What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetes At The Beginning?Diabetes is alarmingly prevalent in the United States and Canada. In America, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), almost 35 million Americans have Diabetes – more than 10 percent of the population. In Canada, things aren’t much better. Approximately 8.8 percent of the population deals with it, according to government statistics — approximately 2.2 million people. There is good news, however. Thanks to research and modern medicine, Diabetes is no longer always a life-threatening illness. It has to be diagnosed early and properly managed, but most patients thrive once they’re getting consistent care.
What Causes Diabetes?
There are two types of Diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Although the exact causes of type 1 are unclear, there are a lot of doctors who do know about symptoms and early warning signs. Type 2Diabetes is also a bit of a mystery, but certain factors – obesity and a sedentary lifestyle – put you at greater risk of developing it. Both types involve the disruption of insulin production in your body and sometimes must be treated by insulin injections to help stabilize blood sugar levels.In this article, we explore the symptoms of Diabetes and explain how to recognize early warning signs. We also suggest how you can help manage the condition once you receive regular medical care.Diabetes is sometimes misunderstood, and misconceptions about it persist. For example, some think only people who are overweight develop Diabetes. Untrue!Remember actress Mary Tyler Moore? She had type 1Diabetes, diagnosed at the age of 33. Yet she was an active, slender person who danced daily – a far cry from the idle, overweight idea too many people still have of what a person with Diabetes looks like.When a child is diagnosed with Diabetes, it is usually type 1. Type 2 most commonly affects people over 40. But the signs and symptoms of both are often the same.With either type of Diabetes, the body fails to produce insulin in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach. When that occurs, sugar builds up in the bloodstream. Left untreated, Diabetes can cause great damage to your body. Diabetes left untreated can inflict kidney damage, blindness, stroke, heart disease, and other critical issues.But let’s not go too far into the worst-case scenarios. Let’s focus on how you can recognize the early signs of Diabetes in yourself, your child, or a loved one. Knowledge is power, as the saying goes, and knowing these symptoms is the best way to ensure you get prompt treatment. Diabetes is not a death sentence! People can live long lives when it’s managed properly. But getting a correct, early diagnosis is key.
Early Warning Signs:
If you see even one of these signs in a person you love or experience one yourself, track it for a few days. If one or more of these symptoms persist, it’s time to see your doctor. Only she/he can tell you what’s going on and refer you to a specialist if he/she deems it necessary. It might be nothing, but it just might be an early sign of Diabetes.
- Extreme Thirst And/Or Hunger
We all experience thirst and get pangs of hunger occasionally. Maybe a workout in the hot sun or missing lunch because you’re busy at work makes you ravenous by suppertime. That’s not what we mean here. If you drink water, but your thirst isn’t satisfied, or if you’re starving not long after a meal, your blood sugar levels might be out of whack. If either of these symptoms lasts more than a few days, make an appointment with your physician. Make the call if you notice your child drinking enormous amounts of water and still wanting more.
- Blurry Vision
This can happen to anyone who is overtired or experiencing eye strain after a long day spent reading documents at the office. But as with so many symptoms of Diabetes, the important thing to notice is whether blurred vision persists. It could spell trouble if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and still feel like you’re not seeing clearly.
Again, we must stress that we’re talking about something more serious and more frequent, that occasional crankiness. If you’ve had a solid night’s rest, and most things are going well, yet you are still short-tempered and anxious, it could be a signal that something is wrong.
- Extreme Fatigue
This is tricky because many conditions (like Lupus) can cause extreme fatigue, but Diabetes is one of them. Seeing this in your child is particularly alarming – they sleep well, regularly, yet they complain of being exhausted. Even if it isn’t Diabetes, the child needs a check-up, especially if you notice this in combination with one or more of the signs we’ve outlined here.
- Urinating a lot– an awful lot
As we get older, the need to pee increases. But if you’ve regulated your fluid intake (for example, none after 6 p.m.) and you still get up three or four times a night, it could be a sign of Diabetes. Frequent urination is one of the most common symptoms.Children can usually last for hours before needing to use the bathroom, so if you notice that your child is going more often, make a mental note. Don’t panic, but if it keeps happening and isn’t simply because they drank too many litres of water while playing, consider calling their pediatrician or your doctor.
- Inexplicable Weight Loss
Losing weight when you haven’t been dieting, or seeing that your child has lost weight even though they’re eating consistently, is something you mustn’t ignore. This is especially true if your child’s weight (or your own) has been steady for a long time. A little fluctuating up or down isn’t serious. However, losing 10, 15 or 20 pounds is a sign that something might be amiss.
- Infections & Minor Wounds That Don’t Clear Up Quickly
Do you have a urinary tract infection (UTI) that won’t go away even when you take antibiotics? Any infection, or even something minor like a bad bruise, shouldn’t take overly long to heal once treated. But Diabetes can cause your immune system to stop helping you recover at a normal pace. If this is happening to you or your child, find out if there is an underlying cause, like Diabetes.These are the most common early signs of Diabetes. If you (or a loved one) are experiencing one or more of them, schedule a check-up or phone call with your doctor. It’s vital that Diabetes is diagnosed early – that’s done with blood and urine tests – so the situation doesn’t worsen. Even better, take steps to avoid developing the condition at all. Some factors contribute to Diabetes that you can’t avoid, like genetics, for example. But others are within your control, and the more you pay attention to them, the better!Here are two tips the whole family can follow. All of them contribute to a healthy lifestyle and help you avoid ever hearing the diagnosis of Diabetes.
1- Control Your Weight
That means not consuming too many processed foods and drinks, like fast food, soda, and other sources of fats, sodium and sugar. If you enjoy indulging in the occasional sweet treat, make it a once-a-week serving of dark chocolate. Eat lots of vegetables, not too much red meat, and don’t call for take-out too often! Obesity is not the only risk factor for developing Diabetes, but it is definitely one of them.
2- Get Lots Of Regular Exercises
While it’s true that plenty of active people get diagnosed with Diabetes, regular exercise helps you stay trim and sleep well at night. It also helps regulate mood in adults and children. Since many schools don’t offer a lot of physical activity anymore, make family outings – swimming, hiking, walks in the park, etc. — a part of your normal routine.
If you’re already at risk of developing Diabetes because of genetics (for example, your mom developed it as a young girl), your risk is heightened. That means that following these guidelines, and paying close attention to the early warning signs, is key.However, even if you or someone in your family does developDiabetes, try not to panic. With the help of a doctor, you can manage this condition. Insulin injections may be necessary, but many people who self-inject say it becomes second nature.What’s important is that you don’t get too discouraged. Your health and well-being are yours to shape and improve. If necessary, lose a little weight. Get moving and stay physically active. Toss the fast food and start eating – and living – as healthfully as you can!
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