What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?
The symptoms of type 1 diabetes often occur suddenly and can be severe. They include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased hunger (especially after eating)
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
- Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
- Blurred vision
- Labored, heavy breathing (Kussmaul respirations)
- Loss of consciousness (rare)
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes may be the same as those listed above. Most often, there are no symptoms or a very gradual development of the above symptoms. Other symptoms may include:
- Slow-healing sores or cuts
- Itching of the skin (usually in the vaginal or groin area)
- Yeast infections
- Recent weight gain
- Numbness or tingling of the hands and feet
- Low blood glucose levels
- Impotence or erectile dysfunction
How Is Diabetes Managed?
At the present time, diabetes can't be cured, but it can be treated and controlled. The goals of managing diabetes are to:
- Keep your blood glucose levels as near to normal as possible by balancing food intake with medication and activity.
- Maintain your blood cholesterol and triglyceride (lipid) levels as near their normal ranges as possible by decreasing the total amount of fat to 30% or less of your total daily calories and by reducing saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Control your blood pressure. Your blood pressure should not go over 130/80.
- Slow or possibly prevent the development of diabetes-related health problems.
You hold the key to managing your diabetes by:
- Planning what you eat and following a balanced meal plan
- Exercising regularly
- Taking medicine, if prescribed, and closely following the guidelines on how and when to take it
- Monitoring your blood glucose and blood pressure levels at home
- Keeping your appointments with your healthcare providers and having laboratory tests as ordered by your doctor
What you do at home every day affects your blood glucose more than what your doctor can do every few months during your checkups.
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