Symptoms Of Diabetes You May Not Know
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How can you tell if you or someone you love has diabetes?
Well, the only sure fire way is to get tested at your doctor’s office, but there are some common and some uncommon signs to keep an eye out for.
Unfortunately, the symptoms aren’t all going to hit at the same time and make it known that you need to seek medical attention. You can live months with diabetes and have little to no symptoms.
I was diagnosed at 31—a year and a half ago—so I’m fairly new to this disease. I had symptoms for 3 months before I went and got checked out by my primary care doctor. One symptom in particular really worried me and sent me in to get checked out—I’ll tell you what it is a little later. After getting checked over and getting blood work done, I got a call that I was a Type 2 Diabetic and was started on oral medication.
Now, I, like many people, didn’t know the difference in type 1 and type 2. So I didn’t question anything. Even with my grandpa being diabetic most of his life, I still had the misconception that only old people, overweight people or young kids got it.
After a couple weeks of no change in my blood glucose levels and going extremely high, I got scared and bypassed my primary doctor and went to see an endocrinologist. The second I walked in he said I was a Type 1.
So, what’s the difference?
A type 1—more commonly known as Juvenile Diabetes—is an autoimmune disease. My body attacked my beta cells that produce insulin. So, in short, my pancreas no longer produces insulin.
It can be genetic but isn’t always. It is more common to see among children and young adults (under 30). Hence the reason my primary doctor assumed I was type 2.
A type 2 diabetic is insulin resistant. Their body produces insulin but doesn’t absorb it properly. Genetics play a part with type 2, along with being overweight, diet and exercise.
Symptoms Of Diabetes
Now, not all the symptoms have to be present, and some symptoms are more common with type 2 or vice versa.
Frequent Urination and Extreme Thirst- I was extremely thirsty. This was the first symptom that I noticed. I felt like I couldn’t get enough water.
Your body becomes less efficient at breaking food down into sugar. So you have more sugar sitting in your stream. So, it gets flushed out in your urine. Which means you are drinking more to allow this to happen and to keep from getting dehydrated.
Dry Mouth and Itchy Skin- I had extreme cotton mouth the first month I started having signs. The itchy skin not so much. But, this is bound to happen with all the urination you are doing. There’s not much water left to moisturize your skin.
Your Hungry and Tired All the Time- Your body isn’t able to absorb the glucose it needs to make energy. So, you end up hungry and tired.
All I wanted to eat was carbs and sugar. Looking back, I now see how much my body was begging for energy. I was exhausted. If I sat down for just a second, I was out. I couldn’t keep myself awake.
Moody and Grouchy- With the high and low blood glucose levels, it’s very common not to feel well. High glucose levels can often mimic depression like symptoms.
Unexplained Weight loss- I worked out daily and ate pretty healthy when I was diagnosed, so this sign didn’t stick out to me as odd. But even through the Thanksgiving binge, I lost 5 pounds.
There are a couple different reasons this could happen. One, the increase in urination. Two, your body isn’t absorbing the glucose as it should. Lastly, your body needs energy, so it breaks down the fat and muscle you already have.
Cuts and Scrapes Heal Slower- With high glucose levels, your immune system and the process your body takes to heal, isn’t working up to par.
Tingly Feet- Which is caused by nerve damage from elevated glucose levels.
Vision Changes- This is the one that sent me to the doctor. I couldn’t see. Everything was blurry, with or without my glasses. I couldn’t even see my own feet clearly.
The changing fluid levels in your body can make your eyes swell up and change shape.
Nausea and Vomiting- When you have high levels for an extended period of time and your body resorts to burning fat, your body makes ketones. These ketones make you feel sick to your stomach. They can also build up to dangerous levels and possibly lead to a life-threatening condition call diabetic ketoacidosis.
Remember, not all symptoms have to be present at once.
It was 3 months from my first symptom to my last. And diabetes doesn’t discriminate. There are littles as young as a few months getting diagnosed with type 1. I was 114 pound when diagnosed so just because you are skinny doesn’t mean you can’t become diabetic.
It’s a serious disease with so many misconceptions. I’m just hoping to educate and get some of the not so obvious signs out there. It would be aweosme if you were to share this and help me spread awareness.
* I am by no means an expert, if you have signs or symptoms, or a family history, make an appointment to see your doctor.