Diabetes Signs & Symptoms

We’ve already established that diabetes in each of its forms impacts insulin (either in it’s production or response) and the body’s ability for utilizing energy. The signs and symptoms of each type of diabetes also differ, although some do tend to overlap…

In patients with type 1 diabetes, the autoimmune disease impacts the body’s immune system or it’s ability to combat infection when the immune system attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing cells, and halts all pancreas insulin production. This explains why those afflicted with type 1 diabetes take daily doses of insulin in either pill or injection form. Although the medical community has no idea why, they point to autoimmune issues, genetic, viruses, and environmental factors as potential causes. The primary symptoms of type 1 diabetes typically develop quickly and include the following:

  • Increased urination
  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Blurry vision
  • Increased appetite
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Diabetic coma (or diabetic ketoacidosis) if insulin is not administered

In patients with type 2 diabetes (or “insulin resistance”), the most common type of the disease, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, but the body is unable to make utilize it for energy. Factors such as obesity, heredity, advanced age, previous gestational diabetes (in women), lack of physical inactivity, and even ethnicity are to blame. The following symptoms of type 2 diabetes typically develop gradually, and many individuals don’t recognize them:  

  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Frequent sickness and infection
  • Nausea
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing wounds

The third type of diabetes, gestational diabetes, only affects women during pregnancy and primarily those of African Americans, American Indians, Hispanic, and those with a family history of diabetes. The common symptoms, which develop gradually, include:

  • A frequent feeling/need to urinate
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Increased thirst
  • Blurry eyesight
  • Weight loss
  • Infection and slow healing sores
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