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Some medical conditions have been on the rise over the past few years, and one of the most significant such medical conditions is diabetes.... Early Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

Some medical conditions have been on the rise over the past few years, and one of the most significant such medical conditions is diabetes. Diabetes is one chronic medical condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels [1]. And when the body is unable to manage the blood sugar levels effectively, it results in long-term damage such as damage to the nerves, blood vessels, eyes, and kidneys. For that reason, it is essential to diagnose diabetes as soon as you start seeing the signs and symptoms. You might be wondering what are some of these signs and symptoms of diabetes? Below are some vital points that everyone ought to keep in mind.

The Two Types of Diabetes

Before discussing the signs and symptoms of diabetes, it is essential to understand and distinguish the different types of diabetes [2]. That said, there are two types of diabetes. Traditionally, the two types used to be known as juvenile-onset diabetes and adult-onset diabetes [3]. However, there has been a recent trend in which children are being diagnosed with traditionally adult-onset diabetes [4]. Due to this reason, the two types of diabetes are nowadays known as type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is one type of diabetes that people are born with. It is caused by the inability of the pancreas to make insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas, and it is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels in the body. Therefore, failure to produce insulin results in the body’s inability to regulate and reduce blood sugar levels.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type II diabetes is the other type of diabetes resulting from the body’s resistance to insulin. Insulin resistance comes from the body spending too much time producing insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Over time, the body becomes resistant to the hormones. Over time, the pancreas might burn out, resulting in a cease in insulin production altogether.

What are the Common Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes?

The signs and symptoms of diabetes are pretty distinct and happen in multiple ways, depending on the type of diabetes one has. Therefore, we will look into the different signs and symptoms of diabetes based on the two types.

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Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is most common in young children. And although it is not necessarily a common occurrence, type 1 diabetes can present itself in younger children born healthy. Adults might develop type 1 diabetes at some point in their lives too.

The signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Development of extreme fatigue
  • Unexplained mysterious weight loss
  • Seizures and unconsciousness

Typically, children with this type of diabetes remain undiagnosed until they develop diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic acidosis is a condition where the blood sugar levels rise so high, altering the pH of the blood to extreme acidity. Furthermore, high blood sugar levels in children more often than not result in seizures. Seizures can also happen in adults who are facing complications from type 1 diabetes for the first time.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is presented in a pretty different way in comparison to type 1 diabetes. Instances of seizure or unconsciousness are rare in individuals diagnosed with this type of diabetes. The most common signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes are:

  • Numbness and a tingling feeling in the feet
  • Obesity
  • Troubled eyesight
  • Development of acanthosis nigricans, a particular skin condition with this type of diabetes that causes the skin to darken
  • Development of sores on the skin surface, especially in the skin folds.

Acanthosis nigricans is usually one of the initial signs of diabetes type 2 [5]. The skin conditions result in the skin turning dark, which is a sign of insulin resistance. The disease often attacks the armpits, neck region, and groin area. There is a common misconception among individuals who initially notice this skin infection. They often think that it is a result of dirty skin. However, the discoloration doesn’t come off even with deep scrubbing. You need to know that the condition is a sign of insulin resistance, and it is advisable to visit a doctor as soon as you notice this skin condition.

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Why is it Essential to Diagnose Diabetes Early?

It is essential to diagnose diabetes early on if possible. The reason is the seriousness of some of the implications of not receiving medical care at the appropriate time. For instance, individuals experiencing seizures induced by diabetic ketoacidosis might pass away if they do not receive proper medical attention early on. Alternatively, diabetic ketoacidosis often requires patients to be sent to the ICU for appropriate treatment.

Secondly, there are serious long-term complications that could arise from untreated diabetes. For instance, unregulated high blood sugar levels might result in the individual going blind. It is a specific long-term complication arising from diabetes, and it is known as diabetic retinopathy.

Another long-term complication of diabetes is diabetic neuropathy, where high blood sugar levels cause damage to the nerves. It often leads to numbness and a tingling sensation in the extremities. After the nerve dies, most people do not realize the inability to sense discomfort, more so in their feet. At times, ulcers develop in the feet, resulting in people losing their toes, feet, or the entire limb.

Finally, diabetes could also result in kidney complications. The condition is referred to as diabetic nephropathy. If the condition is not treated at the right time, the individual could experience kidney failure.

For all the above reasons, it is essential to diagnose diabetes as early as possible. That means that you should be on the lookout to spot the earliest signs and symptoms of diabetes.


Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that impairs the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, both of which have different signs and symptoms. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by fatigue, frequent urination, and unexplained weight loss. At its extreme, it results in seizures and unconsciousness. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by numbness, obesity, tingling sensation in the feet, troubled eyesight, and acanthosis nigricans. It is essential to diagnose diabetes as soon as you spot the earliest signs to prevent long-term damage such as blindness or kidney failure.