diabetes symptoms

Diabetes is often thought of as a silent condition. Symptoms often don?t appear, or are too subtle to notice, until the disease has already progressed.

When you have diabetes, your body either doesn?t produce enough insulin, or doesn?t use this hormone effectively. Insulin?s main job is to move sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream into the tissues to be used for energy or stored. When insulin is in short supply or can?t efficiently move glucose into the cells, sugar builds up in the bloodstream and causes diabetes symptoms.

Two hallmark diabetes symptoms are excessive thirst and frequent urination. As the kidneys work to remove extra sugar from the bloodstream through the urine, they pull extra fluids from the tissues along with the sugar. These additional fluids increase urine volume, and lead to a more frequent need to use the bathroom. Losing more fluids causes dehydration, making you drink more fluids, and leading to a repeating cycle of thirst and urination.

Some people with diabetes feel drained of energy, in part because sugar isn?t getting into their cells to be burned for fuel. They also absorb fewer calories from food, leading to increased hunger and possibly weight loss.

Diabetes symptoms can also reflect the damage high blood sugar inflicts on the nerves. Numbness or tingling from nerve damage often affects the hands and feet. Sometimes, diabetes symptoms involve the eyes. Blurred vision is a sign that high blood sugar has reduced the amount of fluid in the lenses of the eyes and has compromised focusing ability. Diabetes can also lead to swollen gums and loose teeth by reducing the body?s ability to fight infection.

If you have diabetes symptoms, it?s important to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Left unchecked, high blood sugar can damage the nerves, eyes, kidneys, and other organs. The sooner you get treatment, the easier it will be to manage your condition.

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