The classic symptoms of type 1 diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst and weight loss.
Frequent urination occurs because the kidneys are stimulated by the high glucose level in the blood to excrete a large volume of glucose through the urine. This helps to bring the level of glucose down.
Note that if glucose level is normal, the kidneys conserve glucose and none is excreted in the urine.
Excessive thirst occurs as a result of frequent urination. With so much water loss, the individual becomes thirsty and drinks a lot of fluid to replace the water lost.
Weight loss occurs because the cells in the body cannot their food (glucose). Weight loss occurs despite consuming a lot of food because the cells cannot utilize the food that is ingested.
When the cells in the body are unable to absorb glucose for energy, it starts burning body fats for fuel. The waste product is called ketones and this accumulates in the blood in a process call ketosis.
The increase of ketones in the blood and lost of fluid in the body through urination causes the ph of the blood to become acidic. This process is called ketoacidosis. This is a dangerous condition. If this is not recognized or untreated it can lead to diabetic coma and dead.
Most times, type 2 diabetes does not have the classic symptoms of type 1 diabetes such as frequent urination of excessive thirst. Many diabetic are unaware that they have the disease until it is discovered in a routine blood or urine test.
Unlike type 1 diabetes, there is a strong genetic connection with type 2 diabetes. If diabetes runs in the family, then there is a high chance that you may develop diabetes and it is best to take precautions early.
You should be extra vigilant if you are overweight, middle aged and lead a sedentary lifestyle as these are classic profiles of a type two diabetes patient.
Type 2 diabetes account for approximately 90 percent of all diabetes cases while type 1 diabetes accounts for about 10 percent.
Women who are overweight and older are more prone to gestational diabetes. While this form of diabetes usually disappears after pregnancy, over 50% of these women are likely to develop type-2 diabetes later in life.
A woman who delivers a baby weighting over 4 kg also has a tendency to develop type 2 diabetes.
In addition to what is stated above, you should also watch of for the following signs.
While the signs above do not necessarily suggest diabetes, if they occur frequently you should consider screening for diabetes.