Symptoms

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SYMPTOMS

I. Type I Diabetes

Symptoms are often marked and come on suddenly. Typical symptoms include :

  • Frequent and copious urination (polyuria). Because of insulin deficiency, the assimilation (absorption) and storage of glucose in muscle, fat tissues, and liver is greatly diminished. This produces an accumulation of glucose in the blood. Glucose cannot be passed out of the body alone. Therefore, sugar sucks up water so that it can “flow” from the body. The result is polyuria or excessive urination. The patient has to make frequent trips to the bathroom. It is by this symptom alone that the patient’s attention is often first aroused to the fact that there is something wrong. This increased urination is seen not only during the day but also at night.
  • Increased thirst (polydipsia) with dryness of lips and mouth. In diabetes the sugar, in escaping from the system, carries with it water from the blood, and this loss of water through urination triggers the brain to send a message of thirst resulting in polydipsia. This thirst is most intense towards evening and night and cannot be easily quenched.
  • Constant hunger (polyphagia). It may be the result of the body’s effort to increase its supply of energy foods even though eating more carbohydrates in the absence of sufficient insulin does not meet the energy needs of the cells.
  • Weight loss (autophagia). A gradual and uniform waste of tissues is another important symptom. It occurs partly because of the loss of body fluid and partly because in the absence of sufficient insulin the body begins to metabolize (use) its own proteins and stored fat. In the beginning the wasting is marked by gradual disappearance of fat tissue which after a time is followed by wasting of flesh.
  • Extreme fatigue occurs because the glucose needed for energy simply is not metabolized properly.
  • Dry and unperspiring condition of the skin is a marked feature especially in the advanced stage of diabetes. This happens as a result of the continual removal from the system of large quantity of water expelled continually by the kidneys.
  • Blurring of vision which occurs as a result of glaucoma or developing cataract.

II. Type 2 Diabetes

Symptoms are usually not marked and appear over a long period of time. Symptoms may include :

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or a dislike for food.
  • Frequent and increased urination especially at night.
  • Increased thirst.
  • Weight loss due to loss of body fat and flesh.
  • Disturbance in vision due to increased osmolarity of the blood and accumulation of fluid in the eyeball, which changes its shape.
  • Frequent infections and slow healing of injury occurs due to excess sugar in the blood which suppresses the natural defense mechanism like the action of white blood cells. And sugar is an excellent food for bacteria to grow in. In diabetes due to atherosclerotic (cholesterol deposition) changes in the blood vessels there is reduced blood supply as a result of which there occurs a reduction in protective defensive cells transported in the blood.
  • Numbness or tingling of feet result from nerve damage due to prolonged high glucose levels that cause changes in the nerves.
  • Generalized itching and itching in genital area.
  • Bleeding of gums

III. Pregnancy Induced Glucose Intolerance

Gestational diabetes is a condition of high blood glucose that begins during pregnancy and usually ends with childbirth. About 4% of women get diabetes during pregnancy. The symptoms are usually absent or mild and not life-threatening to the pregnant woman.

  • Increased urination and thirst.
  • Weight loss in spite of increased intake of food.
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Frequent infections including those of the bladder, vagina, and skin.
  • Blurred vision.