Diabetes Symptoms: Early detection and prevention of better life
Diabetes Symptoms: Every year millions of people around the world are diagnosed with diabetes. But even more, people go undiagnosed. This is because the symptoms of diabetes are that much difficult to identify. Early diagnosis not only helps with controlling the disease but it also helps you maintain good health throughout your life.
The beginning of the symptoms can be so subtle that you often ignore it. This is mostly true in case of Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can creep up without any symptoms at all. This is why it is the hardest to identify. However, over time, the complications will escalate, and you will notice the differences in your health.
Several things point towards creeping diabetes, but we have enlisted some of the sure signs of diabetes here –
You may feel that you are feeling excessively tired, but you can’t pinpoint the reason. You haven’t worked much throughout the day, but you still feel tired. There are several factors responsible for this. Dehydration is one of the factors.
Excessive thirst and frequent urination
Since your blood sugar levels are rising, you have excessive sugar in your veins. This is why your kidneys are being forced to work overtime and filter the excess sugar out. If your kidneys are unable to process so much sweet, the surplus sugar may be excreted via your urine. This will drag the fluids from your tissues as well.
Since your tissues will be dehydrated, there will obviously be a need to fill up the excess demand. Therefore you will feel thirsty more often. Also, as a cause and effect relation, the more water you drink, the thirstier you will end up feeling. Hence you will find yourself in a loop of drinking water and urinate more often.
You might also come across blurred vision – you might think this is because of age-related issues. But if the above two symptoms also match, it is time to check with the doctor. Blurred vision occurs because the high blood sugar levels pull out the fluids from the tissues in your body. Your eyeballs also have fluids.
The more the fluids from your eyeballs are pulled, the more deformed your eyes start to become over the time. Hence due to this deformity, your vision becomes blurred. If this is left untreated, diabetes will go to such dangerous levels that it will cause new blood vessels to form inside your retina. These newly formed blood vessels can damage your established eyeballs.
These are early changes that may or may not cause problems in the vision at first. For most people, in fact, the change in blood vessels in the retina does not cause vision problems. But if you keep doing this, if the condition worsens and you leave it untreated, then it might also lead to vision loss and blindness.
Fluctuations in weight
If your weight is always fluctuating, it may be a tell-tale sign of type 2 diabetes. It is possible that you may gain weight immensely or lose weight drastically. If you go to urine frequently, you will also lose calories and consequently weight.
Sometimes diabetic patients lose weight quickly because the sugar present in your blood prevents the food nutrients from reaching your cells. This may also cause you to feel hungry constantly. You may find yourself wanting to eat at more frequent intervals. All of these cause you to lose weight because no matter how much you eat, you don’t gain weight. But weight loss is more rapidly effective if you also have type-1 diabetes.
These are the common symptoms of diabetes in both men and women. But the symptoms may change depending upon the dominant hormone secretion. This means that the symptoms may show up differently in women than in men. Let us check out how women are affected by diabetes.
Diabetes in women
Between the year 1971 and 2000, the death rate fell for men (who were affected by diabetes) but the same is not true for women. The Annals of Internal Medicine conducted a study which showed the fall in the death rate for men, but the mortality rate in women didn’t show a fleck of improvement. Experts suggested this may be because more women were affected during this period – the figures could even have doubled.
Is gender significant in diabetes?
Experts say yes. In women, the complications related to diabetes are much more threatening due to their physiology. Women also have different kinds of heart diseases than those in men. The dehydration may affect their tissues in an entirely different way than in men. Also, the hormones may cause inflammation in certain parts of their bodies.
Symptoms of diabetes in women
Women also experience all the symptoms that men do. But they may experience some more symptoms as well. Also, some of them are unique to women. So along with the points mentioned above, it is also important for women to note the following symptoms –
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
This issue occurs when your adrenal gland produces an extremely high amount of testosterone. The symptoms of PCOS can be anything from irregular periods of acne formation, weight gain to even depression. Sometimes PCOS caused by diabetes causes infertility. It might also cause insulin resistance in your body, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels.
Urinary tract infections (UTI)
Women who have diabetes, due to the excessive sugar in their system may also experience urinary tract infection. The chances of UTI are inevitably higher in women who have diabetes. This occurs when bacteria infect the urinary tract. As a result, the female may have a burning sensation while urinating.
The urine may itself become bloody or cloudy there is an extreme pain while urinating as a result of UTI. But what’s worse? It may cause a kidney infection if it is left untreated for a long time.
Vaginal thrush and vaginal cum oral yeast infections
The Candida fungus causes the vaginal yeast infections. These are pretty common in women. But when diabetes starts to happen inside the body, this symptom can indeed manifest in the highest form. During this disease, the vagina may cause the itching sensation, or it may become sore and result in painful intercourse.
Oral yeast infections are also similar. It might cause you to have cottage cheese coating on the inside of your mouth and your tongue. These are the fungal growths. A very high level of glucose present in the system causes this.
Some symptoms common to both men and women
Wounds healing slower
For diabetes patients, the injuries take forever to heal. This is because the nutrients reach their tissues at a much slower rate. This is why the protein which is useful in healing, enters their body much slower. So they may see a decline in their health and also a delay in the healing process.
Nausea and irritability
The patient may also feel nauseating due to the excessive fatigue and dehydration. You might also feel like you are unable to focus on anything and not getting the proper energy to tackle day to day tasks. An irritable temper often follows this. The serotonin production is affected just like all other body functions, therefore causing the mood swings.
You might see that in places where you had no skin diseases, you have developed some rashes or dark patches. These outbreaks take forever to heal. Also, the natural medicines may not be effective anymore.
Symptoms your skin shows
Brown or tan raised areas
Also known as Acanthosis Nigricans, this is a symptom which often occurs in those who have acute diabetes. They usually occur on the neck, groins, and the armpits. But these can also appear on elbows, knees, and hands. It is common in overweight people. You may see that this symptom improves if you lose weight.
Blood vessels becoming smaller
It is also known as “diabetic dermopathy”, and when it happens, it makes your skin appear light brown or have scaly patches. These patches may be circular or oval, and it may be included on the front of the legs. Some people mistake these for age marks. But these patches never hurt or itch.
This may not happen to the same degree on both legs. Also, these patches never open up. They are usually harmless, and they do not need to be treated. But having one of these is one sign of diabetes.
Sometimes – although very rarely – people who have diabetes, erupt in blisters. These types of sores happen in individuals who suffer from diabetic neuropathy. They are usually painless, but they are quite large. They usually take three weeks to heal, but they heal by themselves.
Eye complications that occur due to diabetes
People who have diabetes are at a 40% higher risk of suffering from glaucoma. This disease mainly happens when there is a huge pressure build up behind the eyes of the person. Although, the longer the diabetes symptom goes undetected, the more glaucoma affects the person.
The risk of glaucoma, related to diabetes increases with age. There are several treatments available for glaucoma, and sometimes you can also use medicines to reduce the pressure it creates on the eyes. If you neglect it for too long, it may cause nerve damage and make you lose vision.
People with diabetes are 60% more likely to have cataracts. Many people have a misconception that cataracts occur only in old age. But children with type 2 diabetes often have cataracts at a very young age.
To deal with mild cataracts, you need to wear sunglasses and also use anti-glare glasses. The light rays emanating from the sun or your laptop and mobile screens affect cataract significantly. But checking up for diabetes may help fight this symptom early.
Should you see a doctor yet?
Reading the above symptoms if you feel like you may need to see a doctor then you do. You must also not ignore any of the signs. One or more of these signs are reasons enough to see a doctor. Below are the two scenarios only when you must see a doctor –
If you suspect the symptoms may be caused because of diabetes
Also, if you see that these issues came up suddenly – meaning, for example, you did not have rashes or skin patches before and now they have suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Also, you have lost weight to go with that. Then you can go and have a checkup. The earlier the symptoms are diagnosed, the sooner you will be able to regain your health.
If you already have any diabetes
If you have already received the diagnosis of your diabetes, then you need to be checked at frequent intervals. This will ensure that your blood sugar stays at normal levels. Also, it will help curb the effects and symptoms.
How to curb the symptoms of diabetes?
The symptoms of diabetes can be cured with some methods including medication. If you feel like you are going through these symptoms, then it is best to see a doctor first. Some of these symptoms are harmless while others are not. But they always indicate that you need more care.
You can also start to adopt a healthier lifestyle so that you can curb it to some extent. So if you are a smoker, you have to quit cigarettes. If you eat a lot of junk food, then it is time to start eating healthier items. Include more fruits, whole grains, and vegetables in your diet. This will help control blood sugar.
Check in with your doctor and also ask for supplements. If you are a woman, you may need to take supplements like chromium or magnesium. Check in to confirm.
Common causes here: