Some people don’t find out they have it until they get problems from long-term damage caused by the disease. In type 2 diabetes, the warning signs can be so mild that you don’t notice them. But with type 1 diabetes , the symptoms usually happen quickly, in a matter of days or a few weeks. They’re much more severe, too.
Most early symptoms are from higher-than-normal levels of glucose, a kind of sugar, in your blood.
You must learn the symptoms of diabetes and if you are experiencing any of the following, then, see your doctor.
1. Increased thirst and urination
As glucose levels in the blood rise, the kidneys attempt to filter it from your blood. When there is too much glucose in the blood the kidneys eventually can’t keep up. The excess glucose is excreted into your urine along with fluids from your body. This causes more frequent urination as your body attempts to expel the glucose. You become chronically dehydrated and the urge to drink more becomes increased.
2. Hunger and fatigue
Your body converts the food you eat into glucose that your cells use for energy. But your cells need insulin to bring the glucose in.
If your body doesn’t make enough or any insulin, or if your cells resist the insulin your body makes, the glucose can’t get into them and you have no energy. This can make you more hungry and tired than usual.
3. Unexpected Weight Lose
What happens when the body is excreting excess glucose when you eat? It’s not storing it as energy for later. The body excretes the glucose in urine and decreases the amount of calories that are being absorbed into the cells. This means you end up losing weight as a result since you can’t compensate in calories for what is lost.
4. Peeing more often and being thirstier
The average person usually has to pee between four and seven times in 24 hours, but people with diabetes may go a lot more.
Why? Normally your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through your kidneys. But when diabetes pushes your blood sugar up, your body may not be able to bring it all back in. It will try to get rid of the extra by making more urine, and that takes fluids.
You’ll have to go more often. You might pee out more, too. Because you’re peeing so much, you can get very thirsty. When you drink more, you’ll also pee more.
5. Dry mouth and itchy skin
Because your body is using fluids to make pee, there’s less moisture for other things. You could get dehydrated, and your mouth may feel dry. Dry skin can make you itchy.
6. Blurred vision
Changing fluid levels in your body could make the lenses in your eyes swell up. They change shape and lose their ability to focus.
7. Tingling or Numbness
Tingling or numbness, otherwise known as diabetic neuropathy is damage to nerves that arises as a complication of high blood glucose levels. When blood glucose levels are elevated, it interferes with signals transmitted by nerves. In addition, the walls of small blood vessels are weakened, effectively cutting off blood supply to nerves. This usually happens in the outermost extremities, starting with the feet.
8. Sores That Heal Slowly
In one study by the University of Warwick, researchers found that receptors that recognize infection become ‘blind’ when glucose levels rise in the blood. The high glucose effectively inhibits the normal working process of the immune system. This slows the work of white blood cells and essentially the normal healing process.
9. Yeast Infections
Both men and women with diabetes can get these. Yeast feeds on glucose, so having plenty around makes it thrive. Infections can grow in any warm, moist fold of skin, including:
- Between fingers and toes
- Under breasts
- In or around sex organs
Have you ever been low on energy and hungry? You can attest you probably weren’t in the best mood at that time. Now imagine eating calories and the energy that’s supposed to be stored in your cells to keep you going, is now being expelled. It results in an overall bad feeling and the irritability of being in a perpetual state of lost energy.
Other Type 1 Symptoms
Nausea and vomiting. When your body resorts to burning fat, it makes “ketones.” These can build up in your blood to dangerous levels, a possibly life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketones can make you feel sick to your stomach.
When to Call Your Doctor
If you’re older than 45 or have other risks for diabetes, it’s important to get tested. When you spot the condition early, you can avoid nerve damage, heart trouble, and other complications.
As a general rule, call your doctor if you:
- Feel sick to your stomach, weak, and very thirsty
- Are peeing a lot
- Have a bad belly ache
- Are breathing more deeply and faster than normal
- Have sweet breath that smells like nail polish remover. (This is a sign of very high ketones.)