Diabetes symptoms vary, depending on the type of this medical disorder that a patient is suffering from. The causes of this condition may also vary widely or slightly from case to case and from type to type. There are two different types of diabetes, namely the type 1 diabetes and the type 2 diabetes. Knowing the different symptoms and possible causes of both of the types of this medical disorder is important, in order for patients to receive the necessary treatment procedures as soon as possible.
Type 1 Diabetes
The type 1 diabetes symptoms commonly appear suddenly and are also often very dramatic. This form of diabetes is usually recognizable in childhood or in the early stages of adolescence. It is often associated with another medical disorder, such as urinary tract infection (UTI) or one that is caused by a virus. This type of diabetes is also often associated with specific forms of injuries.
The extra stress that a patient experiences can lead to him or her having diabetic ketoacidosis. The symptoms of this type of diabetes include vomiting, nausea, dehydration, and serious changes in the potassium blood levels. This type of diabetes should be treated immediately, as it can lead to coma and even death.
Type 2 Diabetes
The type 2 diabetes symptoms are often not immediately noticeable. This form of diabetes is also usually attributed to obesity or to aging. A patient suffering from this type of medical condition may actually have acquired it for many years without even knowing it. Type 2 diabetes patients can also develop the disorder called hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome. Individuals who have this type of diabetes should receive immediate proper treatment as it can result in severe complications such as kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease, and blindness.
Common Symptoms of Both Types of Diabetes
While there are two types of diabetes, both types share similar and common diabetes symptoms. The most common symptoms that diabetes patients can experience, whether they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes include the following:
• Constantly Tired or Fatigued
– With diabetes, the body is sometimes unable or extremely inefficient in using glucose as energy. Because of this, instead of utilizing glucose, it makes use of fat, metabolizing it, either completely or partially as its main source of fuel. This process results in the body having to utilize more energy, and thus, it leaves one feeling constantly tired or fatigued.
• Unexplainable Loss of Weight
– Patients suffering from diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, are often unable to process most of the calories in the food that they consume. Thus, even though they eat appropriately or even excessively, their bodies lose weight. Loss of water and sugar through frequent urination, which is also one of the common diabetes symptoms, contributes to this unexplainable loss of weight.
• Polydipsia (excessive thirst)
– A patient suffering from diabetes will develop higher levels of blood sugar. This overwhelms the ability of the kidney to reabsorb the sugar while the blood is being filtered to produce urine. Excessive urination is a result of the excess sugar being spilt by the kidney. In order to counteract this, the body then signals the brain to begin the dilution of blood, which is translated as the feeling of thirstiness.
• Polyuria (excessive urination)
– As mentioned above, one of the most common diabetes symptoms is excessive urination, or polyuria, which is also associated with the other symptoms of this medical disorder. Since the body needs to get rid of the extra sugar, it has to do this through urination. Excessive urination also commonly leads to dehydration, since the body has the need to excrete a larger amount of water.
• Polyphagia (excessive eating)
– Another of the common diabetes symptoms is polyphagia, or excessive eating. If the body has the ability, it will secrete a higher level of insulin in order to control its high levels of blood sugar. And since one of the main functions of insulin is to trigger hunger, having a higher level of insulin will make the patient experience increased hunger, which then results to this symptom.
• Inefficient Would Healing
– In diabetes, there is the presence of higher blood sugar levels. This higher level of blood sugar prevents the body’s white blood cells from functioning properly. White blood cells are crucial in protecting the body against bacteria and are also important in cleaning up dead cells as well as tissues. When the cells are unable to function properly, wounds will take a longer time to heal and will become more frequently infected.
• Altered Mental Status
– Unexplained irritability, extreme lethargy, confusion, inattention, and agitation are all common diabetes symptoms both present in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. These can be caused by having high blood sugar levels, which is also a common symptom of this medical condition.
• Blurry Vision
– While this is not one of the more specific diabetes symptoms, it is still an indication of having extremely elevated blood sugar levels.
What to Do when Experiencing Symptoms of Diabetes
If you feel weak, excessively thirsty, and nauseated; if you urinate more frequently; if you are experiencing abdominal pains; if you breath more rapidly and deeply than what is normal, you may have type 1 diabetes. If you have fainting spells or unexplained weakness; rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, and trembling; if you feel very irritable, drowsy, or hungry, it is possible that you already developing hypoglycemia. If you are experiencing any of these common diabetes symptoms, it is essential that you seek medical attention as soon as possible or call 911 for help.