Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in Australia. By being able to diagnose diabetes quickly — practical strategies can be found quickly — which is important to the care of the diabetes sufferer.

Diabetes Australia reports that “an estimated 275 Australians develop diabetes every day.

The 2005 Australian Aus Diab Follow-up Study (Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study) revealed that 1.7 million Australians have diabetes but that up to half of the cases of type 2 diabetes remain undiagnosed.

By 2031 it is estimated that 3.3 million Australians will have type 2 diabetes (Vos et al., 2004).”

“The total financial cost of type 2 diabetes is estimated at $10.3 billion. Of this, carer costs were estimated as $4.4 billion, productivity losses were $4.1 billion, health system costs were $1.1 billion and $1.1 billion was due to obesity.”

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes:

In both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes there is too much glucose in the blood and not enough in the cells of the body.

High glucose levels in Type I are due to diminished insulin because the insulin-producing cells have been destroyed. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body’s cells become resistant to insulin that is being produced.

In each case the cells are not getting the required glucose they need, and so the body lets you know by providing informative, tell-tale signs and symptoms, such as:

Frequent Bathroom Trips (Urination: )

Is the bathroom becoming visited more reguarly? This can actually be due to too much glucose in the blood. If insulin is absent or fruitless the kidneys are unable to filter glucose back to the blood. The kidneys then become beseiged and attempt to source extra water out of the blood to dilute the glucose. This in turn keeps your bladder full and this makes the bathroom your new friend!

An Unquenchable Thirst:

Drinking more water than usual and continuing, frequent bathroom stops to urinate could be a signpost of diabetes. Your body may be drawing extra water out of your blood. A feeling of dehydration becomes the norm driving you to try to replenish the H2O.

Effective Weight Loss But — Without Trying?

This diabetes symptom is actually more noticeable with Type 1 diabetes.

With Type 1, the pancreas stops making insulin. This may be true due to a viral attack on the pancreas cells / or possibly due to an autoimmune response which makes the body attack the insulin-producing cells.

The body here ardently goes searching for an energy source. This is because the cells aren’t getting the required glucose. So it starts to break down muscle tissue and fat for energy.

Type 2 diabetes happens gradually over time with increasing insulin resistance so the weight loss is not as evidenced and therefore visible.

Energy Loss, Exhaustion and Fatigue:

This is glucose-related once again! Glucose from the food we digest makes its way into the bloodstream where insulin is helps it transition into the cells of our body — or so it is supposed to ..!

The cells use the glucose to produce the essential energy our bodies require to live. But when the insulin is absent or the cells don’t respond to it, then the glucose stray externally to the cells in the bloodstream. What happens now is that the cells become depleted of energy — the result? You begin to feel tired and run down.

Tingling or Numbness in Your Hands, Legs or Feet:

This symptom of diabetes is known as neuropathy. The most common form is (symmetrical) peripheral polyneuropathy, which primarily affects the legs and feet.

This occurs slowly over time as consistently high glucose in the blood actually causes damage to the nervous system, particularly in the extremities.

Type 2 diabetes is a gradual onset, and sufferers are often unaware that they are host to it.

It’s possible that  blood sugar may have been up for more than a few years before diabetes is diagnosed. Nerve damage can happen gradually without our knowing. It is possible that neuropathy can improve when tighter blood glucose control is achieved.

Other Signs and Symptoms That Can Occur:

– Blurred vision
– Dry or itchy skin
– Frequent infections
– Cuts and bruises that don’t heal quickly

All these are symptoms that something is not quite right!

Of course when these signs are linked to diabetes, they are the result of high glucose levels in the body.

Untreated Diabetes Can Cause Complications:

Diabetes without proper treatment can cause many complications. More serious complications include:

– Hypoglycemia
– Diabetic ketoacidosis
– Nonketotic hyperosmolar coma.

Serious long-term complications include:

– Cardiovascular disease
– Chronic renal failure
– Retinal damage.

Proper understanding of diabetes symptoms, the subsequent diagnosis and treatment of diabetes is therefore necessary for optimising health and wellness — this includes proper blood pressure (hypertension) control and other imparting lifestyle factors such as effecting a balanced and healthy body weight.

As of 2000 at least 171 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, or 2.8% of the population.

If you identify with any of the above, contact a skilled health care professional for a scheduled appointment about any onset of diabetes and a practical, effective strategy for you to overcome this modern-day problem.

PS: If possibly, you fall into the category of having high blood sugar, yet not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes, then you may need to focus on some dietary control for your health’s sake.