Wednesday, September 29, 2010

10 Signs and Symptoms that you have Diabetes

A friend of mine asked me, how can you tell if you already have diabetes?

A lot of us are in the dark when it comes to diabetes. I for one did not notice that I already have tell tales signs of diabetes. Here is a list of 10 signs and symptoms that you may have diabetes, and its time to see your doctor to verify. I am not a doctor, however these were discussed to me after I was diagnosed, you may still have time to prevent it so I am sharing this with you.

Being very thirsty. - Initially I thought it was just the hot and humid climate that makes me very thirsty. I kept on drinking a lot of water. This was the first realization.

Urinating a lot—often at night. - Originally, I believed that it was due to my thirst that I keep urinating at night. It was one of the symptoms that made me suspect that I might have diabetes, moreso when it became a discomfort specially when I would often wake up at night.

Having blurry vision from time to time. - This symptom was not as noticeable, though there are times when I find it hard to focus on small prints. My job requires me to peer into microscope for material inspection almost 8 hours a day so I thought my eyes were just tired, also since I work with computers, I figured it was just regular eye fatigue. It was not that often that I got it.

Feeling very tired much of the time. - Now this symptom was the hardest to spot, particularly because I had a long 2 hour drive from my office to my home so I just thought it was due to the long traffic jams I had to endure going home. I just thought to myself that it was regular fatigue.

Losing weight without trying. - This is another symptom which was not apparent since I am on the obese side. I just noticed that I was shedding a few pounds which I thought was due to the lack of sleep that I was getting. It was not a significant decrease so I did not pay much attention to it, but I did lose weight.

Having very dry skin. - I'm a guy so I don't pay much attention to this symptom so much. Though at that time, I would often have itchy skin.

Having sores that are slow to heal. - Luckily, I haven't experienced this symptom yet, nor would I want to. Good thing my doctor asked me to monitor my healing progress from now on.

Getting more infections than usual. - I don't have this symptom. I don't know why but I rarely get infections. (running a high fever is a good sign or indication that you have an infection - so my doctor says)

Losing feeling or getting a tingling feeling in the feet. - There were times that I would get cramps, so my doctor says that is also an early indication of possible nerve damage later on. So I take precausions by wearing socks regularly as well as cleaning my footware religiously before and after wearing them to avoid problems.

Vomiting. - I experienced this when I had hyperglycemia. I already knew that I had diabetes when I got to this symptom.

The symptoms I mentioned may not be the same for everyone, nor should it be taken as it is. It is based on my experience, as it was told by my doctor.

There are other risk factors that may cause diabetes. I got this from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website which discusses the factors and could explain why and how we got the disease.

" Certain risk factors make people more likely to get type 2 diabetes. Some of these are

 • A family history of diabetes.

 • Lack of exercise.

 • Weighing too much.

 • Being of African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latino, or Asian/ Pacific Islander heritage.

You can help manage your diabetes by controlling your weight, making healthy food choices, and getting regular physical activity. Ask for help from your health care team. Some people with type 2 diabetes may also need to take diabetes pills or insulin shots to help control their diabetes.

Some people with diabetes are concerned about their family members getting diabetes. A national study show’s that people may be able to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. To find out more, talk to your health care provider, visit the CDC Diabetes Web site at, or call 1-800-CDC-INFO."


If you suspect that you have diabetes, please consult your doctor or health care provider as soon as possible. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and controlled when detected early. If ever you experience any or most of the symptoms,have the due diligence to consult your doctor as soon as possible.

See you next post!

Monday, September 27, 2010

I am a Diabetic - Welcome to my World

I am a Diabetic. I learned about it five years ago. I’m now 36. I’m writing this blog for people like me. How I learned about the disease and how I am now living to educate people on how to live with the disease and control it.
I have Type 2 Diabetes – or Insulin Resistance Diabetes. See the definition below;
“ Type 2 diabetes is a chronic (lifelong) disease marked by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes... When you have type 2 diabetes, the body does not respond correctly to insulin. This is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that fat, liver, and muscle cells do not respond normally to insulin. As a result blood sugar does not get into cells to be stored for energy.”
I learned about this disease when I was 30 years old and I got hospitalized for dizziness and nausea. At first I thought it was just because of my hypertension. They drew blood from me and started running some lab tests. It was then that my doctor told me, I have the tell tale signs of a Type 2 diabetic, the dizziness and nausea was not due to my hypertension, but that I had hyperglycemia. Here is an explanation of Hyperglycemia according to Wikipedia.

Hyperglycemia - is a condition in which an excessive amount of glucose circulates in the blood plasma. This is generally a glucose level higher than 10 mmol/l (180 mg/dl), but symptoms may not start to become noticeable until even higher values such as 15-20 mmol/l (270-360 mg/dl). However, chronic levels exceeding 7 mmol/l (125 mg/dl) can produce organ damage.

The origin of the term is Greek: hyper-, meaning excessive; -glyc-, meaning sweet; and -emia, meaning "of the blood".

Hyperglycemia as caused by Diabetes Mellitus

Chronic hyperglycemia that persists even in fasting states is most commonly caused by diabetes mellitus, and in fact chronic hyperglycemia is the defining characteristic of the disease. Intermittent hyperglycemia may be present in pre-diabetic states. Acute episodes of hyperglycemia without an obvious cause may indicate developing diabetes or a predisposition to the disorder.

In diabetes mellitus, hyperglycemia is usually caused by low insulin levels (Diabetes mellitus type 1) and/or by resistance to insulin at the cellular level (Diabetes mellitus type 2), depending on the type and state of the disease. Low insulin levels and/or insulin resistance prevent the body from converting glucose into glycogen (a starch-like source of energy stored mostly in the liver), which in turn makes it difficult or impossible to remove excess glucose from the blood. With normal glucose levels, the total amount of glucose in the blood at any given moment is only enough to provide energy to the body for 20-30 minutes, and so glucose levels must be precisely maintained by the body's internal control mechanisms. When the mechanisms fail in a way that allows glucose to rise to abnormal levels, hyperglycemia is the result.

I always believed that a Problem well defined is already half-solved. Charles Kettering put it best when he gave that quote and it has been my mantra ever since. I was shocked when I learned I had diabetes, but I took great strides to learn everything about the disease.

For first time diagnosed patients, getting the right information is vital. Talk to your endocrinologist or your doctor about it. Do not be afraid to ask. It's your life that is at stake, learn as much as you can. NEVER self diagnose. It could kill you. 

More about the disease and means to control, monitor and live with the disease next post.