Diabetes is often described as a cluster of metabolic diseases, which are characterized, by a surge in sugar (or glucose) level, in blood. The increase in glucose level, in blood, (termed as Hyperglycemia) is either due to absence or inadequate secretion of insulin or because the cells do not respond to production and availability of insulin.
If the data provided by the American Diabetes Association is to be believed, (for the year of 2010) over 6 million people are unknowingly living with diabetes type 2. Almost like hypertension, the changes brought on by the initial stages of diabetes are mild. This is probably why many people fail to recognize the onset of this condition on time.
In case of early stage of diabetes type 1, the symptoms advance into the next stage at a considerably faster rate, especially in comparison to the subtle signs and symptoms seen in diabetes type 2. Let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms associated with the early stages of diabetes, so that timely self- detection becomes a possibility for increasingly more number of people.
Type 1 Diabetes Causes
Type 1 diabetes usually develops due to an autoimmune disorder. This is when the body’s immune system behaves inappropriately and starts seeing one of its own tissues as foreign.
The lack of sufficient insulin thereby results in diabetes. It is unknown why this autoimmune diabetes develops. Most often it is a genetic tendency.
The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Most likely it is an autoimmune disorder. This is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. With type 1 diabetes, an infection or another trigger causes the body to mistakenly attack the cells in the pancreas that make insulin.
Significance Of Early Detection Of Stage 1 Diabetic Symptoms
If an individual identifies the mild clinical features associated with the initial phase of diabetes, he or she can actually erase the risk of suffering from any of the grave complications (which are frequently seen in diabetes). In cases of late detection, many unfavourable changes have already taken place. These can range from hampered circulation, skin changes, retinopathy, neuropathy and so on. Early diagnosis and medical treatment many a time eliminate the need for frequent hospitalization, dialysis or eye surgeries.
Symptoms Seen In Type 1 Diabetes
Unusual Thirst and Frequent Urination
With an elevation in the level of glucose, the stress on organs, such as kidneys is also increased. This results in excretion of sugar into urine. Kidneys draw fluid from the body tissues and this manifests as increased frequency of urination (to get rid of the surplus glucose), even at night. The increased frequency of micturition goes hand in hand with increased thirst as the body feels the need to replace the fluid which has been drawn from the body tissues.
Increase in The Level Of Appetite
Excessive urination causes a drop in the glucose level in the blood which creates a feeling of hunger. Thus, the affected individual may have a craving for food (particularly, sweet) that causes a hike in the blood glucose level.
Unexplained Weight Loss
In most cases, hyperglycemia (raised amount of glucose in the blood) may leave the person feeling hungry too often. That is because the body is unable to utilize insulin properly which consequently results in improper food digestion. In short, food is not converted into energy. As a result of this, the body starts breaking down protein from the muscles as an alternate source of energy. This explains why increased appetite is linked with weight loss. Such people frequently feel exhausted and may experience muscle cramps too.
Blurring Of Vision
Many individuals with stage 1 diabetes complain of dimness of vision along with headaches and pain in the eyes. In fact, reaction of proteins and sugars (known as glycation) may lead to the formation of end products, which can cause, serious damage to the retina. In many cases, diabetes is detected when people seek consultation from an ophthalmologist for blurry vision.
Increased Risk of Infections
Even in stage 1 diabetes, individuals become prone to infections, mostly yeast infections such as those caused by Candida. Due to the increased level of blood sugar, yeast and fungi find it easy to establish themselves. Affected females may suffer from frequent vaginal infections as well as urinary tract infections. Not just that, excess blood sugar damages the walls of the blood vessels which prolongs the healing time of wounds, cuts or bruises, as well.