Although there are three different kinds of diabetes, the first set of symptoms to be experienced are typically those of hyperglycaemia, or an excess in blood sugar (glucose), and this is the first indicator something isn’t quite right.
The symptoms of hyperglycaemia may include blurred vision, fatigue, increased thirst and appetite and increased urination.
In a Type 1 diabetic, the onset of hyperglycaemia can be fairly abrupt due to fact the pancreas isn’t producing any insulin at all, or nearly no insulin at all. This means there is absolutely no outlet for the glucose, as the levels just build and build rapidly. Type 1 diabetes is extremely dangerous and can result in death. It used to be known as Juvenile Diabetes, as it usually only affects the young, and any symptoms shouldn’t be ignored and doctors should be consulted immediately as a matter of urgency.
For Type 2 diabetics, hyperglycaemia may take a long time to develop to the point the symptoms can be felt and noticed. Many people go through their entire lives unaware they have Type 2 diabetes, and take many of the symptoms as simply being signs of aging, especially since Type 2 Diabetes typically affects the middle aged adults onwards, hence its former name Adult Diabetes. In fairly recent years, due to the amount of children developing Type 2 Diabetes due to poor diets and obesity (the prime causes of Type 2 Diabetes), the name simply became Type 2 Diabetes.
As the symptoms of hyperglycaemia in Type 2 Diabetes can be extremely subtle, many people are completely unaware they have diabetes at all. Type 2 Diabetes is caused by one of two factors, the first factor being a lack of insulin production within the pancreas, the second being a condition known as ‘insulin resistance’. This is where the body begins to reject admission of the insulin, which carries the glucose. Therefore, a person’s body not only becomes starved of glucose as a fuel, but begins accumulating the glucose in the blood, which now has no outlet. The body may attempt to flush some of the glucose out of the body via urine.
Gestational Diabetes may perhaps be the most difficult form of diabetes to detect as the symptoms are so similar to a regular pregnancy it can be almost impossible to differentiate. For example, fatigue, increased appetite and thirst, and increased urination.
Gestational Diabetes is usually a temporary form of diabetes which disappears soon after the pregnancy, although it may leave the mother and child susceptible to developing permanent Type 2 Diabetes in the future.
Another worry concerning Gestational Diabetes is the damage it can do to the baby, which may be respiratory or cardiac problems, stillborn or death soon after birth. Untreated Gestational Diabetes can also be a contributing factor in later health problems as the baby reaches adulthood such as chronic obesity.
If you think you have even slightly felt any of the aforementioned symptoms of hyperglycaemia, it is highly important you see your G.P. as soon as possible. Diabetes isn’t a disorder you want to second guess yourself, as it can be fatal, particularly in the case of Type 1 Diabetes.
Although diabetes can be an extremely dangerous disorder, upon diagnosis it is extremely treatable. The most important things for a diabetic to do are to take any prescribed medication and monitor blood sugar levels regularly. If you have been advised by your doctor to take with you an emergency insulin / glucose kit, you should do so at all times, as it may be fatal not to. The other factors include plenty of exercise to help regulate glucose levels, and a healthy balanced diet.
Detailed information about diabetes symptoms is available at http://www.diabetes-symptoms.org.uk