Diabetes is an illness caused by the body's inability to manufacture or use insulin, which may result in dangerous fluctuations in blood glucose levels, initially leading to organ damage, coma, and even death. Diabetic symptoms are generally the result of these blood sugar level fluctuations. Diabetic symptoms are mirrored in Type I and Type II diabetes with only a few exceptions.
Type I diabetes, or insulin dependent diabetes, produces such diabetic symptoms as unusual thirst and increased urination, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, blurry vision, and unreleieved fatigue. Type II diabetes, also known as insulin resistance, is characterized by diabetic symptoms such as unusually long healing time, nerve damage, red and swollen gums, extreme fatigue and weakness (flu-like symptoms), in addition to the symptoms of Type I diabetes . Most individuals who suffer from diabetes, ninety to ninety-five percent, have Type II diabetes.
As mentioned above, diabetic symptoms are the result of the body's inability to produce or to use insulin. Maintaining abnormally high or abnormally low levels of glucose in the blood can cause a host of symptoms that range from merely unpleasantly to life-threatening. Because glucose is a major source of fuel for the body, its body's ability to process this fuel efficiently is very important. When the body fails to process or produce glucose properly, the organs and bodily systems (the brain, kidneys, liver, cardiovascular system, muscles) that rely on glucose are adversely affected.
Diabetic symptoms may result from blood sugar that is too low or blood sugar that is too high. Diabetic symptoms that result from persistent hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) include increased thirst and urination and can result in serious kidney problems up to and including kidney failure. Too much glucose in the blood reduces the amount of water in the body's cells and results in extreme thirst. The water consumed is then excreted through the kidneys along with the excess blood glucose. The kidneys have to work extra hard. Blurred vision is also a result of this imbalance in water stores. The eyes can not focus properly because water is drawn from the cells. Because glucose is the body's fuel, being deprived of that fuel, either because the body can not process the glucose or because the body fails to maintain the proper levels of glucose, muscles can become tired and weak for lack of fuel causing the individual to feel fatigued . Because the muscles are reduced of fuel, the individual may feel excessively hungry (the body's signal that the muscles need fuel) but may lose weight normal or above normal food consumption because glucose is expelled in the urine as opposed to being used to fuel the muscles resulting in the actual wasting away of muscle and fat. The brain also uses glucose to function. Abnormally high or abnormally low blood sugar levels will affect the brain and the processes it regulates. Diabetic symptoms are really a domino effect resulting from extreme fluctuations in blood glucose levels.
All of the diabetic symptoms can be successfully managed using a rigorous self-care plan of diet, exercise and insulin. Careful monitoring of blood glucose levels will help prevent complications of diabetes such as blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, infections, seizures, coma, and even death. Diabetics must use any and all available methods to alleviate diabetic symptoms or they may quickly progress to situations that can be disabling or life threatening. The successful management of diabetic symptoms requires constant vigilance and self-education to recognize when the symptoms may need more than self care and trip to the doctor or hospital is advised. Individuals who are intent on managing their diabetes will find a wealth of information designed to ease the transition to a diabetic lifestyle.