Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the world. With the increased dependence on fast food and junk food, it is not surprising that an average American has 1 percent chance of developing type 1 diabetes, whereas the probability goes up to 11 percent when it comes to type II. If we consider the worldwide prevalence rate, an estimated 8.8 percent of the adult population is suffering from this “silent killer” disease, and the numbers are only suspected to rise with time, owing to our unhealthy lifestyles and negligence in self care.
So exactly is diabetes? Let’s take a look into all about diabetes you need to know. In simpler terms, it is a disorder which causes your blood sugar levels to go haywire, disrupting your normal blood glucose levels in the body. Diabetes is majorly of two types;
Type I diabetes in children could be hereditary. It results when the pancreatic cells fail to produce insulin (the hormone responsible for converting glucose to its storage form), upping the blood glucose level. On the other hand, type II diabetes is prevalent among older people and is rather common. It is due to your body being unresponsive to the effect of insulin, which results in more glucose in the blood too.
Another type of diabetes, found in pregnant women, is known as gestational diabetes; a condition which develops during the gestation period and generally resolves after delivery.
A diabetic can lead a life no different than a normal person; with the inclusion of proper diet and regular exercise. With their glucose levels rising and energy levels falling, it is understandable why diabetics might feel lethargic, sleepy, dizzy and agitated most of the time. A patient’s life could be made much easier if they were to diagnose the disease at early stages, which is why we bring you the telltale signs and symptoms of diabetes. If you’re borderline diabetic, you must practice extra care so as to not end up in the category of diabetic patients.
These signs could be a blessing in disguise; they can hint one’s susceptibility to diabetes. Thus, it is essential that one consults a physician after noticing these indications, to their earliest. The signs are as follows:-
Abrupt weight loss
Abrupt weight loss is a major telltale sign. When insulin cannot help your body utilize the glucose molecules, your body starts metabolizing fat cells, which results in weight loss. This is more commonly observed in Type I diabetes. Even though you’re consuming more food, you end up losing weight because your body starts to feed on your muscles and fat stores.
Blurred and hazy vision
The pressure exerted by protein molecules in blood plasma in called the oncotic pressure. This pressure helps in retention of the blood fluidity. When glucose level rises in the blood, it increases the oncotic pressure which results in more fluid being retained in your blood. As your eyes are also surrounded by fluid which helps them to form a sharp image, fluid movement from eyes to blood causes difficulty in focusing which results in blurriness and sudden darkness in front of the eyes.
Kidney is responsible for reabsorption of glucose in the body. When your blood sugar levels go way beyond normal, your kidney cannot bear the load of reabsorbing all of it. To get rid of the excess glucose molecules, your body produces larger quantities of urine. This causes dehydration. Consequently, a diabetic might feel thirsty most of the time. And despite drinking more water, their thirst may never be quenched as they are excreting out just as much as they are consuming.
Frequency and urgency of urination
An average person has to urinate between 4 to 7 times in a day. Since a diabetic’s water intake is higher than normal, they produce larger quantities of urine. Urination causes dehydration, which results in more water intake and consequently, more urination. This vicious cycle leads to frequency and urgency of urination.
When you are losing weight, due to the body’s deprivation of fats and stored form of glucose, an increase in appetite is evident. Increased appetite leads to a higher intake of food, which further increases the blood glucose level. Despite eating more, your energy levels remain down and you feel tired and fatigued most of the times. Your body converts food into glucose, which in turn is taken up by insulin to convert into energy. When your body is unable to produce insulin, produces inadequate amounts of insulin, or cells become unresponsive to insulin; your body is unable to take up glucose. Thus, you end up feeling tired most of the time. This feeling of tiredness is due to low levels of energy, as your body needs that kick of glucose to function actively.
Numbness and tingling sensation in hands and feet
Tingling of distal limbs occur in because of damage to nerves. At first, this neuropathy appears in the peripheral limbs which then extend towards the body if left untreated. If the disease is not controlled in due time, it may result in limb amputations in extreme cases; a phenomenon mostly observed in the elderly whose deteriorating body function only makes matters worse.
The above symptoms should not be taken lightly if experienced by any person. People who are obese or those who have a high intake of sweets or junk food should be on a lookout too.