Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

9/13/04

Q:
W hat are the main symptoms of diabetes and what are the effects that they have on the body? For example why does it impair eyesight?

A:
Diabetes can affect you in many different ways, depending on your lifestyle, your amount of functional insulin production, and other medical conditions. Symptoms may or may not be "felt" at time of diagnosis. Some of the more common symptoms include dizziness, excessive thirst/hunger, frequent urination, rapid weight loss, and increased fatigue.

If diabetes is not managed well, some of the complications that may occur include numbness in hands/feet (neuropathy), impaired eyesight (retinopathy), and impaired kidney function (nephropathy). These are caused by damage to the nerves from high circulating blood sugars.

Aiming for the most healthy lifestyle you can manage will go a long way for prevention of disease progression.



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