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Diabetes Symptoms - Do I Have It?
Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2003E-mail this page Printer-friendly page
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a relatively common disease and is a disorder in the way your body handles Glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar that your body uses for energy. After you eat a meal, your stomach absorbs your food and the blood level of Glucose rises. Normal bodies respond by secreting a hormone called Insulin into the blood stream. The insulin helps transfer the Glucose from the blood into your cells.
In people with Diabetes, they have one of two problems (Type 1 and Type 2):1) They don't make enough Insulin... or...
2) Their bodies don't respond to normal levels of insulin
What's confusing is that when people hear "sugar", they immediately think "sweet" -- but Carbohydrates (as found in breads, rice and pasta) are actually made up of these simple sugars. After you eat them, your body breaks them down into Glucose. So don't make that mistake!Who gets Diabetes?
Well, it depends on which type of Diabetes we're talking about (Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes).
Type 2 Diabetes is the most common type and is considered the "Adult" form of the disease. Risk factors include obesity, advanced age (over 45), and a family history. (That means if you're old, fat and your parents had Diabetes, you better be worried.)
Type 1 Diabetes tends to occur at early age, and often occurs in children. Unlke Type 2 Diabeties, obesity, age, and probably family history are not risk factors. For our purposes, we're going to focus on Type 2.So, Do I Have Diabetes Symptoms?
Good question... so, as we said, if you're overweight, getting older and have a family member with Diabetes, you should already be worried.
The symptoms of Diabetes can be subtle. Many people go on with their lives for years before finding out that they have it.
The main cause of symptoms comes from the fact that you have too much Glucose in your blood. More than you should. As your kidneys filter your blood, the glucose goes into your urine, and you urinate it out. With the Glucose comes water, and as a result, people with uncontrolled diabetes go to the bathroom a lot! People might not notice as much during the day... but it becomes very noticable at night. As people get older, you might get up to go to the bathroom once or so... but if you're getting up 4 or 5 times to urinate, that's not normal.
Since you're losing so much fluid, you're also going to be thirsty, tired, and dehydrated. Beyond this, you can have blurry vision, and some weight loss.
But remember... Diabetes symptoms can be subtle!Get Checked Out
If you are worried that you might have diabetes or symptoms, then you should really get checked out by your doctor. It's a very simple blood test.
The sooner you find out, the sooner you can start on the proper treatment. There are worse things than having diabetes -- such as having diabetes and not treating it, because the complications of diabetes are all related to how long you have the disease in an untreated form.