Diabetes mellitus encompasses a spectrum of disease that affects the way in which your body uses glucose (sugar). Glucose is essential to good health; it’s a vital source of energy for the body’s cells. The brain also uses glucose as the main source of energy. A person’s well-being depends on some degree on the efficient use of glucose within the body. Diabetes can cause a wide range of symptoms, including excess sweating, weight loss, and slow healing wounds.
The reasons why someone develops diabetes varies, depending on the type. However, all types of diabetes will result in excessive amounts of glucose in the blood. Excess blood sugar can lead to very serious health issues. Diabetes and sweating is one relatively minor symptom, while permanent blindness is one of the most serious effects of uncontrolled diabetes.
Chronic diabetes manifests as type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. There are also two potentially reversible forms of diabetes. The first is prediabetes; this is when the blood sugar level is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. The second type of potentially reversible diabetes is gestational diabetes; this happens during pregnancy but clears up after the birth of the baby.
The seriousness of the symptoms can depend on how high or low blood sugar levels are. Some who have diabetes may not detect any symptoms at first, especially if they have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. However, those with type 1 diabetes tend to have more severe symptoms that manifest more quickly.
SOME TYPE 1 AND TYPE 2 DIABETES SYMPTOMS ARE:
Frequent urination and thirst
Extreme hunger and fatigue
Unexplained weight loss
Ketones in the urine
Although type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it most often is diagnosed during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes can also develop at any age, but it’s more commonly diagnosed in those over 40 years of age.
DIABETES AND SWEATING
Low blood sugar levels is a part of the diabetic cycle; it’s called hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia will trigger the body into a fight-or-flight response. This, in turn, causes the body to produce more adrenaline and norepinephrine which can cause heavy sweating, as well as diabetes symptoms of anxiety and shakiness.
EXTREME HUNGER AND FATIGUE
The body converts food into glucose so that the body can use that sugar for energy. However, the body’s cells require insulin to utilize glucose. If the body doesn’t make enough insulin, or if the cells are insulin resistant, the glucose can’t fuel the cells, resulting in hunger and fatigue.
FREQUENT URINATION AND EXCESSIVE THIRST
The average person urinates from four to seven times a day. However, those with diabetes may need to urinate a lot more. Normally, the body will reabsorb glucose when it passes through the kidneys. But as diabetes increases the blood sugar, the kidneys may not be able to reabsorb all of it. This triggers the body to produce more urine. More urine requires more fluids, thus, the diabetic becomes thirsty.
UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT LOSS
Insufficient insulin will stop the body from absorbing blood glucose into the body’s cells for energy. When this happens, the body will burn muscle and fat for energy. This results in weight loss. Unusual weight loss often occurs prior to a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. However, unexpected weight loss can also affect those with type 2 diabetes.
KETONES IN THE URINE
If the body’s cells receive inadequate amounts of glucose, the body will begin to burn fat for energy. This will produce ketones, which will show up in the urine. High levels of ketones in the urine can indicate diabetic ketoacidosis. This diabetic symptom can lead to a coma or in extreme cases, death.
Low glucose levels may cause a range of emotional symptoms including irritability, moodiness, and belligerence. If a diabetic experiences irritability it’s advisable to check their blood sugar levels.
High blood sugar levels can affect your vision; it causes the lens of the eye to swell, which results in temporary blurry eyesight. However, blurry vision can also be the result of low blood sugar. In the case of low blood sugar, vision should return to normal once the blood glucose is back to a normal range. However, if diabetes is not controlled, it can cause irreversible damage to the eyes, resulting in permanent blindness.
When blood sugar levels are higher than normal, it will prevent oxygen and nutrients from feeding the cells. This will, in turn, stop the immune system from functioning properly. Abnormal blood sugar levels can also increase inflammation, which will affect healing. In extreme cases of uncontrolled diabetic infections, amputations of the feet are not uncommon.
High blood sugar can make a diabetic prone to infections. One reason is that yeast feeds on sugar; as a result of the combination of high blood sugar, and lowered immunity, yeast infections can easily get out of control in someone with diabetes.
Neuropathy is a type of nerve damage. High blood sugar can cause damage to the nerves throughout the body. However, diabetic neuropathy most often targets the nerves in the lower legs and feet. Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy can vary from numbness or pain and in the legs and feet to trouble with the urinary tract, the digestive system, the blood vessels, and even the heart. Some diabetics have mild neuropathy symptoms, but other diabetics can experience debilitating pain.
FOUR TIPS FOR MANAGING DIABETES
Effectively controlling diabetes takes daily effort, but the benefits are well worth it. The payoff will be a longer and healthier life.
CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
Follow your doctor’s schedule for checking your blood sugar, and add extra checks periodically. If you feel irritable or begin sweating, do a blood sugar check. Diabetes and sweating is a sign of low blood sugar.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR CARBS
Carbohydrates convert quickly into sugar once digested. Limit your intake of high carb foods like bread, pasta, potatoes, and chips.
GET REGULAR EXERCISE
Exercise will burn off excess glucose in the blood. Try to get at least 2-3 hours of exercise per week, in daily increments.
KNOW ALL OF YOUR NUMBERS
Blood sugar levels are not the only numbers you need to know. You also need to watch your cholesterol and blood pressure readings.
To sum things up, diabetes can have very serious health complications, but it can be managed. Pay attention to your symptoms, and take the steps necessary to manage your diabetes, not only with medication but with common sense diet and exercise routines. If you like this article, please share!