There is not much difference between the signs of Type 1 diabetes and those of Type 2 diabetes, they are nearly the same. The signs of Type 1 diabetes however usually set in much earlier than those of Type 2 diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes may exhibit signs of the disease as early as a few weeks after its onset. People with Type 2 diabetes on the other hand might not even realise they have the disease until years later after it started.
In the United States, it’s estimated that about 24 million people are affected by diabetes. More than half of these people are however not aware that they are suffering from diabetes. This is because they may not have experienced any signs of diabetes or they may have experienced the signs but failed to know that they indicate diabetes illness. Here are some of the signs of diabetes which are common between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Feeling of hunger or fatigue
Hunger and fatigue are common experiences for diabetic patients because of the body’s failure to utilise glucose and provide energy. The body usually needs the insulin hormone to convert glucose into energy and in cases where insulin is unavailable, inadequate or is resisted by the body cells like in diabetic patients, conversion of glucose to energy will not be possible or will be greatly affected. One will therefore feel hungry or fatigued as a result of lack of energy for the body cells.
Frequent urination and thirst
Frequent urination is a common sign of diabetes. A person with diabetes will likely notice that he or she makes frequent trips to the toilet than they normally did. Diabetes is often characterised by accumulation of sugar in the blood because of lack of insulin to convert the sugar into energy. A normally functioning body usually reabsorbs glucose through the kidney but the body of someone who has diabetes usually becomes overwhelmed by the too much sugar present such that it cannot reabsorb it. Because of its inability to reabsorb glucose, the body of a diabetic patient will try to get rid of excess glucose through urine. It will therefore produce a lot of urine to help expel the excess glucose.
Fluids are needed to make urine and for this reason, the body will utilise most of the fluids within it to form urine leading to feelings of thirst.
Blurred vision is one of the most common signs of diabetes. It is usually one of the first indicators of a diabetes condition. Blurred vision occurs due to the presence of too much sugar in the blood. High amounts of blood sugar is referred to as hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia causes changes in the fluid levels in the body. It can cause some fluids to leak into the eye lenses leading to them swelling and becoming unable to focus well.
Unexplained weight loss
Diabetes is characterised by sudden loss of weight. In healthy individuals, it is glucose that is normally burnt to produce energy for the body cells. In people with diabetes however, glucose cannot be burnt due to insufficient insulin and thus it is fats and muscles that are burnt to produce energy instead. The burning of fats and muscle leads to weight loss.
Cuts and wounds that heal slowly
Elevated blood sugar level causes narrowing of blood vessels. This in turn translates into less blood reaching the affected site. The activity of white blood cells is therefore affected due to lack of enough nutrients and oxygen. This leads to slow healing of wounds.