Previously Healthy: Reegans Story
In 2013, Darice and Keith Oxendines 16-month-old daughter, Reegan, was life-flighted from Scotland Memorial Hospital to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at UNC Chapel Hill. Shed suffered complications following a misdiagnosis, despite having shown symptoms of type 1 diabetes for three months prior.
By the time she arrived at UNC and was properly diagnosed, it was too late. The excess sugar in her blood had damaged her vital organs beyond repair. The official cause of death: type 1 diabetes. Read Reegans story here.
What Does Undiagnosed Diabetes Feel Like
I remember feeling really tired and sleepy, but I didnt think anything of it as I was trying to juggle work and caring for my three children. When I got diagnosed, it made me think about my mum and her health. I thought she might have had diabetes too. She always used to feel tired and she had a boil on her leg that never seemed to heal. Read Saritas story in full.
The Initial Causes How Can I Tell If I Am Diabetic
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition in many people. This type is caused by a lack of insulin and is a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. The bodys inability to process glucose from the blood can damage many parts of the body, including the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to avoid diabetes. Here are five tips to help you lower your risk: Eat more vegetables and fruits, get regular exercise, and avoid smoking.
High levels of triglycerides in the blood are another factor that can cause diabetes. These triglycerides are caused by a buildup of cholesterol in the blood. A high triglyceride level causes the body to misrepresent insulin as a molecule, which causes glucose to build up in the blood. A simple blood glucose test can confirm your diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. By following these tips, you can begin living a healthy life and avoid the complications of diabetes.
A person with type 2 diabetes must consume less sugar. Glucose causes thirst and dehydration because the body releases energy stores into the bloodstream instead of using insulin. If untreated, diabetes can lead to weight loss and diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition whereby the cells are deprived of energy. To prevent the condition, you must make sure that your diet is low in glycemic load and that you exercise regularly.
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Who Gets Type 1
Anyone, at any age, can be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes it is neither preventable nor curable. While the cause is unknown, studies prove that genes together with an environmental trigger result in the immune system turning on itself and destroying the bodys beta cells.
Many people are familiar with type 2 diabetes, but there is not enough awareness of type 1. Learn more about other forms of diabetes.
Early Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes
1. Frequent urination
When your blood sugar is high, your kidneys expel the excess blood sugar, causing you to urinate more frequently. One of the early warning signs of diabetes is frequent urination that is urgent enough to wake you up to go to the bathroom during sleep.
2. Increased thirst
While your kidneys are working overtime and youre urinating more frequently, valuable fluids will be pulled from your tissues. Frequent urination will make you feel constantly thirsty.
When your blood sugar is high, your body works hard to get rid of the excess sugar. Not only does this process take a toll on your body, but it also alters the way that your body uses glucose for energy. Excessively high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, has fatiguing effects among other symptoms. Additionally, the dehydration that accompanies more frequent urination is a common cause of fatigue in diabetics.
4. Blurred vision
High blood sugar can cause damage to the small blood vessels of the eye, resulting in a swollen lens that can cause blurred vision. As blood sugar levels rise and lower, your vision may return to normal or worsen, respectively.
5. Increased hunger
When you have high blood sugar, your body is actively looking to get rid of it. Because your body expels so much of the glucose you’re getting from your food, you may have increased feelings of hunger.
6. Unexplained weight loss
7. Slow healing cuts and wounds
8. Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
9. Skin discoloration
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How Do You Know If You Have Diabetes
The telltale signs of Type 2 diabetes, such as frequent urination and excessive thirst, are often subtle, especially early on. But ignoring them can cause worse health problems down the road.
Even mild blood sugar elevation can damage your nerves, kidneys and retinas. And the higher your blood sugar levels and the longer you go without treatment, the worse the damage can get.
When we diagnose someone, we assume they have probably already had diabetes for about five years, says endocrinologist Kevin Pantalone, DO. During screenings, a certain number of people who are newly diagnosed already have been living with kidney problems and retinal issues, so theyve had it for some time.
Dr. Pantalone says there are several symptoms that can occur early on with diabetes. Even if theyre subtle, theyre worth mentioning to your doctor.
Tips For Managing End
Keeping blood glucose levels within the target range may be difficult during this time and therefore is not as much of a priority at the end-of-life. Instead, youll ideally want to focus on the patients comfort, and doing what you can to manage the immediate symptoms associated with diabetes and accompanying comorbid and secondary conditions rather than worry about keeping blood sugars within a certain range.
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There Are Different Types Of Diabetes
Remember that there are actually three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational . In type 1 diabetes, your body just cant produce insulin and in type 2, your body isnt responding to insulin as well as it should be. The symptoms for both types of diabetes are similar, although these symptoms can develop a lot faster in type 1. Find more information on the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes here.
Type 2 diabetes is also a lot more common than type 1. Unfortunately, many people who have it, arent diagnosed. This is because they dont recognize the symptoms or may attribute them to other conditions. Plus, some symptoms of type 2 diabetes may not show up for years and years.
Recognizing Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes
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Risk Factors For Prediabetes
Sometimes the symptoms of prediabetes can go away if you take better care of your health, but they can come back if you fall back into an unhealthy lifestyle.
Its important to be aware of prediabetes, especially if youre over 45 years of age. Youre also at risk for developing prediabetes if you have any of these medical issues:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Unusual fatigue
- Wounds that wont heal fast
A blood test can tell you if you have prediabetes. There are several different types and they are the same tests that diagnose Type 2 diabetes. Talk with your primary care provider to see if they think you need one of these tests.
Other Symptoms To Watch For:
Contact your healthcare provider if youre having any of these symptoms:
- Frequent urination
- Sweet breath that smells like nail polish remover
- Deep, rapid breathing
Geisinger Health Plan may refer collectively to Geisinger Health Plan, Geisinger Quality Options Inc., and Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, unless otherwise noted. Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and HMO D-SNP plans are offered by Geisinger Health Plan/Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, health plans with a Medicare contract. Continued enrollment in Geisinger Gold depends on annual contract renewal. Geisinger Health Plan Kids and Geisinger Health Plan Family are offered by Geisinger Health Plan in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services . Geisinger Health Plan is part of Geisinger, an integrated health care delivery and coverage organization.
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When To Seek Medical Care
Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes
You might notice:
- Unplanned weight loss. If your body can’t get energy from your food, it will start burning muscle and fat for energy instead. You may lose weight even though you haven’t changed how you eat. See which foods are high in trans fatty acids.
- Nausea and vomiting. When your body resorts to burning fat, it makes ketones. These can build up in your blood to dangerous levels, a possibly life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Ketones can make you feel sick to your stomach.
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Your Vision’s Getting Increasingly Blurry
Blurry vision is a commonand often ignoreddiabetes symptom in women. What does diabetes have to do with your vision? Kellis explains that fluid can form in your eye’s lens as sugar levels increase .
Diabetes can cause significant, unexplained weight loss. Think: 10 or 20 pounds.
A buildup of fluid in the eye blurs vision, causes nearsightedness, and sends many people to the optometrist for a new glasses or contacts prescription.
Fortunately, getting your blood sugar levels under control can clear up blurred vision, she adds.
How The Signs Are Different Between Men And Women
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , men are more likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at a lower weight. One reason for this is that men tend to store more fat around their stomachs and this is a risk factor. Men who are living with Type 2 diabetes are also more likely to have heart disease. This combination could lead to erectile dysfunction . In fact, the CDC says men whore living with diabetes are three times more likely to experience ED. Nerve damage from diabetes can also lead to:
- An overactive bladder .
- Incontinence .
- Retrograde ejaculation .
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What You Need To Know About Diabetes How Can I Tell If Im Diabetic
One of the most common signs of diabetes is excessive thirst. You may also feel more hungry and pee more than usual. Its important to check your blood sugar as soon as you start to notice these symptoms. If your blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL, you should immediately eat 15 grams of carbohydrates. Then, check it again fifteen minutes later. If you cant eat that much carbohydrate at once, you can try oral glucose.
Despite the many complications of type 1 diabetes, you can still find ways to manage it. By reading about diabetes, youll be better prepared to live a healthy and happy life. You can avoid diabetes by making healthy choices. In fact, there are many treatments available for type 1 diabetes. In some cases, a patient may even experience an improvement in their overall health after the transplant. In some cases, you can even reverse your diabetes through a simple procedure.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type. Most people with type 1 diabetes have type 2 diabetes. They both require insulin to regulate their blood sugar. If youre overweight, you may have type 2 diabetes. If youre concerned about diabetes, its important to learn about it. Your doctor can provide you with more information on your condition, including tips on how to cope with it. You should never be afraid to ask questions. Just remember, youll have to answer them. Youre not alone.
Running To The Bathroom Constantly And Feeling Thirsty
When you have diabetes, your body may not reabsorb the glucose that passes through your kidneys. That means your kidneys work harder than they need to.
To get rid of excess glucose, your body will make more urine, says Dr. Jameson.
If your body is making more urine, youll visit the restroom more often. And all those trips to the bathroom can make you pretty thirsty, which leads to you guessed it more trips to the bathroom.
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How Is Diabetes Diagnosed
Many people get tested for diabetes because they develop symptoms that are potential early warning signs.
For example, people with type 1 diabetes may experience unintentional weight loss or develop flu-like symptoms. People with type 2 diabetes may experience extreme thirst or frequent urination.
You may experience one or more of the warning signs associated with diabetes. If you do, its important to contact your doctor for an appointment.
You may also discover a diabetes diagnosis after visiting your doctor for another condition or for routine blood work.
If you make an appointment with your doctor due to diabetes warning signs, they will want to know:
- your symptoms
Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and will likely run some blood tests.
There are several tests that can diagnose diabetes. These include:
- A1C: This test shows what your blood glucose level has averaged for the last 2 or 3 months. This does not require you to fast or drink anything.
- Fasting plasma glucose : You will need to fast for at least 8 hours before this test is done.
- Oral glucose tolerance : This test takes 2 to 3 hours. Your blood glucose levels are tested initially and then repeated at intervals for 2 hours after youve consumed a specific sweet drink.
- Random plasma glucose test: You can have this test done any time and do not need to be fasting.
Earlier Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes
- Frequent urination, especially waking up frequently in the night to go having to go to the washroom a lot is a common sign
- Increased thirst you may find you are drinking more than usual
- Increased hunger you may need to snack between meals more than in the past
- Feeling tired, even after a good nights sleep you may find you need to take a nap or feel like you have no energy
- Blurred vision that changes from day to day increased blood sugar levels can cause your vision to change
- Having cuts and wounds that are slow to heal this may be a result of poor circulation or nerve damage caused by high blood sugar
- Tingling, numbness or pain in your hands and feet increased blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage
- Skin changes, such as sudden dark spots around the nape of your neck or under your armpits
- Getting frequent urinary tract, yeast or vaginal infections people with diabetes are more susceptible to these infections
- Losing or gaining weight without trying to weight loss is usually seen more with type 1 diabetes
- Feeling itchy all the time, due to yeast infections, dry skin or poor circulation.
You can find more information about type 2 diabetes symptoms here.
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Check If You Have Type 2 Diabetes
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- feeling thirsty all the time
- feeling very tired
- losing weight without trying to
- itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- blurred vision
You’re more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you:
- are over 40
- have a close relative with diabetes
- are overweight or obese
- are of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin
When To See A Doctor
Visit your GP as soon as possible if you experience the main symptoms of diabetes, which include:
- weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
- itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
- cuts or wounds that heal slowly
- blurred vision
Type 1 diabetes can develop quickly over weeks or even days.
Many people have type 2 diabetes for years without realising because the early symptoms tend to be general.
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