If you were suffering from it, would you know how to recognize the early signs of diabetes? Most people wouldn’t. It is a serious condition that can sometimes have life threatening consequences. A generation ago it was known as sugar diabetes. Even now many people know it has something to do with sugar, without fully understanding why.

The basic explanation of the cause of diabetes is quite straightforward. We eat food to fuel our bodies. The pancreas, an organ associated with the digestive system produces among other things a hormone called insulin. Once the digestive system has performed its job turning all that lovely grub into glucose, insulin assists cells to absorb the glucose so they can use it as fuel. Excess glucose is changed into glycogen and stored in the liver and muscles as reserve stores. Diabetes occurs in people when this well balanced system breaks down. This arises when the pancreas is injured or fails to function and produce any insulin. If this happens the person would be diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic. Other than a complete pancreas transplant, there is presently no cure for type 1 diabetes. Sufferers of this form must artificially inject insulin on a daily basis. 

Type 2 and gestational diabetes are very similar to each other in that the pancreas does still produce the hormone insulin. However either not enough is made or the cells of the body are unable to use it. This is called insulin resistance. Gestational diabetes is associated with pregnancy and although it has similar symptoms and consequences as type 2 it normally ceases after giving birth. 

In all forms of the condition, many of the symptoms are very similar. Unfortunately many of the symptoms are also very similar to many other conditions too. That being the case, recognizing the early signs of diabetes or prediabetes  can be difficult.

Here is a brief rundown of the main symptoms associated with the ailment.

Type 1:
•    Insatiable thirst
•    Extreme hunger
•    Frequent urination
•    Weight loss
•    Fatigue

Type 2:
•    Any symptoms of type 1 and :
•    Itching
•    Blurring vision
•    Repeated infections
•    Poor healing of injuries

It is possible that type 2 sufferers may go for a long time with very little in the way of symptoms until finally a build-up occurs and it becomes obvious there is major problem. The thirst occurs because the kidneys begin to work overtime trying desperately to eliminate the massively accumulating glucose. As the kidneys force extreme urination while attempting to dump the blood sugar this dehydrates the body leading to acute thirst.

Because the body is not receiving fuel the sufferer becomes exhausted and loses weight with type 1. For type 2’s there is weight gain because of the insulin resistance factor. As the cells fail to take up glucose due to poor supplies of insulin or resistance to use it, the amounts increase. This excess has to go somewhere so the body stores it as fat and as such weight gain occurs.

 The immune system along with everything else begins to struggle to cope without adequate nourishment. Problems such as yeast infections break out causing itching and the body is vulnerable to attack leading to health breakdown. Most diabetic people are very vulnerable to illnesses such as colds and flu. Poor circulation problems can lead to nerve damage. That may in turn result in loss of limbs and vision problems when tiny arteries in the eyes become damaged.

Just because someone presents the early signs of diabetes it does not automatically mean they will have the condition. It has already been stated several other medical illnesses share at least some of the same symptoms.  It is vital that anyone experiencing any of the warnings signs presented here should urgently seek medical attention.