In most instances, diabetes mellitus comes into light only when it has already got complicated. This is when treatment of the disease becomes quite difficult. Hence, it is very important to notice the initial signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus so that its prevention can be done in the right time.
Factors on which the Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus Depend
Each person may not show the same signs and symptoms for diabetes mellitus. One reason is that the hormonal balances in each person are different, and their autoimmune systems are quite different. The signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus depend on several factors, such as:-
- Type of the diabetes mellitus
- The stage of advancement of the disease
- The manner of its progress – slow or gradual
The age of the patient
The lifestyle and dietary conditions of the patient
The hereditary factors of the disease
The presence of other complications of the disease
General Symptoms of Diabetes
The symptoms would differ depending on the above factors. However, there is a strain of similarity between the different symptoms. The following is a list of the obvious preliminary signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus. Note that the signs and symptoms given below are considered when the disease is free of complications.
- The first and foremost symptom is excessive urination. Depending on the seriousness of the condition, the color and the density of the urine may change. In general conditions, the urine is dilute and is pale in color.
- Urination may be profuse even though the person does not consume many fluids throughout the day.
- The excessive urination is coupled with excessive thirst. The person feels the urge to consume several pints of fluids per day above the normal values.
- Diabetic patients also find a significant increase in their appetite. Patients may crave to eat a lot, especially things that are harmful to the condition of diabetes, i.e. hyperglycemic substances.
- There is general bodily weakness. Patients get tired easily. In severe cases, fatigue and dizziness may also occur, which may cause the patient to collapse.
- Though the appetite shows a marked improvement, there is no perceptible weight gain.
- Skin problems may occur such as itching. The itching is felt more around the genitals. Other problems are tingling sensation in the skin and an itchy feeling in the hands and the feet.
- One very serious concern is the low healing of wounds, which is a prime symptom accompanied with diabetes mellitus. This may cause the wounds to become infected and to cause complications.
- Pains occur in several parts of the body, especially in the lower back and the limbs. These pains do not go away using painkillers.
- A peripheral problem of diabetes mellitus is the loss of vision. The person may become myopic, or show a diminished sense of vision. There may be a need of continual change of spectacles.
- Impotence in men is a very popular condition that is caused due to diabetes mellitus.
- Both urine and blood give positive tests with Fehling’s solution and Benedict’s reagent. These are solutions used by diabetic patients to confirm the presence of glucose (which is an aldehyde) in their blood and urine. Fehling’s solution turns a brick red color in the presence of sugar in the blood and urine, while Benedict’s reagent turns yellow, green, orange or red depending on the total amount of sugar that is present. These tests are in fact considered as diagnostic confirmations for diabetes mellitus.
Complications of Diabetes Mellitus
If the initial signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus are ignored, then it can lead to several complications within a short period.
The kidney complications are among the first to occur. Kidney complications occur more if there is excessive fat in the diet. The excess fat accumulates in the arteries leading to the kidneys, due to which they become narrow. Toxins are not flushed out completely. This leads to a condition called as uremia.
Similarly, fats can accumulate in the heart, causing severe cardiovascular problems. Atherosclerosis can occur, which may lead to hypertension and heart diseases.
Diabetes mellitus is also known to affect the eye. Prolonged condition of the disease can damage the retina. This can cause blindness in the person. Apart from that, nervous damage is a very common complication among patients of diabetes mellitus. This can cause loss or impairment of the fundamental senses of the patient. If the diabetes has carried on for a long time, then there is a very strong chance that the patient can become paralyzed in some part of the body or the other.
However, the most dreadful complication of diabetes mellitus is certainly gangrene. Gangrene occurs when toxic wastes get accumulated in some part of the body. This usually happens in the toes. In such conditions, the toe gets withered away and is very highly susceptible to infection. The only solution in advanced gangrenous conditions is to amputate the toes.