The early symptoms of diabetes can easily be confused with symptoms other chronic diseases. Type 2 Diabetes usually presents itself after the age of 40, but more and more children are being diagnosed daily due to obesity and not enough physical activity.
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and is the most commonly diagnosed, and is non insulin dependent (NIDDM). It is best controlled by diet and increased exercise. If not properly managed, complications such as renal and cardiovascular disease can result.
With Type 2 diabetes symptoms can be mild and go noticed for years causing a delay in treatment. It is characterized by a resistance to the insulin that is being produced by the islet cells located in the pancreas.
In An Emergency:
Persons who don’t know they are diabetic are at high risk for an emergency event when their symptoms become overwhelming. There is an additional problem of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), the complete opposite of what diabetes mellitus is.
There are two types of a diabetic emergency:
Hyperglycemia occurs with not enough insulin and too much glucose in the blood. This is caused by eating more than you should, no physical activity, and you didn’t take the proper amount of insulin. This can lead to a diabetic coma. This person is in need of insulin
Hypoglycemia exhibits it self when there is too much insulin and not enough glucose, which can lead to insulin shock. This condition is directly related to too much exercise, not eating enough, and injecting too much insulin. This person is in need of sugar.
The emergency measures are the same for both conditions. If the person is conscious, getting them something to eat or drink, such as orange juice, milk, or a candy bar will help reduce symptoms. Then get medical help as quickly as possible.
What are the early signs:
Elevated urinary output: Occurs due to elevated glucose levels and the body’s attempt to get rid of it.
Excessive thirst: Is due to the frequent urination, causing dehydration
Impaired vision: Vision may be blurred due damage to the ocular vascular system
Feelings of hunger: Caused by excessive insulin that is not being used properly
Lethargy: Is related to the elevated glucose levels
Frequent bacterial and fungal infections
Slow healing wounds:
When showing these signs and symptoms, getting tested is the next step to determine the cause. Testing procedures include:
Blood glucose test: Normal values for glucose is around 110 mg/dl. A reading of 126 mg/dl or more is indicative of diabetes. If your blood sugars are high on two occasions of testing, the diagnosis is most likely diabetes.
Other testing includes:
A Fasting Plasma Glucose
An Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)
A Random Plasma Glucose Test – No fasting is involved.
Most tests involve fasting for 8 hours as eating a meal increases glucose levels, Therefore to get a true reading, the patient can’t eat for 8 hours before the test.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of diabetes, as well as one’s risks for developing the disease, will help in getting early treatment and prevention of complications.