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Recognizing Diabetes: The Symptoms and Signs

by Shannon, January 21, 2019

More than 100 million Americans are currently diagnosed with a form of diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the disease could be affecting many more unsuspecting adults and children who have not yet recognized the signs and symptoms.

While the CDC confirms that the rate of new diagnoses continues to remain steady, this growing health problem can be curtailed by lifestyle changes. Recognizing your risk for diabetes or even pre-diabetes is essential so you can transform your lifestyle habits and find treatment options to prevent the disease from progressing.

 

What Constitutes Diabetes?

A confirmed diagnosis of diabetes varies based on the type you may have. For example, Type 2 diabetes is evident when your A1C tests at 7 or above based on two different testing samples. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes typically test above 8 when measuring A1C, according to the American Diabetes Association.

It is important to note, though, that there are significant differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. For instance, with Type 1 diabetes, the body does not create enough insulin on its own or the immune system destroys pancreas cells that make insulin. With Type 2 diabetes, the body does produce insulin on its own, but it does not make or use insulin well. Type 2 diabetes is much more common, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of diagnoses, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

 

The Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of diabetes are not always easy to detect and often creep up on children and adults. However, learning more about the signs can help you to determine a treatment option or lifestyle change.

 Common Symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

  • Increased Thirst: If you find yourself struggling with dry mouth consistently, it could be a sign of diabetes. Scientifically, high blood sugar levels lead to increased urination, resulting in a loss of fluid or even dehydration. As a result, you feel thirsty more often and may feel even more thirsty after you drink plenty of fluids.
  • Frequent Urination: Your kidneys naturally try to flush out excess glucose in the body. And, as a result, you may find yourself urinating more frequently. In addition, people with diabetes often experience an increased risk for urinary tract infections due to frequent urination.
  • Foot Pain or Numbness: Your feet can signal a potential risk for diabetes. It is common for people with diabetes to notice pain, tingling or numbness in the feet. The tenderness and tingling can also progress upward.
  • Unexpected Weight Loss: If you have noticed that you have dropped a few pounds, yet you have not altered your exercise routine or eating habits, it could be a sign of diabetes. Because your cells are not getting enough glucose, the body responds by dropping weight. In addition to frequently urinating, you are also losing calories and water weight.
  • Extreme Hunger: When you have diabetes, especially Type 2 diabetes, your body faces insulin resistance. This means that your body cannot use insulin properly, resulting in the inability to help glucose get into your cells. This causes high levels of insulin in your body that signal feelings of hunger to your brain.

 Additional symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • More infections than you typically have
  • Sudden changes in vision
  • Very dry skin
  • Slow healing sores

 In addition, some people experience stomach pains, vomiting or nausea when they have diabetes. Learning more about your risk factors, can help to minimize your risks and symptoms of diabetes

 

Benefits of Early Detection

Early detection of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can save lives. Recognizing signs and symptoms can help to reduce your risk of serious implications.

Common complications of diabetes, include:

  • Blindness
  • Limb Amputations
  • Kidney Failure
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that many people may not have risk factors for diabetes, but may be susceptible to it based on lifestyle choices and obesity. That’s why early detection can help you modify your lifestyle or seek treatment before glucose levels soar.

After onset, Type 1 diabetes is commonly detected sooner than Type 2 diabetes because the symptoms are much more significant, obvious and begging the need for immediate medical care. However, signs and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes can be mild or silent for years before an individual is diagnosed. The longer you possess the disease without treatment, the more you are at risk for serious complications.

Early detection is essential so that children and adults can manage the disease. For example, you can seek any of the following treatments:

  • Medications
  • Exercise
  • Monitored Diet
  • Insulin Pumps
  • Consultations with Specialists

 The best course of action is to create a treatment plan with your physician, even if you are diagnosed with pre-diabetes or gestational diabetes. Early detection saves lives and gives you the opportunity to fight the disease proactively.

 

Finding Support

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a form of diabetes, know that you are not alone. You not only have access to physicians and specialists, but also resources and caregiving options from Care Indeed.

Support and care are essential as you cope with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. It is important to learn as much about the symptoms and care needed to help support your loved ones. Tap into resources from local and national organizations to boost your knowledge of how the disease affects everyone involved and to also identify lifestyle changes and new treatment options to minimize the effects of diabetes symptoms. In addition, lean on caregivers, such as the qualified staff from Care Indeed, to help with daily living.

Life with any type of diabetes is challenging and learning how to accept the challenge is the first step in living life. While you may struggle with the changes as a patient, caregiver or family member, the support you need is only a click away.

Care Indeed is committed to providing you the support and in-home caregivers who understand your challenges and daily struggles at work and home. Learn more about how to get the support you need while living with Diabetes today