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Diabetes Symptoms

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where in human body does not produce or properly uses insulin, a hormone that is required to convert glucose into energy. As a result, the broken down glucose stays in the blood and the cells starve for the glucose.

There are basically three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes: Here the body is unable to produce insulin.
  • Type 2 diabetes: Here the body produces insulin but the cells of the body do not respond to insulin and thus the glucose is not converted to energy.
  • Gestational diabetes: It occurs in pregnant women after first trimester of pregnancy.

Types 1 & 2 diabetes are chronic medical conditions that are persistent and perpetual. Gestational Diabetes usually resolves itself after the birth of the child.

In type 1 diabetes there are few additional symptoms to type 2 diabetes. Some of the common symptoms of any type of diabetes are:

  • Frequent urination and glucose in urine
  • Disproportionate and unquenchable thirst
  • Intense hunger that is never satiated
  • Intense Fatigue
  • Irritability and confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Delayed healing of normal cuts and bruises
  • More skin and yeast infections
  • Itchy skin
  • Red swollen gums and loose teeth
  • Sexual dysfunction (erectile dysfunction) among men
  • Vaginal and uterus infections among women
  • Numbness or tingling in feet and hands

Nausea and vomiting are additional symptoms that can be seen in type 1 diabetes. There can be significant weight loss in type 1 diabetes as the body starts breaking down the muscle tissue and fat for producing the energy. Dehydration symptoms also manifest here, due to electrolyte disturbance, which can further lead to weight loss.

On the contrary there can be abnormal weight gain in type 2 diabetes due to increased hunger and increased intake of food.

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms:

  • Frequent urination as the body tries to remove excess glucose from the body through urine, mixing it with water
  • Excessive thirst
  • Tiredness as the body does not convert glucose to energy
  • Weight loss
  • Feeling sick
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased appetite
  • Irritation in the genitals
  • Infections like thrush

When these symptoms are ignored, the body starts production of a chemical called ketone in the blood. As a result, risk of a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis arises.

Symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis:

  • Nausea
  • Rapid pulse
  • Breath odor
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Sweet-smelling fruity acetone breath
  • Abdominal pain mostly in children
  • Drowsiness
  • Coma

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms:

It takes nearly 13 years for the symptoms of type 2 diabetes to become apparent. In two-thirds of patients, these signs remain latent and the diagnosis takes place by the time the disease is acquired completely. Some symptoms of this disease are:

  • Polyuria
  • Polydipsia
  • Polyphagia

Factors which Increase the Risk of Diabetes Symptoms are:

  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Consumption of saturated fat
  • Hyper tension
  • High cholesterol level
  • Aging
  • Medical conditions like Cushing’s syndrome, acromegly, thyrotoxicosis, pheochromocytoma, chronic pancreatitis, cancer and usage of certain drugs

Statistics of Diabetes – February 2009:

  • There are 17.9 million and 5.7 million diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetic patients in the United States.
  • Every year 1.6 million people above the age of 20 years are diagnosed with the symptoms of this disease.
  • 186,300 people (or 0.2 percent of the population))below the age of 20 years have this disease.
  • People above the age of 20 years and suffering from this disease are 23.5 million (or 10.7 percent of the population).
  • 12.2 million (or 23.1 percent) diabetic people are above the age of 60 years.
  • 12.0 million (or 11.2 percent) men above the age of 20 years have this disease.
  • 11.5 million (or 10.2 percent) women aged 20 years and above have diabetes.
  • 48 million Americans will have type 2 diabetes by the year 2050.

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