According to the Center for Disease Control, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes in 2012. As this disease has become more prevalent it is more important than ever to understand the disease, learn the signs and symptoms, and take a proactive approach to diabetes management.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body’s blood sugar consistently stays above normal. When you eat, your body turns food into sugars, or glucose. At that point, your pancreas releases insulin to open your cells and allow the glucose to enter and use the glucose for energy. But with diabetes, the process does not work properly.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
Unfortunately, many people with diabetes do not develop symptoms for many years, even though high blood sugar is present and causing tissue damage. For people at risk for diabetes, such as those who are overweight or who have a family member with diabetes, periodic blood testing is recommended to assess blood sugar metabolism.
Excessive Thirst and Increased Urination
Excessive thirst and increased urination are classic symptoms of diabetes. When you have diabetes, excess sugar (glucose) builds up in your blood. If your kidneys can’t keep up, the excess sugar is excreted into your urine, dragging along fluids from your tissues. This triggers more frequent urination, which may leave you dehydrated. As you drink more fluids to quench your thirst, you’ll feel the need to go even more.
Many factors may contribute to you feeling fatigued, including dehydration from increased urination and your body’s inability to function properly.
Weight fluctuations also fall under the umbrella of possible diabetes signs and symptoms. When you lose sugar through frequent urination, you also lose calories. At the same time, diabetes may keep the sugar in your food from reaching your cells — leading to constant hunger. The combined effect is potentially rapid weight loss, especially if you have Type 1 Diabetes.
Diabetes symptoms sometimes involve your vision. High levels of blood sugar pull fluid from your tissues, including the lenses of your eyes affecting your ability to focus.
Tingling Hands and Feet
Excess sugar in your blood can lead to nerve damage, also known as Neuropathy. You may notice tingling and loss of sensation in your hands and feet, as well as burning pain in your arms, hands, legs and feet.
Red, Swollen, and Tender Gums
Diabetes may weaken your ability to fight germs, which increases the risk of infection in your gums and in the bones that hold your teeth in place. Your gums may pull away from your teeth, teeth may become loose, or you may develop sores or pockets of pus in your gums.
From education, lifestyle change and judicious use of medication to help you control Type 2 Diabetes, to optimizing Insulin Therapy in Type 1 Diabetes, our doctors will help you achieve your best diabetes control plan. We use modern technologies like Continuous Glucose Monitors and Closed Loop Insulin Pumps to help you maintain your usual day-to-day life, as well as medically supported weight loss programs to help you proactively manage your diabetes.