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Understanding Diabetes -- the Basics

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes often occur suddenly and can be severe. They include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
  • Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)
  • Blurred vision

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes may be the same as those listed above. Most often, there are no symptoms or a very gradual development of the above symptoms. Other symptoms may include:

  • Slow-healing sores or cuts
  • Itching of the skin (usually in the vaginal or groin area)
  • Yeast infections
  • Recent weight gain
  • Numbness or tingling of the hands and feet
  • Impotence or erectile dysfunction

With gestational diabetes, there are often no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they might include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Increased hunger
  • Blurred vision

Pregnancy causes most women to have to urinate more often and to feel hungrier, so having these symptoms does not always mean that you have gestational diabetes. But it is important to get tested, because high blood sugar can cause problems for both you and your baby.

For more detail, see WebMD's article Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms.

How Is Diabetes Treated?

Diabetes can't be cured, but it can be treated and controlled. The goals of managing diabetes are to:

You hold the key to managing your diabetes. Work with your doctor to build a diabetes treatment plan that will guide you in:

  • Planning what you eat and following a balanced meal plan
  • Exercising regularly
  • Taking medicine, if prescribed, and closely following the guidelines on how and when to take it
  • Monitoring your blood glucose and blood pressure levels at home
  • Keeping your appointments with your health care providers
  • Getting lab tests when needed

Remember: What you do at home every day affects your blood sugar more than what your doctor can do every few months during your checkups.

For more detail, see WebMD's article Treating Type 2 Diabetes.

 

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on May 06, 2013

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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