Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus Type 1, Type 2 & Gestational


Diabetes Mellitus, what are its symptoms?

As we may all know, Diabetes is a chronic systemic disease characterized by either a deficiency of insulin or a decreased ability of the body to use insulin. The term Diabetes Mellitus is often referred to as “high sugar”. The notion of associating sugar with Diabetes is appropriate because the passage of large amounts of sugar-laden urine is characteristic of poorly controlled diabetes. However, a high level of blood glucose is only one component of the pathological process and clinical manifestations associated with Diabetes Mellitus. It can also be associated with serious complications, but people with diabetes can take preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of such occurrences.

Diabetes Mellitus was classified as either Insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM) & Non-insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NDDM). With the use of insulin therapy commonplace with both types of diabetes, IDDM is now referred to as Type 1 Diabetes and NIDDM is referred to as Type 2 Diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that is broken down into sugar for us to use as energy.

Type 1 Diabetes mellitus is characterized by the destruction of pancreatic bet cells, leading to an absolute insulin deficiency. It affects almost 10% of peoples who have diabetes and diagnosed before the age 30. Hyperglycemia is the term used when people have high levels of sugar in the body (elevated glucose levels. It can lead to most common association of diabetes symptoms. A symptom is an indication of a disease or disorder noticed by the person himself. A “presenting” symptom on the other hand is one that leads a person to seek professional help.

What then are the symptoms of Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes?

The onset of type 1 diabetes symptoms associated with hyperglycemia may be subtle with the possibility of life-threatening situations that is likely to happen such as diabetic ketoacidosis.

The classical Type 1 diabetes symptomsare :

  1. Polyuria (increased urination)
  2. Polydipsia (increased thirst and fluid intake)
  3. Polyphagia (increased weight loss despite increase hunger and food intake)

Type 1 diabetes symptoms are caused by hyperglycemia and the accompanying spillover of excess glucose in the urine. Polyuria is the production of large volumes of urine, which is pale in color and dilute. This symptom may be due simply by the excessive intake of liquid. On the other hand, polydipsia is the excessive thirst that is abnormal which leads to drinking large quantities of water and polyphagia which is the gluttonous excessive eating.

Type 2 Diabetes symptoms often show non-symptoms but may have mild manifestations of hyperglycemia. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes symptoms develops slowly that is why seeking professional help right away once the symptoms  starts to appear. In type 2 diabetes, the early cardinal diabetic symptoms such as polyuria, polydipsia and polyphagia are sometimes manifested. Other symptoms of diabetes that can be manifested are weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, dumbness in hands and feet, vaginal infections and bruises, cuts or sores that heals slowly. We have to be well aware of the symptoms of diabetes although the condition is curable, early detection of symptoms can help to be aware whether you have diabetes or not.

Diabetes Mellitus can also develop during pregnancy, this is called “Gestational diabetes”. It is a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus that applies only to women in whom glucose intolerance develops or is first discovered during pregnancy. It develops in about 3-5% of all pregnant women during the second half of pregnancy but usually disappears when the pregnancy is over but if untreated can lead to serious complications throughout pregnancy.

The mother and most especially the fetus inside the woman’s womb is also at risk.  With gestational diabetes, the pregnant woman’s glucose level is high because during pregnancy some hormones blocks the usual action of insulin or probably the pregnant woman’s body doesn’t respond to insulin properly. The blocking of the action during pregnancy helps your growing baby get enough sugar. How do we know if a pregnant woman is having gestational diabetes? Gestational Diabetes symptoms of pregnant woman is the same as the common symptoms of normal pregnancy and this includes increased thirst, fatigue or feels tired always and the need to urinate more often and also with symptoms of high blood sugar.

Before type 1 or type 2 Diabetes develops, a condition known as pre-diabetes symptoms is when no physical features is seen. It is also referred to as “borderline diabetes”. Most people don’t know that they are diabetes unless diabetic symptoms start to appear. Although you are well aware that you are at risk of developing diabetes since you have the risk factors such as family history of diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, age, obesity, smoking, alcoholic, resistance to insulin and unhealthy lifestyle. Insulin resistance is a condition that is reversible; it is one of the symptoms of pre-diabetes.

Pre-diabetes symptoms are usually due to obesity. The first symptom observed is when there is an increase in urination (the body is trying to decrease the glucose that are excessive by flushing it out), another symptom is an increased in thirst that is due to dehydration and weight loss despite increase in food intake. Blurred vision on the other hand occurs because the high levels of glucose in the blood can cause water from the lens of our eyes to go outwards thus deforming the lens.

Early symptoms of diabetes can be corrected by changing into a balanced exercise, healthy lifestyle, and intake of nutritious foods.

Diabetes can also occur in children. That is why early detection of diabetes symptoms in children to prevent complications because the quality of life of this children greatly depends on this early detection.  Diabetes in children continues to arise and has become a pandemic issue. For parents, unfortunately it is very difficult for them to identify the diabetic symptoms in children.

Diabetes Mellitus symptoms in children

  1. Excessive thirst– your child may feel thirst frequently
  2. Blurred vision– the condition is not always constant and your child may not be able to tell you as the vision come and go.
  3. Bruises that heal slowly– you might just think that the child’s injury usually takes a long time to heal.
  4. Frequent Urination– You just might think that it is caused by frequently drinking of water
  5. Extreme hunger– often times, parents would just think that they’re child requires and demands for food all the time because they are at their stage of “growth spurt”
  6. Weight loss that is unusual– unusual in the sense that despite excessive intake of food and increased appetite, the child still develops weight loss.
  7. Irritability– Some parents might think that it is part of the child’s developmental stage especially when they are at a stage where temper tantrums usually occurs.

Some children also encounter symptoms such as pain or cramps in the stomach, headaches that can be severe and disturbed patterns of behavior in children.

All the diabetes symptoms presented above may or may not be seen all at times. Sometimes, these symptoms will only be noticed after a month or two depending on the type of diabetes. Early detection is very important to prevent complications in the future.


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