DiabetesEditor's Pick

How to Know if You are Diabetic

According to factsheets by the World Health Organization (W.H.O), diabetes was a direct cause of an estimated 1.6 million deaths. Diabetes is a common chronic disease that occurs in two ways; when insulin produced by the pancreas is not enough (type-1 diabetes), and when the produced insulin cannot be used by the body effectively (type-2 diabetes). In layman’s language, to steer clear of diabetes, the pancreas needs to produce enough or required insulin while the body must effectively use the produced insulin.

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So, what is diabetes? It is a group of diseases that results in excess sugar in the blood (i.e., high blood sugar or glucose).

A lot of people living the regular day life are diabetic but are not aware. Some must have experienced a symptom or two with an assumption of mere illness. It’s important to know these symptoms to ensure early detection of diabetes or awareness of its presence in the human body.

Types of diabetes

Diabetes is of three (3) types; type 1, type 2, and gestational.

  • Type-1 diabetes occurs mostly in adolescents and children, although it can occur at any age. As stated in the first paragraph, type 1 diabetes develops when the pancreas is producing little or no insulin.
  • Type-2 diabetes is common among adults. It accounts for nearly 90% of diabetic cases. This diabetes develops when the body is not using the insulin produced by the pancreas effectively.
  • Gestational diabetes consists of high blood sugar during pregnancy. This diabetes tends to disappear after pregnancy but poses a great risk of type 2 diabetes for the mother and child later in life.


The Signs

To know if one has a disease, most types come with certain symptoms or signs, and diabetes is one of these hundreds and thousands of diseases with possible warnings signs. With these types of diabetes mentioned, how do you know the various symptoms of all? Keep reading.

Early/Warning Signs of Diabetes

Early or Warning Signs of Diabetes

Firstly, it is important to know that symptoms may occur quickly as well as overtime. Though these types of diabetes come with their own symptoms, there are general signs to look out for. A few of these signs or symptoms are:

  • Constant hunger.
  • Extreme thirst.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Wounds and cuts healing slowly.
  • Feeling fatigued.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Yeast infections.
  • Pain, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet.

Each type of diabetes shows distinguishable symptoms in the body. These signs could help you detect the specific type of diabetes you have.

Type-1 Diabetes Symptoms

You might experience asides from the general symptoms some additional warning signs:

  • Sudden or unplanned weight loss: Our body gets energy from our food but when this is not the case, the body goes for your muscle and fat and burns it to get its needed energy. Though you still eat as you have usually done, at this point, you may lose weight.
  • Vomiting, nausea, breathing difficulty, fruit-like breath smell, and loss of consciousness (diabetic coma). When the body burns fat instead of getting its energy from the food you eat, ketones are created. Our liver produces ketones when the body lacks insulin (i.e., little or no insulin produced by the pancreas) to turn sugar into energy. Ketones are then sent to the bloodstream which if built-up in the blood could result in a life-threatening condition.
  • Sudden wetting of your bed after a history of being dry at night.

Type-2 Diabetes Symptoms

Your doctor could diagnose you with diabetes if you go for:

  • Heart problem reason(s).
  • Slow healing cuts or wounds, or persistent infections.
  • Pain, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet.

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms

There are no symptoms of high blood sugar during pregnancy but you might experience:

  • Being thirstier than usual.
  • Frequent urination.

With no major symptom, there is a high possibility that a woman will never know she was diabetic during pregnancy, and as stated earlier, this diabetes also tends to disappear after pregnancy.


Who is Vulnerable to Diabetes?

Type-1 diabetes: children, young adults (less than 45), and people with immediate relatives that have this diabetes are at risk for type-1 diabetes.

Type-2 diabetes: old adults (above 45), smokers, overweight or obese people, one with high blood pressure, those with abnormal cholesterol level, people with a history of stroke, gestational diabetes, or heart disease, and those with a diabetic family history are vulnerable to ending up with type-2 diabetes.

It is vital to know that diabetes can occur at any time and old adults (45 and above) can be type-1 diabetic.

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What Happens if Diagnosed Late?

It is important to always see your doctors for random body checkups. This helps detect anybody’s malfunctions including diabetes. The quickest answer to this question is “life-threatening complications”. What could these life-threatening complications be? Heart disease, eye problem or vision loss, neuropathy, stroke, kidney disease with possible need for dialysis, and impotence in both genders.


Possible Treatment

possible treatment of diabetes

If you have been diagnosed with type-1 diabetes, insulin intake for the rest of your life is a possible treatment.

If it is type-2 diabetes, certain changes in lifestyle could be advised. Exercising and dieting are also possible treatments. Also, insulin or metformin intake is another treatment option in order to manage blood sugar levels.

Insulin could be short-acting, rapid-acting, immediate-acting, long-acting, or premixed. So knowing which works for you is very important.

If you are diabetic or not, it is advisable you track your diet. Your carbohydrate intake should be watched as well as reducing your digestion of low-fiber foods if you are diabetic. This could help prevent high blood sugar levels.

Note: Work with your doctor to get the best treatment plan to help regulate your blood sugar level. Your doctor knows best!

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How Can You Avoid Being Diabetic?

Some things are beyond our control and in most cases, diabetes is one of them. Type-1 diabetes cannot be prevented but if you have been diagnosed, it is best to track your diet, exercise, and see your doctor regularly. This is to reduce your chances of possible type-2 diabetes as you grow to the old adult age (i.e., 45 and above). However, this does not guarantee you won’t be diagnosed with type-2 diabetes due to those factors (genetics or family history) beyond your capacity.

To avoid type-2 diabetes, you need to:

  • Cut down on sugar and refined carbs.
  • Regular workout.
  • Drink water as your primary beverage.
  • Lose weight if obese or overweight.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Begin a very-low-carb diet and high-fiber diet.
  • Avoid large portions of food.
  • Optimize vitamin D levels.
  • Reduce processed food intake.
  • Drink tea or coffee.
  • Take natural herbs such as curcumin and berberine.

Final Note

Some diseases tend to show their symptoms late and at this point, it becomes late for the doctor to help control. Anyone could be diabetic as a lot of people who have diabetes are not aware.

Never be far away from your doctor if you have been diagnosed with diabetes or not. That you have not seen severe signs does not mean you are healthy. It is because you have not booked an appointment with your doctor and done a body examination. Your constant hunger and extreme thirst might be overlooked but it’s a symptom. It is advisable to see a doctor who will carry out the required test to determine if you have diabetes or not.

Remember these symptoms and use them as a guide. Any suspected signs of any type of diabetes should be treated as urgent. Suspected signs could turn out false but it’s better than assuming you are healthy.

Don’t forget: A healthy man is a wealthy man!

If after reading this article you feel you’re diabetic and you’ve consulted your doctor, visit here to get more info on the possible medications you might need. If you need recommendations on the best click here or here.

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