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Diabetes Information

About Diabetes
What causes Diabetes
Do you have Diabetes?
Are you at risk for Diabetes?
Screening for Diabetes
Complications of Diabetes
Treating Diabetes

Do you have diabetes?

      It is possible to have diabetes and be unaware of it for years. This is particularly true in the case of Type 2 Diabetes, which develops slowly, over time. Diabetes can manifest itself in a variety of symptoms, the most common being an increased thirst and increased need to urinate. An increase in thirst is the most common symptom and is the result of dehydration caused by excess glucose drawing water from body tissue. Quenching excess thirst results in a more frequent need to urinate.

Symptoms of Diabetes

- Excess thirst resulting from dehydration caused by high glucose levels drawing water from body tissue.

- Frequent urination to expel liquids consumed from the body.

- Flu symptoms such as fatigue and lack of appetite, resulting from an inability of glucose - the body's primary energy source - to reach the cells of the body.

- Weight fluctuations due to an effort by the body to compensate for lost sugar and fluids. This can result in weight gain resulting from an increased desire to eat, but can also result in weight loss as muscles do not get the glucose they need to grow and stay healthy. Weight loss is particularly common with Type 1 Diabetes.

- Blurred vision resulting from a lack of fluid in the lenses of the eyes due to high levels of blood sugar in the body pulling fluid from body tissue. Long term problems can result, including the growth of new blood vessels in the retina or the damage of old blood vessels. In extreme cases, diabetes can lead to blindness.

- Frequent infections result from the negative impact of diabetes on a body's ability to heal normally and fight off infections. Women with diabetes often experience an increased frequency of vaginal and bladder infections.

- Nerve damage resulting from blood vessel damage caused by high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of nerve damage can include tingling sensations in the body's extremities, as well as loss of sensation and burning pain. The hands, arms, feet and legs are the areas most likely to show signs of nerve damage.

Read more from the National Institute of Diabetes. For Americans living with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association offers useful information, resources and support.

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