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Diabetes The Silent Killer

Aug 17, 2007
Diabetes is a serious illness brought about by a persons genetic disposition: his likelihood to develop a pancreatic disease. If your family is prone to the disease, read this article to detect the symptoms of diabetes as early as possible.

Type I Diabetes

Type I is known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). It is less common in the US though is the most severe and usually develops within a few days or weeks. In IDDM, the lack of insulin stems from destruction of the beta cells. The symptoms associated with IDDM are so distinct that they rarely leave any doubt of the diagnosis. They are as follows:

Polyuria: Urinating frequently and in large amounts is a classic symptom of diabetes, as the body rushes fluids through the kidney to dilute the high levels of sugar in the urine.

Polydipsia: An unusual thirst is a natural result of too frequent urination: the body is signaling for lost fluids to be replaced. Dehydration will eventually occur if the condition is not caught early.

Polyphagia: This feeling of extreme hunger stems from the body's belief that it is starving because glucose is not reaching its cells to provide desperately needed energy.

Rapid Weight Loss: Most Type I patients are at or below their ideal weight. When IDDM begins, they may suddenly lose more weight as much as 15 pounds in a week even though they may be eating more than enough and have a good appetite. The lack of insulin means that calories, in the form of glucose, are being sent out through the urine and the body is beginning to burn fat reserves.

Weakness: Since muscle cells are not receiving their usual fuel, energy flags. Of course, fatigue can have many causes, which is why diabetes can go unrecognized for so long. Be concerned if a once active child seems tired, drowsy, or listless for no apparent reason. Some children may also complain of stomach, leg, or chest pains, or have difficulty breathing.

Irritability: In youngsters, crankiness, confusion or excessive crying may warn of impending illness. A child may seem to be inattentive or may not be doing as well in school as before.

Nausea and/or Vomiting: These symptoms may precede ketoacidosis, as poisonous ketone acids build up in the blood when the body must resort to burning fat deposits for energy.

Blurred Vision: Excess glucose may be seeping into the eye, changing the shape of the lens. Difficulty in focusing or changes in eyesight from one day to the next such as from nearsighted to normal vision are other visual cues for possible diabetes.


Type II, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), makes up the majority of diabetes cases, estimated that about 13 million people in the US. Unlike Type I, Type II progresses more slowly. It can creep along unnoticed for years. Symptoms may appear gradually, becoming more intense or frequent with age. See your doctor as soon as you observe any of the following:

Any of Type I symptoms

Tingling or Numbness in Legs, Feet, or Fingers: Or you may have a burning sensation or heightened sensitivity in these extremities or on other spots on your skin. Symptoms, such as leg cramps, may appear or worsen only at night. Again, these may be signs that circulation is poor or that nerve damage is already progressing.

Frequent Infections: Diabetes weakens the body's defenses against invasions of bacteria. Infections of the gums, urinary tract, or skin that keep recurring or take a long time to clear up show that the disease may have begun interfering with the immune system.

Itching of Skin or Genitals: This may be the result of an underlying infection or dehydration, a common by-product of diabetes.

Slow Healing of Cuts and Bruises: Because diabetes affects how cells use the nutrients obtained from food, the body may have difficulty repairing damaged tissue. Diabetes also thickens blood vessels, slowing circulation and preventing wounds from receiving, through the blood, these needed nutrients and oxygen.

Unfortunately, too many of these symptoms can be overlooked or blamed on other conditions. Make sure to have your blood sugar level checked yearly, at the very least, and more frequently if there are manifestations of any of the symptoms above.
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Diabetes The Silent Killer can be found at http://www.health-fitness-lifestyle.com/sp/coping-with-diabetes.html
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