Diabetes is a disease that has been growing at an alarming rate with each passing year. In 2018 surveys indicate that at least 16 million Brazilians are diabetic and many of them are not even aware of the disease and the risks they run. The World Health Organization (WHO) already takes care of the situation as alarming, where almost 1 in 11 adults is suffering from the disease. But as it is a disease that often causes “normal” symptoms in the daily life of any human being, it is considered an invisible enemy, which can make discovery even more difficult, especially the Type 2 which is the most common. But after all, how do I know if I have diabetes?
What is Diabetes?
Before we start talking about the main symptoms and how to know if you have diabetes, we need to understand what the disease is and what it does to our body. Diabetes is characterized by the elevation of glucose in the bloodstream , also known in medicine as hyperglycemia.
This occurrence can happen due to problems in the production of insulin, which is the hormone produced by the pancreas or simply because of how the organism is reacting to this production, not using it as it should. Therefore, diabetes is divided into types: Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
Main Symptoms of Diabetes
The symptoms of diabetes are not always visible, or when they are, they can be easily confused with other issues , which turns out not to be as alarming as it should be. Therefore, we will list the main symptoms of diabetes and that should be observed if you have a set of them or even the evident increase in any of them.
- Thirst – Diabetics usually experience excessive thirst. This is due to an increase in blood glucose that makes the patient urinate more often than normal and dehydrates more quickly, causing thirst.
- Increased visits to the bathroom – Diabetics often have an increased urinary frequency, even at night. With the increase in blood sugar, the kidney begins to filter the sugar and eliminate it through the urine, which makes the diabetic urinate more often.
- Excessive tiredness – This is one of the symptoms that can be more easily confused, after all, with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, most people live exhausted. But excessive tiredness in diabetics occurs because the body begins to use blood sugar as an energy source, causing greater fatigue or also when glucose is too low, causing the feeling of tiredness.
- Increase in Appetite – Diabetics show an increase in appetite, this is due to the loss of calories (sugar) through urine and hunger serves to recover these calories.
- Weight Loss – Even with increased appetite, diabetics tend to lose weight, as they lose a lot of calories through urine.
- Blurred vision – Diabetics may experience blurred, blurred or unfocused vision. This is due to the increase in blood sugar causing effects on the patient’s bottom of the eye.
Age and Diabetes Risk Group
As diabetes is divided into two types, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, the risk groups are also differentiated. From type 1 diabetes , the risk group is that of genetic factors, where family history counts a lot. So if family members have the disease, be on the lookout for signs and have regular checkups for evaluation. This type of disease usually affects children and adolescents, but it does not exempt it from occurring in adults.
In type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type, the risk factors extend a little more. Since it can be caused by genetic factors such as bad habits in life, we will list the main risk factors, so stay tuned and make periodic consultations for evaluation.
- Suffer from high blood pressure;
- High cholesterol;
- Altered triglyceride rates in the blood;
- He is overweight and has the famous tummy. This is the main fat that causes diabetes;
- Family history of diabetes;
- Has polycystic ovary syndrome ;
- You are being treated for psychiatric disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia;
- Had gestational diabetes ;
If you belong to the risk group, watch for signs and talk to your doctor for regular checkups. The best way to live a healthy life even with diabetes is to find out in advance to be able to control your blood glucose levels.
Diabetes Diagnosis Exams
The tests requested for the assessment and diagnosis of diabetes are basically through blood analysis in the laboratory, where blood glucose levels are checked. References considered normal are 70 to 99 mg / dl, and for suspected diabetes, references above 125 mg / dl. It is worth noting that tests with values between 100 and 125 mg / dl are indicated as above normal, but do not close and confirm the diagnosis of diabetes.
The fasting glucose test is the conventional blood test, which is performed on practically all requests for laboratory tests. It should be performed after a fast of at least 8 hours, where it will be possible to assess blood glucose levels. The reference values evaluated are:
- Normal Levels : less than 100mg / dl
- Pre-diabetic : between 110 and 126mg / dl
- Diabetic : more than 126 mg / dl
This is usually the first exam to show that the patient has some alteration. Through the results it can be indicative to investigate in more detail or to rule out the possibility of diabetes.
The examination of glycated hemoglobin, known in the laboratory as HbA1c, is able to detect blood glucose levels in the last 3 months by means of a small blood collection. The criteria for confirming diabetes in this test are:
- High risk of diabetes or prediabetic – levels between 5.7 and 6.4%
- Diabetes diagnosis – levels above 6.5%
When results greater than 6.5% indicating diabetes, a new collection for confirmation is requested, unless the patient already has apparent symptoms of diabetes or the blood glucose is giving more than 200 mg%.
Glucose Tolerance Test
In the glucose tolerance test exam, the patient is given a liquid with a very sweet taste, which will be used to evaluate how this glucose reacts in the bloodstream. After 2 hours of ingestion, the measurement is performed by collecting blood. The references for analysis are:
- Normal levels : less than 140 mg / dl;
- Pre-diabetic : between 141 and 199 mg / dl;
- Diabetic : more than 200 mg / dl
All the tests mentioned above are indicated for patients who have any symptoms of diabetes. These exams can also be ordered for pregnant women, aiming to prevent complications related to excess blood sugar in the gestational phase, causing gestational diabetes.
Main Complications of Uncontrolled Diabetes
Diabetes, when discovered in time and controlled through the treatments indicated by doctors , can be taken peacefully and the patient can have a healthy life, without scares. But when decompensated it can offer serious complications to the patient’s health and life.
The kidneys act as a kind of filter for the body, and it is formed by millions of blood vessels that can remove the residues found in the blood. With the increase in blood glucose, these residues increase, causing the kidneys to filter an even greater amount of blood, overloading their functions and in turn preventing their proper functioning.
Problems with the feet and legs, especially pain and swelling, may seem like a normal and common problem, but not for diabetics. Nerve problems and poor circulation in diabetics can cause complications such as severe pain, constant tingling and a burning sensation like several bites in the area and even loss of sensation in the limb.
That is why it is very common to hear that diabetics had their limbs amputated, because due to decompensated disease the blood flow to the feet area is reduced. The lack of sensitivity or the difficulty in healing when it hurts the area, being the door for infections and bacteria.
People with diabetes are prone to serious eye problems, including blindness. But these risks increase when diabetes is not treated properly, leaving it uncontrolled. The ocular structures are formed and irrigated by blood vessels and are targets of complications of diabetes, as they keep in contact with the high levels of glucose in the blood.
Diabetes can cause serious damage to the fertility of men and women, when not treated properly, since it causes vascular and psychological complications. In the case of men, the lack of control of blood glucose increases the production of free radicals, which can cause the sperm’s DNA to fragment, leaving them weak or unable to reach the egg. In more severe cases, diabetes can even affect penile erection, making sexual intercourse impossible.
In women, changes in glucose levels completely affect the menstrual cycle, making it impossible for ovulation to occur. In some cases, diabetic women may even stop menstruating. Another point affected by diabetes is the increased risk of miscarriage or embryonic malformation.
The best way to avoid each of these complications is through the proper treatment of diabetes. If you are trying to get pregnant, in addition to the specific treatment for blood glucose control, use fertility vitamins, which in addition to supplying the body’s vitamin needs, also enhance fertility. In the case of women, we recommend the vitamin FamiFerti , which works to strengthen the uterus and endometrium, in addition to potentiating ovulation. You can purchase it here in our online store.
For men, the ViriFerti fertility vitamin can be used , which also supplies vitamin needs and also enhances seminal quality, strengthening sperm and DNA. Get it here in our virtual store .
Taking advantage of the space, I want to tell a novelty to our readers. In partnership with the company Famivita, we have developed a line of specialized products for health and fertility. Among them are male and female fertility vitamins, ovulation tests and the fertility-friendly lubricating gel FamiGel, which plays the role of mucus, increasing the mobility of sperm as well as increasing pleasure. You can find each of these products here in our online store .
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.