Doctor stethascope

All About Diabetes: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Management.

You could have diabetes and not even know it. If you have to urinate often, are more thirsty than usual, experience unintentional weight loss, feel fatigued often and experience occasional blurred vision then you may want to visit your doctor and discuss your symptoms. Although diabetes has no cure, you can take steps to manage your diabetes and stay healthy.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease which occurs when your blood glucose is too high. Blood glucose is the body’s main source of energy that comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes your body does not make enough or any insulin. Glucose then stays in your blood and does not reach your cells. Over time, by having too much glucose in your blood health problems can arise.

How common is diabetes?

1.2 million Australians and 29 million Americans have diabetes. However, 1 in 4 of them did not know they did. Diabetes can affect 1 in 4 people over the age of 65. About 95% of cases in adults are Type 2 diabetes.

What are the different types of diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes:

If you have Type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People living with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.

Type 2 Diabetes:

If you have Type 2 diabetes your body does not make or use insulin well.  However, you can develop Type 2 diabetes at any age, it most often occurs in middle-aged or elderly people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.

Do these symptoms sound familiar?

Type 1 diabetes symptoms

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Bed-wetting in children who previously did not wet the bed at night
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Irritability and other mood changes
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Blurred vision

Type 2 diabetes symptoms

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Frequent infections
  • Areas of darkened skin, typically around the armpits and neck

Diabetes can cause major complications if not managed.

These array of complications include:

  • Heart and blood vessel disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Eye damage
  • Foot damage
  • Skin and mouth conditions
  • Hearing impairment
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Getting the diagnosis

If these symptoms are prominent in your life, book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. When seeing your doctor ask about a fasting blood sugar check. You should also ask about a hemoglobin A1C check, which measures your average blood sugar over the previous three months.

Although anyone can develop Type 2 diabetes, your risk is higher if you are overweight or have high cholesterol. You are also at a higher risk if you smoke or have a family history of diabetes.

If you see your doctor regularly, you can keep a close eye on possible symptoms and risk factors. You can also track your symptoms with Wanngi’s symptoms management. Where you will be able to show your doctor a timeline of your symptoms with all the details.

Community and support

With so many people living with diabetes, there are numerous support groups out there. These support groups can be extremely helpful if you or a family member have been recently diagnosed.

For more information on diabetes, you can visit the Diabetes Queensland website, or call Diabetes Queensland Helpline on 1800 177 055.

For those living in America, visit the American Diabetes Asociation website or call on 1800 DIABETES (1800 342 2383)

Start managing your symptoms now, whether you live with diabetes or you simply want to track your health. You can sign up for a free trial of Wanngi, or visit our website and blog to learn more!