I felt that if I told people, then they would think it was my fault.... 
that if I had worked out harder or eaten better, I might have prevented it.
It is not fair to judge which diabetes condition is more serious, all types of diabetes have a serious impact on people’s health, it is a difficult condition which takes a lot of time, persistence and care to manage.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Understanding the symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes Symptoms
Diabetes is a very serious disease that many people around the world face. It is essentially the body’s inability to make insulin or to use insulin correctly depending on which type of diabetes you have – type 1 or type 2 respectively. Insulin affects the amount of glucose in your blood and too high or too low levels of blood glucose can cause serious repercussions. That being said, many people have diabetes and don’t realize it. Nonetheless, everyone should be aware of the symptoms for the disease.The two most tell-tale, classic symptoms of diabetes are an increased thirst and increased urination. These two symptoms are the most common because this illness affects the kidneys which in turn affect your urine output and your hydration level.
Other symptoms of the disease include excessive hunger, rapid weight loss, fatigue and irritability. These symptoms, including increased thirst and increased urination are all symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has some addition symptoms that include frequent bladder, skin and gum infections that are slow to heal, slow healing cuts and bruises, blurred vision, and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.
The tricky thing about diabetes symptoms is that sometimes they seem so common that they get ignored. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association in 2007 5.7 million people did not know they had the disease and were undiagnosed. Another problem with diagnosing the disease is that sometimes there are no symptoms. That’s right, there are people that have had the disease for months or even years and not known it due to a lack of symptoms.
The important thing to remember is if you are having any symptoms of diabetes – even if very mild you should speak to your health care provider. They will order up one of three diabetes tests and talk to you in-depth about your family medical history as well as your symptoms in order to make a diagnosis.
People with an early diabetes diagnosis often have the best outcomes. While diabetes cannot be cured per se, learning to manage your blood glucose levels and getting the proper treatment will leave you feeling much better and more like your normal self. Plus with good blood sugar management and treatment for diabetes you will greatly reduce your risk for developing the many serious complications that are associated with the disease.

Increased Thirst – Could it be Diabetes?
Increased thirst is when you feel thirsty much more than normal. This can be attributed to many things such as exercise and eating an access of salty foods or it can be a symptom of diabetes. The reason for increased thirst as a diabetes symptom is that your body is not able to remove the extra glucose that is in your blood due to a lack of insulin. This makes your kidneys work extra and even then they can’t remove all the glucose so it ends up being excreted from you body with other fluids in the form of urine making you increasingly thirsty.

Increased Urination – Could it be Diabetes?
Increased urination is when you need to urinate more than normal. This can be from drinking an excess of fluids or it can be a symptom of diabetes. When your body doesn’t make insulin or doesn’t use insulin correctly, extra glucose is found in your blood and your kidneys work harder to remove it. Inevitably they can’t therefore it is removed from the body in your urine making you urinate more often than normal. This also prompts you to be increasingly thirsty and the more you drink, the more you urinate.


How long can I expect to live?

After diabetes diagnosis, many type 1 and type 2 diabetics worry about their life expectancy. Death is never a pleasant subject but its human nature to want to know 'how long can I expect to live'.

There is no hard and fast answer to the question of ‘how long can I expect to live’ as a number of factors influence one’s life expectancy.    How soon diabetes was diagnosed, the progress of diabetic complications and whether one has other existing conditions will all contribute to one’s life expectancy - regardless of whether the person in question has type 1 or type 2 diabetes

How long can people with diabetes expect to live?

It is estimates that life expectancy of someone with type 2 diabetes is likely to be reduced, as a result of the condition, by up to 10 years. People with type 1 diabetes can expect their longevity to reduce by over 20 years.

What causes a shorter life expectancy in diabetics?
  Higher blood sugars over a period of time allow diabetic complications to set in, such as diabetic Retinopathy, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease (heart disease).
Higher blood sugars can often be accompanied by associated conditions such as higher blood pressure and high cholesterol, which help to contribute to poor circulation and further the damage to organs such as the heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves in particular.  In some cases, short term complications such as Hyperpoglycemia and diabetic Ketoacidosis can also be fatal.

What can I do as a diabetic to help increase my life expectancy?

Maintaining good blood glucose control is a key way to prolong the length of your life.
Keeping blood sugars (bgl) within the recommended blood glucose level ranges will help to offset the likelihood of the complications and therefore increase life expectancy.

It is highly recommended to enjoy a healthy lifestyle, of a well balanced diet and regular activity, in order to help keep blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels and promote good blood circulation.

Why is life expectancy less for people with type 1 diabetes?

People with type 1 diabetes will, in the majority of cases, develop diabetes at a younger age than those with type 2 diabetes, therefore they will usually spend a longer period of their life living with the condition.
However, there is good news - people with type 1 diabetes have been known to live for as long as over 75 years with the condition.

Is type 2 diabetes less serious than type 1 diabetes?

Generally type 2 diabetes develops more slowly than type 1 diabetes. As a result, some people can be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (and some other diabetes types) years after they first developed the condition. In some cases diabetes may only be diagnosed after noticing the signs of diabetic complications which is a serious position.

It is not fair to judge which condition is more serious, all types of diabetes have a serious impact on people’s health and it is a difficult chronic condition which takes a lot of time, persistence and care to manage.

courtesy of Diabetes UK May 2011 newsletter