Diabetes is a very complicated disease – debilitating and life-threatening. It is also one of the most common diseases worldwide. In the United States alone, it is estimated that around 30 million people have diabetes mellitus. Each year, nearly 1 million more are diagnosed and the numbers are growing rapidly. Most experts agree that diabetes is on the rise (mostly due to poor lifestyle and lack of exercise).
Diabetes also claims more than 400,000 lives in the U.S. annually, making it the 6th deadliest disease in the country. With gloomy statistics such as this, it becomes even more important that people learn the signs of early diabetes in order to prevent further complications.
Symptoms of early diabetes
Diabetes manifests itself gradually, which means people who have it will notice early signs and symptoms. Some of these include:
A common symptom of early diabetes is the increase in the frequency of urination due to the rise in blood glucose. This is because the kidneys have to work overtime in order to purge the body of excess sugar. The problem with this is that it can lead to dehydration, which can lead to health problems.
The loss of water in the body can trigger thirst. It can also be caused by the presence of excess sugar.
Rapid weight loss
Early diabetes is often manifested through unexplained loss of weight. People with diabetes will find that even if they ate more, they won’t be able to keep the weight.
Early diabetics experience generalized body weakness because the body can no longer process glucose or sugar efficiently. As a result, the muscles do not have fuel to burn. Patients will also experience drowsiness and irritability.
The rise in blood sugar levels causes changes in the fluids found in the eyes, which affects the diabetic’s vision.
Recurring infections and other physical symptoms
People who have early diabetes will experience infections of the skin, bladder and gums. Sores and cuts will also take a long time to heal. Early diabetics will also feel a numbness or tingling sensations in the feet and hands.
The importance of diagnosis
If you do have these symptoms, you might want to have yourself checked by a medical professional. A proper diagnosis is the best way to confirm if you have diabetes or not. It is also helpful in ruling out any other conditions or diseases that may be present. With the right diagnosis, early diabetes is easier to treat and manage.
A common technique for checking for early diabetes involves having the patient undergo an 8-hour fasting. Next, a small amount of blood will be extracted to be used to check for blood glucose levels. Another way to check for early diabetes is to administer a test for glucose tolerance orally. A medical professional will feed a carefully measured amount of sugar to the patient and then test his glucose levels.
Type 1 diabetes
If Type 1 diabetes is suspected, a test may be performed to check for certain antibodies that people with diabetes have. This is an important test that is often performed for early diabetes which helps reduce the risk of developing more complications caused by this disease.
Diagnosing early diabetes is critical to the success of its treatment and management. The earlier the patient knows he has the disease, the better chances he will get in ensuring that he implement the necessary changes in his diet and exercise regimen. This will help prevent the condition from worsening. Early diabetes is not reversible but diagnosing it in time and applying the appropriate treatment and management steps are critical in improving the patient’s quality of life.