Western people are getting too fat. As a result, the number of diabetic patients increases every year. Diabetes is often called a luxury problem because of this, but it should be taken seriously, as this chronic disease can be deadly! There are two different types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 can usually be seen quickly, because the symptoms start to show after a few days or weeks, while type 2 develops a lot slower or will develop at a later age. The big question is: what are the symptoms and when should you go to the doctor?
Both types have a number of warning signs that occur regularly.
Hunger & fatigue
When eating something, your body converts it into glucose. This substance ensures that you have enough energy to get through the day. To get that energy, your cells need insulin, which is a big problem for diabetic people: the body does not, or not hardly, produce this. If too little or no insulin is produced, your body does not get enough glucose and develops a hungry and tired feeling.
Because the fluid level in your body is constantly changing, the eye lenses might swell. This creates blurry vision which can eventually, if not checked regularly, cause blindness. Did you know, for example, that diabetes is one of the biggest causes of blindness?
More frequent urination & feeling thirsty
Most people urinate between 3 and 7 times a day. Unfortunately, this does not apply to diabetic patients. How is that possible? Normally the body absorbs the remaining glucose as it passes through the kidneys, but if your blood sugar level is too high, the kidneys can no longer do this, and you therefore have to urinate more often. Being thirsty is a result of the more frequent urination. If you urinate a lot, you can get thirsty and start drinking more, which causes you to urinate even more. Do not try to drink too much, otherwise you will end up in a vicious circle.
Dry mouth and itchy skin
These are also consequences of frequent urination. Why? If you have to urinate frequently, you will lose lots of fluid. At first glance, this is not that big of a deal. It is, however, if you know that fluid is necessary for other processes in the body as well. Too little fluid causes the skin to dry out and itch, and causes dry mouth as well.
Type 2 symptoms:
The following symptoms occur if you have been suffering from blood sugar levels that are too high for too long
Both diabetic men and women can suffer from these infections. Yeast feeds on glucose, so if your blood sugar level is too high, it’s more than happy. These infections can develop in hot and moist places. They usually occur between fingers and toes, under the breasts, and in and around the genitals.
Healing of (knife) wounds
Over time, high blood sugar can affect blood flow and make it difficult for your body to heal wounds. This means that injuries stop bleeding and/or heal less quickly.
Pain or numbness in feet or legs
This is also the result of nerve damage.
Type 1 symptoms:
If the body cannot turn food into energy, it will burn muscle and fat instead. This means that you will lose weight and muscle mass unconsciously. At first, this is not that big of a deal, but unconscious weight loss is very bad for your health.
Nausea and vomiting
When your body starts burning fat instead of sugars, it will produce ‘ketones’. These ketones can make you feel sick and eventually make you vomit. Be careful! Ketones can accumulate to dangerous levels in the blood. This is also known as diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening condition. The last question that must be answered is: when is it time to go to the doctor?
Contact the doctor
If you are over 45 years old, or have other risks for diabetes, it is important to be tested. If you notice the symptoms in time, you can prevent effects such as nerve damage and heart problems.
And follow the next rule if you have any doubts about calling the doctor:
• Do you feel sick, weak, and very thirsty?
• Do you often have to go to the toilet?
• Do you often have abdominal pain?
• Are you breathing deeper and faster than normal?
• Do you have sweet breath that smells like nail polish remover?
When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to do your own research. To get you started, take a look at our related searches below.