The Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus
by: Andrew Bicknell
Diabetes Mellitus is an insidious disease that causes a whole slew of complications that can have life altering and threatening effects for anyone who suffers from it. From heart disease to kidney problems, blindness and nerve damage, recognizing the symptoms of diabetes mellitus early and getting proper medical treatment is key to managing it effects and the complications it can cause.
It is estimated that 17 million people suffer from diabetes in the United States alone. Further more nearly 5.9 million of those 17 million have not been diagnosed and are suffering the effects of not managing their condition. Many people remain undiagnosed because they do not recognize or understand their symptoms and never seek medical help until their symptoms have manifested into the later complications.
The treatment of diabetes is about managing the condition through proper diet, exercise, and medication. The sooner a positive diagnosis is made the better the chances of avoiding potential life threatening complications that this disease is known for. There is no known cure but millions of people with diabetes live normal lives through healthy lifestyle choices.
The symptoms of diabetes mellitus as listed by the American Diabetes Association include:
1. Increased Urination – Increased blood flow through the kidneys due to high blood sugar levels contributes to this.
2. Excessive Thirst – Caused by the increased urine output that brings about dehydration.
3. Hungry All the Time – Because glucose (sugar) is unable to leave the blood stream and enter the cells due to a lack of insulin or insulin resistance the cells do not get the fuel they need for energy. The body senses this energy deficit and thinks it needs more calories to fuel its metabolic processes.
4. Weight Loss – Even though the diabetic is eating more the body starts to break down its own protein and fat stores to feed the perceived lack of energy for the cells.
5. Fatigue – Decreased energy levels lead to constant feelings of fatigue and lethargy.
6. Irritability and Depression.
7. Eye Problems – High blood glucose levels cause an increase in blood volume which can cause the lens of the eye to swell.
These signs will usually start out as nothing more than minor annoyances, but with time they will increase in severity. Many people attribute them to other things and brush them aside. Many of the symptoms can be attributed to other things like the stress of everyday life which can cause fatigue, depression, and irritability.
Many people are often surprised when they are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus saying things like "I don't feel sick". Many people are visiting their doctor for other concerns when they are first diagnosed. But once they putt all their symptoms together along with the results of their blood glucose test that the doctor will order the diagnosis is easily seen.
Recognizing the symptoms of diabetes mellitus early in the disease's stages is the single most important factor when it comes to minimizing the long term complications that are associated with this disease.
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