DIABETES SYMPTOMS




HYPERGLYCEMIA, OR HIGH blood glucose, characterizes all forms of diabetes. When blood
glucose levels rise above the kidney’s ability to reabsorb the glucose (the renal threshold), it
spills over into the urine, causing frequent, excessive urination and severe thirst. The chronic
loss of glucose may lead to rapid weight loss and also stimulate the appetite. The most typical symptoms seen in diabetes therefore include
• increased thirst,
• frequent urination,
• rapid, unexplained weight loss,
• increased hunger despite weight loss, and
• fatigue.
These symptoms of hyperglycemia are common to all forms of diabetes, but they occur more frequently in type 1 diabetes, since the onset of type 2 diabetes is typically very gradual. Today, type 2 diabetes is most often diagnosed during routine blood testing, before patients have symptoms.

In severe cases, patients—typically those with type 1 diabetes—may present with diabetic ketoacidosis. Dangerously high levels of acid build up in the blood due to the severe lack of insulin. Symptoms include confusion, rapid breathing, abdominal pain, a fruity smell to one’s breath, and loss of consciousness. This is a true emergency situation, which needs immediate treatment with insulin.

Severe cases of type 2 diabetes may present with hyperosmolar non-ketotic syndrome.
High blood glucose stimulates excessive urination, leading to severe dehydration, seizures, coma, and even death. Since insulin levels are normal or high in type 2 diabetes, ketoacidosis does not develop.

DIAGNOSING DIABETES

DIABETES MAY BE diagnosed by one of two blood tests: the hemoglobin A1C (often abbreviated to A1C) or the blood glucose. The A1C, which has been accepted as a diagnostic criterion by the American Diabetes Association since 2009, is the most convenient screening test for diabetes because it does not require fasting and can therefore be done at any time of the day.

Hemoglobin A1C

HEMOGLOBIN IS A protein found inside red blood cells that carries oxygen to the entire body.
Over the average three-month lifespan of a red blood cell, glucose molecules attach to the hemoglobin in proportion to the prevailing blood glucose levels. The amount of glucose attached to the hemoglobin can be measured with a simple blood test called the hemoglobin A1C. The A1C thus reflects the body’s average level of blood glucose over three months.

In North America, the A1C is given as a percentage, while in the U.K. and Australia, the units are expressed as mmol/mol. The American Diabetes Association defines an A1C level of 5.7 percent or less to be normal. A level above 6.5 percent is considered diabetic

Prediabetes is the in-between stage, where blood glucose levels are abnormally high, but not quite high enough to be considered diabetic. It denotes a state of very high risk of future progression to full-fledged type 2 diabetes. A patient with a baseline A1C of 6.0–6.5 percent (42– 48 mmol/mol) has an estimated 25–50 percent risk of developing diabetes within five years. That’s more than twenty times the risk of a person with an A1C of 5.0 percent (31 mmol/mol).
DIABETES SYMPTOMS DIABETES SYMPTOMS Reviewed by Leembo on April 28, 2019 Rating: 5

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