For many, diabetes is a familial disease that they’ve come to know and understand through their relatives and the surrounding community. To avoid health-related complications, specific lifestyle modifications are needed, which is why early detection is key. If diabetes runs in your family, consider getting tested.
Diabetes occurs when your body’s blood sugar (glucose) level is too high. Glucose is the main source of energy provided by the food you consume. People with diabetes struggle to get glucose into the cells that produce energy because of a lack of or trouble producing insulin. Insulin is what gets the glucose into the cells. When glucose doesn’t get into the cells, it remains in your blood. Too much glucose in the blood creates health problems, the most common being Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.
Common Symptoms of Diabetes
In some cases, diabetes symptoms are mild to the point that many people won’t notice any immediate differences. Unfortunately, once the symptoms have become noticeable, that’s when the disease has become a long-term issue. Typically, Type 1 diabetes symptoms occur more immediate compared to Type 2. People with Type 1 diabetes also tend to experience more severe symptoms.
Early on, people will describe feeling hungry or fatigue. Since the body converts food into glucose that cells use for energy, your cells lack insulin to convert that glucose. People with diabetes have difficulty producing insulin or their body will reject insulin, thus making one feel hungry and more tired than usual.
Other early diabetes symptoms include the need to urinate more often. On average, a person will urinate between four to seven times in a 24-hour span. For people with diabetes, this average is much higher. The body normally reabsorbs glucose as it passes through the kidneys but those with diabetes aren’t always able to bring the glucose back since the body is rejecting it. Moreover, urinating more often tends to make people feel more thirsty.
With the body using fluids to produce urine, you will also notice a lack of moisture in your skin. This creates several other symptoms. For one, your skin will appear noticeably dry and you may feel itchy. Your mouth might also feel dry. In addition to feeling thirsty, itchy, and tired, your eyes may also feel swollen. With a lack of fluid in the body, your eyes could change their shape and struggle to focus. Blurred vision is a common symptom of diabetes.
Diabetes Symptoms in Women
There are many symptoms of diabetes that are unique to women. While men and women may share common symptoms such as excessive thirst and dry skin, complications for women are exclusive to their bodies. Some of these symptoms include:
- Vaginal itching or pain
- Irregular periods
- Reduced sex drive or problems with sexual function
- Hair loss or hair thinning
- Urinary tract infections
Symptoms in Men
Men also experience symptoms of diabetes that are exclusive to their bodies. A few changes to look out for include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low testosterone
- Decreased sex drive
- Retrograde ejaculation
It is important to note that these symptoms are different for everyone, male or female, and therefore, getting tested is your greatest gateway to understanding your body.