Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

There are several symptoms which may help you to diagnose the presence of this metabolic disease.

  • Frequent urination: Also known as polyuria, this proves to be one of the most common symptoms of diabetes, wherein the sufferer feels an urge to urinate several times in a day and over 2.5 liters of urine is excreted per day. The phenomenon is more noticeable during the night.
  • Increased thirst: Sufferers feel an increased urge of thirst to compensate for excessive fluid loss due to urination.
  • Increased hunger: Also known as polyphagia, this condition is also noticed in diabetic patients. In cases of increased hunger coexist along with the above two symptoms in a sufferer, diabetes is said to be diagnosed.
  • Fatigue: Increased tiredness and fatigue are other important symptoms in a diabetic patient. This is caused due to impaired production and utilization of calories by the body. This may also result in the wasting of muscles.
  • Slow healing: Slow healing of wounds is also an important feature that is seen quite commonly in diabetic patients. This condition affects almost all diabetic individuals and is considered to be one of the easiest ways of diagnosing if diabetes has affected an individual.
  • Abnormal sensation: There may be occurrences of numbness or tingling sensation felt in the limbs in diabetic. In some cases, a person may feel a loss of sensation in the hands or the feet.
  • Increased risk to infections: A diabetic person is more prone to an infectious disease as compared to a normal person.
  • Miscellaneous: There are some other symptoms of diabetes which may include a blurring of the vision, unexplained loss of weight, lack of interest and concentration while working or studying.

If these symptoms are not taken care of, and treatment of diabetes is neglected, it may result in several complications such as:

  • Diabetic neuropathy: The excess sugar levels present in the bloodstream can prove to cause damage to the blood vessels and capillaries. This can eventually lead to damage of the nerves and loss of sensation in particular regions of the body such as the fingers and the toes.
  • Diabetic nephropathy and diabetic ketoacidosis: Damage can be caused to the kidneys due to the excess glucose present in the blood in diabetics. There is also a high presence of ketones in the urine which is caused by deamination of some amino acids and also the improper breakdown of fatty acids.
  • Diabetic retinopathy: Diabetes can also cause damage to the blood vessels surrounding the retina of the eye. While this may result in some eye conditions such as glaucoma and cataract, over longer periods, it can also lead to permanent blindness.
  • Cardiovascular or macrovascular diseases like stroke or peripheral vascular disease: The risk of encountering cardiovascular diseases is greatly increased in diabetics. These include potentially serious conditions and diseases such as a heart attack, a stroke, pain in the chest and also a constriction of the arteries in the body.
  • Muscle wasting and weakness: Due to the cells being unable to effectively absorb glucose, diabetic individuals cannot efficiently or effectively use their body muscles. While this causes general fatigue and tiredness, over longer periods it may lead to a gradual wasting of the muscle tissues.
  • Diabetic coma: While it is known that diabetic patients suffer from increased risk to nerve damage, in some extreme cases, this nerve damage can also lead to a condition of a coma.
  • Others: There are many other complications which can be associated with diabetes and these include damage caused to the limbs, infectious skin diseases and conditions, impairment of hearing and also the development of Alzheimer’s disease is some individuals.