body by the pancreas. But for some reason, this production can slow down or even stop.

Why do we need insulin?

Our body needs insulin to extract the energy from the food we eat. Most of the carbohydrates in our food is turned into glucose, (a type of sugar), which our bodies can normally use for energy.

Insulin is essential to extract the glucose out of the blood stream and get it into the cells of our bodies. Without insulin, your body cannot extract the glucose, and so the glucose builds up in the bloodstream.

SO now you have TWO problems caused by this lack of insulin;

  • You're not getting any energy out of your food, because there's not enough insulin to extract the energy from your food.
  • Glucose (ie. sugar) starts to build up in your blood stream.

These 2 facts cause ALL the problems of diabetes.

Here are the Big Three Symptoms of Diabetes:

a glass of water against a light blue backgroundYou feel thirsty all the time.

The Three Main Symptoms Of Diabetes.

1. You feel thirsty all the time, and have to drink a lot more than normal.

2. You have to go to the bathroom more than usual, to urinate frequently.

3. You feel hungry a lot of the time and want to eat more than normal, but you don't get fat.

These are the 3 basic diabetes symptoms.

If you have all 3 symptoms, get yourself along to your doctor's office for a simple test.

The chest of a doctor wearing a white coat and holding a stethoscopeGet a test at your doctor's office

But what about a home diabetes testing kit?

Well, it's true they can't replace the tests at a doctor's office completely, but I think they are extremely useful.

What Are Symptoms of Diabetes?

The other things you may notice are:

  • extreme tiredness
  • unexplained weight loss
  • slow healing of cuts and wounds
  • blurred vision

As well as insulin therapy (for Type 1 diabetes), changing your diet and losing body fat will help a lot in managing your condition.

Information about great recipes for you can be found in an excellent book by medical doctor Joel Fuhrman MD. You read about it at Amazon HERE.

I really like this book, and recommend it.

Black and white image of a girl in a black top drinking from a bottle of Coca-ColaThirsty - but don't drink Coke!

OK, I've tried to keep things as simple as possible so far, but there are 3 more things you need to know;

  • There are 2 types of diabetes, simply called Type 1 and Type 2.
  • Usually, Type 1 affects young people, and is classed as an "autoimmune" disorder. There's nothing you can do to prevent getting it.
  • However Type 2 diabetes affects older folk, and is usually linked to being overweight.
  • Because all diabetes treatment aims to keep the blood glucose down at a certain level, sometimes an unexpected event can cause the blood glucose to go too low, causing a different set of diabetes-related problems. Many people with diabetes will say that this has happened to them at one time or another.

In Type 1, the signs of diabetes are usually very obvious and develop very quickly, usually over just a few weeks.

Type 1 diabetes develops when the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. As a result the body cannot manufacture any insulin at all, or very little. And without Insulin, your body cannot extract the glucose from the food you eat.

Without glucose, your body has to find it's energy from somewhere else, and it starts to burn your body fat stores. That's why you start to lose weight.

But there's a dangerous side to this. When your fat stores are burned they leave acids called ketones behind. When ketones build up in your system, it can lead you into a coma, and without treatment you will die.

With Type 2 diabetes, there is simply not enough insulin being created, OR the insulin that is produced is not very effective - it just doesn't work as well as it should do.

Diabetes 2 treatment usually involves changes to your diet, getting more exercise, and losing weight if you need to. Recent research shows that reducing your body fat can "cure" type 2 diabetes. Sometimes medications are needed too.

What Are Symptoms of Diabetes

Signs that Your Blood Glucose is getting too high:

  • You could feel unusually weak and tired.
  • You may be aware of your heart beating quickly.
  • You may find yourself breaking out in a sweat.
  • You might feel quite anxious.
  • You could notice some shaking of your arms, hands and legs.
  • You may feel dizzy.
  • You might feel abnormal hunger.
  • Feeling irritability is common.

These signs of diabetes come about as a direct result of glucose in your blood not being consumed or used up. The glucose just keeps building up in your blood stream.

There is a natural reaction in your body to this build-up, by making more urine to try to wash the glucose out. This is why you have to go to the bathroom more often.

Unfortunately, this natural reaction of the body doesn't work very well.

What Are Symptoms of Diabetes

You really need to have an accurate diabetes glucose monitor. It should be easy to use, small, and not expensive! I strongly recommend the Care Touch blood glucose monitor, available from Amazon.

One or two signs of diabetes on their own do not necessarily point to diabetes. But if you get several of them together, especially the main three -

  • thirst,
  • need to urinate frequently,
  • and extreme hunger,
  • you may be experiencing the first signs of diabetes. Ask your doctor about it, and get a simple test done.

I hope this page on the symptoms of diabetes has been useful.

You WILL also find this next page helpful if you want to prevent dental problems as a result of diabetes: Diabetes and Gum Disease

You should DEFINITELY read that page too! There is a 2-way connection between diabetes and gum disease ; each one can make the other condition worse - in both directions! Check out that page now.

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