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Diabetes: Threatening Symptoms to Know the Disease


Diabetes mellitus can occur without pronounced specific symptoms and be diagnosed, for example, during a visit to an ophthalmologist who will identify the disease by examining the fundus of the patient. Or in the cardiology department - where the patient is hospitalized after a heart attack.

Nevertheless, there is a whole list of symptoms that help to find out and understand whether there is diabetes. Moreover, its type by such signs can be determined at home even fairly accurately.

The severity of diabetes is determined by the level of insulin, the age of the disease, the state of the patient's immune system and the presence of concomitant diseases.

Common symptoms of diabetes

There are frequent symptoms of diabetes, called “red flags,” allowing doctors to suspect the disease and refer the patient for an initial examination to check for high blood sugar.

  • Rapid urination. The kidneys respond to elevated glucose levels and tend to excrete it during diuresis, while a large amount of water is excreted together with glucose molecules.
  • Thirst. Increased human fluid requirements are a major contributor to diabetes. A high glucose level leads to the constant elimination of excess sugar in the urine, and the body is dehydrated. The main protective mechanism for dehydration is thirst - signals are sent to the brain that it is necessary to replenish water supplies. A person begins to drink much more often than before, sometimes up to 8-10 liters per day.
  • Weight loss. Despite the fact that many people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, in the onset of the disease progressive weight loss begins with a familiar lifestyle and without changing the diet.

Risk factors

This disease is easier to prevent than to cure. Diabetes mellitus instantly acquires a chronic course, cannot be cured.
There are a number of factors that affect the development of sugar disease.

  1. Consequences after viral pathologies.
  2. Heredity in the presence of endocrine pathology in relatives.
  3. The presence of obesity, especially at the last stage.
  4. Disorders of the hormonal background.
  5. Atherosclerosis of the vessels, narrowing and clogging in the pancreas.
  6. Stress.
  7. High blood pressure without therapy.
  8. The use of individual drugs.
  9. Change in fat metabolism.
  10. Increased sugar when carrying a child, the birth of a baby more than 4.5 kg.
  11. Chronic addiction to alcohol, drugs.
  12. Changing the table when there is more fat in the menu, difficult to digest carbohydrates that contain fiber and natural fibers.

Women are more likely to develop the disease than men. This is due to the fact that the male body is more endowed with testosterone, which positively affects sugar performance. In addition, statistics show that the female half consumes more sugar, carbohydrates that increase glucose.

Attention is necessarily paid to these reasons, and so that the disease does not occur, the lifestyle, attitude to health, nutrition are revised, bad habits are excluded.

How to recognize diabetes? To calculate whether there is diabetes, you need to listen to your body, and also know what signs develop with this pathology, so that you do not miss them.

The main symptoms of diabetes

If you know the main symptoms of this disease, then you can quickly recognize diabetes. Moreover, it is possible to determine not only the presence of diabetes itself, but also its type. To do this, it is enough to study the main symptoms, there are only 10 such symptoms:

The first are those that have been mentioned above - nausea and vomiting. Another sign of the disease is poorly healing wounds.

If we talk about the second type, then another of its symptoms is obesity. When it comes to the first type of disease, then a clear sign of the disease is considered to be a sharp weight loss, even when eating food in large volumes. A clear symptom of the disease is rapid weight loss with increased appetite.

  1. Attention should be paid to persistent itching on the skin, and itching should be of concern both on the abdomen, on the arms and legs, as well as in the genital area.
  2. If a woman began to sharply grow facial hair, then this symptom also indicates the development of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Symptoms are sometimes noted, which is very similar to the one that occurs with the flu.
  4. The swelling of the foreskin, which occurs in connection with frequent urination, is dangerous.
  5. The last obvious physiological sign that indicates that there is a disease is the presence of yellowish small growths on the body.

Diabetes develops in women and in men to the same extent. In this case, gender does not matter much.

More attention should be paid to the specific physiological characteristics of each person.

Types of diabetes

There are several types of diabetes:

How to determine the type of diabetes? A gestational form of pathology develops when a child is born. When, during pregnancy, a woman’s body does not produce enough insulin due to hormonal changes, this leads to an increase in glucose. Often this moment is recorded during the 2nd trimester and disappears after the birth of the baby.

The neonatal form is rare, due to a change in the genetic course, affecting the sugar productivity procedure.

The first type is insulin-dependent. The immunity of a diabetic proceeds to destroy the cells of the pancreas. All glucose draws cellular water into the bloodstream, and dehydration occurs. Without treatment, the patient has a coma, which often leads to death.

The second type of disease is non-insulin-dependent. How to identify diabetes 2 forms.

  1. The patient has a decrease in the sensitivity of receptors to sugar, with its normal production.
  2. After some time, the hormone's performance and energy indicator decrease.
  3. The synthesis of protein is changing, there is an increase in the oxidation of fats.
  4. Ketone bodies accumulate in the bloodstream.

The reason for the decrease in perceptibility is of an age or pathological nature, the number of receptors is also reduced.

The manifestation of the disease in adults and children

The initial stage of the disease often develops without symptoms. The diagnosis of diabetes is made by visiting a phlebologist, an ophthalmologist. When sugar rises, an uncompensated insulin performance diabetic encounters:

  • excessive thirst
  • dried flaky epidermis,
  • tiredness
  • frequent urination
  • dry mouth
  • muscle weakness
  • the smell of acetone from the mouth,
  • muscle cramps
  • loss of vision
  • vomiting, frequent nausea,
  • excess fat in 2 form and loss of mass in type 1,
  • itching
  • hair follicle loss
  • yellowish growths on the skin.

The fact that there is diabetes is indicated by these common manifestations. But they are divided by type of pathology, for proper diagnosis (diabetes or not), determining the severity of the disease, correct elimination to prevent dangerous complications. Children with endocrine pathologies have the same symptoms and require immediate visits to the pediatrician.

Type 1 definition

Diabetes mellitus with 1 form is insidious, the body detects a lack of sugar when about 80% of the beta cells responsible for glucose production are destroyed. After this, the first manifestations develop.

  1. All the time thirsty.
  2. The frequency of urination increases.
  3. Chronic fatigue.

The main signs that allow you to understand how to determine type 1 diabetes are sharp fluctuations in the sugar index in the bloodstream - from low to high and vice versa.

Also, type 1 is manifested by rapid loss of mass. For the first time in months, the indicator reaches 10-15 kg, which leads to a sharp decrease in working capacity, weakness, and drowsiness. Moreover, at the initial stage, the patient eats well, a lot. These manifestations also help determine whether there is type 1 diabetes mellitus without passing tests. As the pathology progresses, the patient will quickly lose weight.

Often this form is fixed in people at a young age.

Type 2 definition

With type 2, the cells of the body become more and more insensitive to sugar. Initially, the body compensates, producing more glucose, but after the production of insulin in the pancreas decreases and it already becomes small.

How to test yourself for type 2 diabetes? This type of sugar pathology is manifested by non-specific signs, which makes it more dangerous. 5-10 years can pass before the time of diagnosis.

Persons older than 40 are affected by the disease. Basically, the symptoms do not appear. The diagnosis is made by accident when the patient passes a blood test. The main reason that the disease is suspected is skin itching in the genital area, limbs. Because often the disease is found by a dermatologist.

Early signs of diabetes

How to recognize diabetes? There are obvious signs that will tell you how to understand that this is a sugar disease.

  1. Frequent use of the toilet.
  2. Sharp rises and decreases weight.
  3. It constantly dries in the oral cavity.
  4. Exhausting craving for food.
  5. Unreasonably changing mood.
  6. The patient often catches a cold, viral infections are recorded.
  7. Nervousness.
  8. Wounds and scratches do not last long.
  9. The body itches all the time.
  10. Often there are abscesses, seizures in the corners of the mouth.

Of this list of signs, the most significant is the increased volume of urine that leaves throughout the day. In addition, this includes jumps in body weight.

Basically, evidence of diabetes is indicated by a constant desire to eat because of hunger. This is due to malnutrition by the cells, the body needs food. No matter how much a diabetic has eaten, there is still no saturation.

Diabetes Tests

How to find out if there is diabetes? Thanks to a number of studies, it is possible to calculate the present disease, its type, which is important for subsequent therapy and improving life.

How to get tested for diabetes.

  1. A blood test for a sugar indicator - a value of 3.3-3.5 mmol / L is considered the norm. But, to donate only blood to an empty stomach, this is not enough. A sugar saturation test is also carried out 2 hours after a normal meal. The sugar ratio may not change, but there is a change in its absorption. This is the initial stage when the body still has reserves. Before undergoing the study, do not eat, do not take ascorbic acid, drugs that can affect the outcome. It is important to exclude stress on the psychological and physical level.
  2. Analysis of urine for sugar and ketone bodies - normally these substances should not be in the urine. If glucose is increased over 8, then an increase in saturation in the urine is recorded. The kidneys do not split the critical sugar, so it penetrates into urine. Excessive volume of insulin does not save cells that begin to break down fat cells in order to maintain their vital functions. When fat breaks down, toxins come out - ketone bodies that expel the kidneys through urine.

A sugar susceptibility test is also carried out, the value of hemoglobin, insulin, C-peptide in the bloodstream is determined.

Detection of diabetes at home

How to determine diabetes at home? To calculate whether there is diabetes, at home they use special devices that are sold in a pharmacy.

If the initial signs of the disease appear, it is recommended to do tests for the coefficient of sugar. When hyperglycemia is present, diabetes testing is necessary daily.

How to identify diabetes without tests at home.

  1. Glucometer - in the device there is a lancet, a piercing finger. Due to special test strips, the glucose value is measured and the result is displayed on the scoreboard. To detect sugar with a glucometer at home, it will not take more than 5 minutes.
  2. Complex A1C - will show the average value of insulin for 3 months.
  3. Urine test strips - show if there is sugar in the urine. If it shows a positive result, then it is necessary to take a blood test.

It is important to understand that the study done at home is not always reliable. Therefore, having received the result, the diagnosis is not made, but examined in the laboratory.

Type 1 diabetes

T1DM is an autoimmune disease in which individual white blood cells (T-lymphocytes) are considered alien to beta cells that produce insulin in the pancreas and destroy them. Meanwhile, the body urgently needs insulin so that the cells can absorb glucose. If there is not enough insulin, then glucose molecules cannot get inside the cell and, as a result, accumulate in the blood.

Type 1 diabetes is very insidious: the body notices a lack of insulin only when 75-80% of the beta cells responsible for insulin production are already destroyed. Only after this has happened, do the first symptoms appear: constantly tormenting thirst, an increased frequency of urination and chronic fatigue.

The main signs that help answer the question of how to determine type 1 diabetes are sharp fluctuations in the level of glucose in the bloodstream: from low to high and vice versa.

It is especially important to immediately identify type 1 diabetes in children! In the course of the disease, a quick transition to changes in consciousness is possible, up to a coma.

An equally important symptom of type 1 diabetes is rapid weight loss. In the first months, it can reach 10-15 kilograms. Naturally, a sharp weight loss is accompanied by poor performance, severe weakness, drowsiness. Moreover, at the very beginning the patient’s appetite is abnormally high, he eats a lot. These are signs for determining diabetes without testing. The stronger the disease develops, the faster the patient loses body weight and performance.

With DM 1, the skin does not just dry: the capillaries on the face expand, a bright blush appears on the cheeks, chin and forehead.

Later, anorexia, which causes ketoacidosis, may begin. Signs of ketoacidosis are nausea, vomiting, a characteristic bad breath. Since the body is not able to use sugar to generate energy with insulin deficiency, it is forced to look for other sources of energy. And, as a rule, finds them in fat reserves, which decomposes to the level of ketone bodies. Excess ketone leads to increased blood acidity and ketoacidosis. Its sign is a sharp, bad breath (it seems to smell like nail polish remover, which contains acetone). However, urine can smell no less strongly.

Type 1 diabetes is usually found in young people (5-10% of all patients with diabetes mellitus are people with type 1 diabetes), but people over 40 are usually diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and appropriate treatment is aimed at lowering blood sugar.

Type 2 diabetes

With type 2 diabetes, body cells become increasingly insensitive to insulin. Initially, the body can compensate for this deficiency by producing an increasing amount of insulin. However, after some time, the production of insulin in the pancreas decreases - and at some point it is already not enough.

With this type of diabetes, the symptoms are nonspecific, which makes the disease especially dangerous. Five or even ten years pass before a diagnosis is made.

For type 2 diabetes, just like type 1 diabetes, a genetic predisposition is important, but the presence of obesity, hypertension, and a sedentary lifestyle play an even greater role.

This disease is usually affected by people over 40 years old. In most cases, pronounced symptoms of the disease are absent. The diagnosis is often made by accident when taking blood on an empty stomach. Complaints of symptoms such as frequent urination and thirst are usually absent. The main cause for concern may be skin itching in the genitals and extremities. Therefore, type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed in a dermatologist’s office.

In view of the latent clinical picture of the disease, its diagnosis may be delayed for several years, despite the presence of symptoms. Therefore, at the time of detection of type 2 diabetes, doctors often observe all kinds of complications, and they are the main reason for the patient to go to a medical institution.

Diagnosis of diabetes can also occur in the surgeon's office (talking about the diabetic foot). Diabetics are referred to an optometrist due to visual impairment (retinopathy). The fact that they have hyperglycemia, patients in cardiology learn after a heart attack.

Difficulties in recognizing diabetes at the initial stage are the main cause of future serious complications of the disease. Therefore, each person is obliged to be attentive to his health and, at the first suspicion, immediately consult a specialist!

In order to accurately determine the level of sugar in blood plasma, a number of laboratory tests are carried out:

  1. Urinalysis for sugar and ketone bodies,
  2. Glucose susceptibility test
  3. Determination of the level of hemoglobin, insulin and C-peptide in the blood,
  4. A blood test for glucose.

Blood glucose

Для постановки правильного диагноза одного анализа натощак недостаточно. Кроме него понадобится определение содержания глюкозы через 2 часа после еды.

Sometimes (usually at the beginning of the disease) in patients there is only a violation of sugar absorption, and its level in the blood can be within normal limits. This is due to the fact that the body uses its internal reserves and is still managing on its own.

When passing a fasting blood test, the following rules must be observed:

  1. The last meal should take place at least 10 hours before blood sampling,
  2. you can’t take medicines that can change the results of the tests,
  3. It’s forbidden to use vitamin C,
  4. Before taking tests, the level of psychological and physical activity should not increase.

If there is no disease, then fasting sugar should be in the range of 3.3 - 3.5 mmol / L.

Little known diabetes symptoms

Complaints of thirst, increased urination and weight loss are frequent companions of diabetes and immediately prompt the doctor to think about a serious illness. However, there are also little-known signs of diabetes, which, however, can help to suspect this diagnosis and allow timely treatment to begin. Even at home, you can determine for yourself the threat of diabetes by discovering symptoms, such as:

    Fatigue and decreased performance, a periodic feeling of "loss of strength" can occur in any healthy person, however, prolonged fatigue, apathy and physical fatigue, not caused by physical overload or stress, and also not disappearing after rest, can be a sign of endocrine disease, including diabetes.

  • Hyperkeratosis - thickening of the skin. The skin becomes rough, dull and loses its healthy appearance, there is a thickening and peeling of the skin, a tendency to cracks and calluses. Nail plates also suffer, the skin in the area of ​​the nails thickens and coarsens.
  • Itchy skin as well as itching in the groin. In addition to dermatological and infectious diseases, itchy skin of this kind often causes diabetes mellitus.
  • Hair loss. If the hair began to suddenly fall out in large quantities, you should not ignore this symptom and try to solve it only by cosmetological methods, perhaps the reason lies in serious malfunctions in the body, including the endocrine system.
  • Gout. Despite the fact that this type of joint damage is considered as an independent disease, these two pathologies are often associated with each other, as they have common cause-effect relationships. Both of these diseases are directly related to lifestyle disorders and obesity, so people with overweight are at risk for developing insulin resistance, gout, and cardiovascular disease.
  • Infertility and violation of the menstrual cycle, pathology of pregnancy and the fetus. The absence of pregnancy for a long time, as well as malfunctions of the reproductive system can be a sign of many diseases, but if you have these problems, it will not be superfluous to check the level of glucose in the blood.
  • Violations of the nervous system. Complaints such as insomnia, depression, irritability, decreased visual acuity should be an occasion to consult a doctor to find out if you have diabetes.
  • Decreased immunity. If you often have colds, fungal and bacterial infections, you do not recover for a long time after acute respiratory infections, or they have complications, be sure to consult a doctor to find out the cause of immunodeficiency, possibly because of high blood sugar.
  • Who is at risk

    How to understand that you may develop diabetes during your life and who should be examined first of all? There are a number of risk factors that increase the likelihood of illness in comparison with other healthy people.

    • Heredity. If someone close to you has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you are more likely to have the disease.
    • Excess weight. Overweight people get type 2 diabetes much more often.
    • Bad habits. Smoking, abuse of alcohol and junk food not only increase the likelihood of developing diabetes, but also exacerbate the course of the disease and increase the likelihood of complications.
    • Pregnancy. In pregnant women, the blood glucose level is carefully checked during the entire period, since there is a special form of diabetes found in pregnant women - gestational diabetes.
    • Elderly age. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is much more common in older people and with age this probability only increases, however, it must be remembered that type 1 diabetes, on the contrary, is more common in children and young people.

    What to do if you suspect diabetes

    First of all, do not panic and be afraid to go to the doctor. In order to determine this disease does not require complex and expensive examinations, it is enough to take a blood test and determine the level of glucose.

    Currently, all patients with diabetes have the opportunity even at home to conduct a test to determine the level of glycemia and do it daily. Normal indicators of fasting blood glucose are 3.3–5.5 mmol / L, and after eating no more than 7.8 mmol / L.

    However, a once-high fasting glucose level is not a reason for diagnosing diabetes mellitus, such an increase should be detected at least twice, or such a reason may be an increase in glucose levels above 11 mmol / l, regardless of food intake.

    Patients with newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus are referred for a more in-depth examination to identify the type of disease, its possible complications, as well as prescribe the appropriate treatment.

    How not to get diabetes. Tips

    Unfortunately, there are no recommendations to avoid the disease with a 100% guarantee. There are hereditary factors that cannot be influenced in any way. Nevertheless, there are a number of recommendations to reduce the risk of developing diabetes mellitus to a large extent:

    1. Live actively. Exercise regularly, choose what you can do with physical activity, whether it's running, swimming or walking.
    2. Watch out for food. Choose healthy foods, give preference to carbohydrates with a high glycemic index (cereals, vegetables) instead of harmful "fast" carbohydrates (flour, sweets).
    3. Control the weight. Check your body mass index and keep it within normal limits.
    4. Give up bad habits. Try to minimize the use of any alcohol and quit smoking as soon as possible.
    5. Monitor your blood glucose. If your age is older than 40 years or you have at least one of the risk factors, you can’t do without tests: regularly donate blood for sugar in the laboratory or use a device such as a glucometer to determine diabetes in time.
    6. Watch your blood pressure and take medications to lower it, if necessary.

    Remember - diabetes is not a sentence, people suffering from this disease can live a full life, however, an early and timely visit to a doctor will significantly increase your chances of maintaining your health and maintaining a high quality of life.