by Katelyn Schwanke
(last updated September 5, 2008)
Early detection of diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes) can make the difference between a lifetime of insulin shots and having to make just a few simple lifestyle changes. The two major items that put you at risk for diabetes is family history (whether or not it runs in your family) and activity level.
If you happen to have family members with diabetes and are in poor shape, possibly overweight or have a diet high in sugar and saturated fat, you are at risk for diabetes. The most common symptoms of diabetes include polypro (excess urination), blurred vision, excess water intake, and a significant increase in thirst. Although these symptoms are quite accurate in identifying diabetes, be aware that if you are at risk (according to aforementioned risk factors) you should consult your doctor and not wait for these symptoms to show up; symptoms may not manifest until after your blood sugar is significantly above normal target range (higher than 120).
Understanding the symptoms better can help you to react appropriately and not over estimate or under estimate your risk. Polypro, or excessive urination (more than 3 liters on an average day) is one of the first symptoms your doctor will ask you about; if you find yourself getting up to go to the bathroom multiple times throughout the night and more than a personal average during the day you may be suffering from polyuria. With this loss of fluid your body will react appropriately and try to alert you by making you extremely thirsty. Excessive thirst can generally not be quenched for very long, because your body is trying to restore its natural fluid balance. Blurred vision or dizziness can be caused because your fluid balance is off and because the sugar in your brain is constantly fluctuating.
If you are at risk and notice one or more of these symptoms occurring on a daily basis you should seek your doctor immediately. If caught early, monitoring and controlling diabetes can be easy and effective.
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