Before going into the signs of diabetes, you should first know about glucose homeostasis!
What is glucose homeostasis?
The body maintains blood glucose levels within the normal range by a very complicated process called glucose homeostasis.
If there is any disturbance to glucose homeostasis, then it will lead to various bodily signs. Now we are going to see the three significant signs of disruption in the glucose homeostasis called diabetes signs.
Based on the signs, if you can able to diagnose diabetes early, then it can help stop or delay diabetes complications.
When the blood glucose level rises above the normal range, your body tries to normalize the sugar level my expelling the excess sugar from the body. It leads to the development of 3 significant signs or symptoms of diabetes.
What are the three diabetes signs?
The three significant diabetes signs and symptoms are:
- Polyuria – urge to urinate frequently and in large quantities. Most probably pee more often after a sugary food or drink.
- Polydipsia – have frequent and increased thirst. Specifically, severe thirst after about an hour of a meal or drink rich in the carb.
- Polyphagia – have frequent and increased appetite. Mostly, massive hunger after high carb foods.
In the case of type 1 diabetes, the above said signs develop quickly. In type 2 diabetes, it develops slowly.
Polyurea is characterized as urination more than 6 to 8 times or 2.5 to 3 L over 24 hours in adults, especially excess during the night because the body does detoxification during sleep. Most healthy adults can pee about 3 quarts (2.8 liters) in a day, people with polyurea can pee as much as 16 quarts (about 15 liters).
Polydipsia is drinking more than 6 liters of fluid in 24 hours. Polyuria, which is frequent urination, usually accompanies polydipsia. A healthy person often feels thirsty after eating salty food, exercise, or spending time in the sun and they quench their thirst by drinking more fluids. So, don’t confuse it as polydipsia.
Polyphagia is excessive hunger or increased appetite. Eating cannot get rid of the polyphagia in people with diabetes, and it just adds glucose to the already high glucose levels. The best way to lower the sign of polyphagia is to exercise. Because as this can help to stimulate insulin production, reduce blood sugar levels, and thus get rid of hunger feeling.
When does diabetes symptoms generally occur?
The three significant diabetes signs develop mostly after having food or drink rich in sugar or carb.
People with high fasting blood sugar have severe Polyuria, Polydipsia & Polyphagia while wakeup or excessive of these signs after ingesting sugary or carb-rich foods or drinks.
People with high postprandial blood sugar have severe Polyuria, Polydipsia & Polyphagia in the whole day, immediately after ingesting high sugar or carb food or drinks.
Can diabetes develop without symptoms?
There are about 20 to 30% of people with diabetes diagnosed without symptoms (asymptomatic), mostly type 2 diabetes. They generally diagnosed during routine health checkups or any other illness.
These individuals do not have frequent urination, thirst, or hunger even less frequently compared to healthy individuals. May be their body cannot able to flush out the excess sugar, so no frequent urination, so no thirst and thus no hunger.
Generally, this asymptomatic diabetes may continue for more than 5 to 10 years by the time; diabetes complications may start affecting various organs. Thus, if you are at an increased risk of diabetes (i.e., having several diabetes risk factors), then you should need to undergo a routine blood glucose test to diagnose diabetes early and to stop diabetes complications.
How are diabetes signs develop?
Three diabetes signs develop due to the effect of elevated blood glucose level in your body, that is disturbed glucose homeostasis.
- Polyuria - Body cells are unable to consume blood glucose due to insulin resistance or deficiency, thus elevates the blood sugar level. The body tries to normalize the blood glucose with the help of the kidney by removing the excess glucose from the blood along with the urine. Thus, people with diabetes urinate frequently and or in large quantities until the blood glucose level returns to normal. The urine contains sugar and some minerals such as sodium, chloride, potassium, and bicarbonates.
- Polydipsia – The human body requires water to maintain enough blood and other fluids. Polyuria leads to dehydration that is a fluid shortage, including saliva that causes dry mouth and throat. Also, dehydration increases the osmotic blood pressure and lower the blood volume. In response to this kidney releases renin-angiotensin that stimulates the hypothalamus to signal thirst. Thus, people with diabetes have a frequent massive thirst and need to drink often.
- Polyphagia – Experiencing hunger all the time, even within a few minutes after eating, is consider as polyphagia. In almost 40% of people with diabetes, the thirst mechanism is so weak that mistakenly signals as hunger. Also, lack of glucose absorption, removal of vital minerals, and dehydration lead to a lack of energy that is also indicated as hunger. Thus, people with diabetes feeling hunger all the time, even after a few minutes of eating.
Polyuria (frequent urination), Polydipsia (sever thirst), and Polyphagia (unexplained hunger) are the most vital diabetes signs. Additionally, there are unique diabetes symptoms; they are diabetes symptoms in men, diabetes symptoms in women, and diabetes symptoms in children, we can discuss this in detail in the upcoming episodes.
Diabetes without symptoms
There are about 20 to 30% of people with diabetes diagnosed without symptoms, most commonly diabetes type 2. They are symptom-less and diagnosed during routine health checkup or any other illness. Generally, this symptom-less diabetes may continue for more than 5 to 10 years by the time; diabetes complications may start affecting various organs. Thus, if you are at increased risk of diabetes, then you need to undergo a routine blood glucose test to diagnose diabetes in time and stop diabetes complications.