These Symptoms are Suggestive of Diabetes

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Diabetes (especially type 2 diabetes) is a common health problem. In US alone there are approximately 25 million people with diabetes, although a huge number of people with diabetes are not aware that they have the disease. In some countries (e.g. India) incidence of diabetes is as high as 15% of adult population in urban areas. This indicates how common the problem of diabetes is.

Diabetes may not produce any symptoms initially and most symptoms general public is not aware of. Classical symptoms of diabetes are excess hunger (polyphagia in medical term), excessive thirst (polydipsia) and excessive urination (polyuria). Other symptoms may also be suggestive of diabetes such as vision problems, fatigue and irritability, tingling and/or numbness etc.

Excessive hunger:

It is known as polyphagia medically. When blood sugar is low, body feels that it need more glucose and hunger results. Patient keeps eating to provide glucose supply to cells for functioning. However, glucose cannot enter cells normally due to lack of insulin.

Excessive urination:

Known as polyuria in medical term. If you have to wake up frequently at night to urinate, it may be a symptom of diabetes. Due to high glucose in blood, kidneys function extra to remove extra glucose, which lead to excessive urination. You may have to urinate several times at night.

Excessive thirst:

Polydipsia is the medical term. Due to excessive urination, your body needs excess water, which manifest as excessive thirst, another classic symptom of diabetes. The symptoms of excessive urination and excessive thirst go hand in hand and are closely related and it is the body’s way to deal with excess glucose in blood.

Vision problem:

Excess glucose in blood can affect retina, which plays and important role in vision. Due to effect on retina, diabetes may manifest as vision problem (this is a complication of diabetes and called diabetic retinopathy). High blood glucose can also change the shape of the lens of the eyes and affect vision. Initial vision problems usually disappear if blood glucose is controlled. If vision problems are allowed to continue for very long time, the damage may be permanent and the vision may never return to normal, even if blood sugar is well controlled.

Fatigue and irritability:

High blood sugar, especially for long duration can give a feeling of being unwell to the individual. Due to some troublesome symptoms of diabetes (excess urination at nigh which keep the person awake at night), the person may become irritated and fatigued, because of lack of adequate sleep and rest.

Tingling and numbness of hands and feet:

Sometime tingling and numbness of hands and feet may be the symptoms that bring a person with diabetes to a doctor. There may be burning of feet and also swelling, which is indicative of nerve damage. Fortunately, if symptoms are recent, they are reversible on bringing down blood sugar to normal. However, if symptoms are allowed to remain for long duration, the damage to nerves may be permanent.

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