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How To Identify Diabetes At Early stages.

How To Identify Diabetes At Early stages.

Diabetes is a common disease which affects many people worldwide. Chronic uncontrolled diabetes is a major source of death and disability because of the damage it causes too many different tissues and organ systems throughout the body. Over time it causes blood vessel disease which can lead to heart disease and heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. It also has negative effects on the kidneys, eyes and the immune system, to name just a few other long-term damaging effects of diabetes.

Because it is so common and so damaging, many people begin to wonder how to know if they have diabetes. What are the early symptoms of diabetes to look out for? It is a nice question because the earlier diabetes is noticed, the better the chance of treating it effectively and preventing or minimizing the long-term complications that can occur.

The hallmark of diabetes is poorly controlled blood sugar (glucose). Normally, the blood glucose level hovers throughout the day in a fairly tightly controlled range. Insulin, is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas, helps to lower levels of glucose while other hormones and eating carbohydrates boost them. The balance between them helps keep glucose levels normal. In diabetes, there is an imbalance because insulin is not working as it should lower blood sugar levels. The glucose goes up and stays high at most times. This high level of glucose in the blood is termed hyperglycemia.

Diabetes Symptoms

When blood sugar levels are very high, there are some acute symptoms which can occur. The most common are the three 'P's,' polyphagia, polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyuria (frequent urination). The high blood sugar causes the blood to become thickened, more concentrated, because of the sugar dissolved in it. Sugar also gets dumped in the urine by the kidney which pulls water with it, dehydrating the body and further concentrating body fluids. The net effect is that the body gets dehydrated and urination increases. The brain senses the dehydration and causes an increased sense of thirst and hunger. Other symptoms that can occur with hyperglycemia include blurred vision, fatigue, dry mouth, dry or itchy skin and recurrent infections (such as vaginal yeast infections, groin rashes, and others), among others.

Early Diabetes Symptoms

However, these symptoms only occur with quite high levels of blood sugar when diabetes is quite severe. In early diabetes, symptoms can be less common. In fact, in very early diabetes patients may be completely asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms. Also, the early symptoms may be mild and may not be noticed or passed off as something less important. At this early stage, sometimes referred to as prediabetes, the blood glucose levels are elevated above normal, but not yet in the high range which could be diagnosed as diabetes. While it is not yet severe, it is still important because the increased sugar may already be doing damage to your organs and most people with prediabetes will go on to develop diabetes in time if they do not make changes in their life to prevent it.

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